The 2012 Princeton Festival kicks off this week with lectures and performances at a range of venues, including a joint Voices Chorale and Bucks County Choral Society concert at Princeton University Chapel (see below).

The centerpiece of the 2012 program is an opera double bill at McCarter Theater. Puccini’s comedy “Gianni Schicchi” is paired with Rachmaninoff’s tragedy “Francesca da Rimini” for performances on Saturdays, June 23 and 30.

Other highlights include: “Once Upon A Mattress,” with a special preview performance at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton on Sunday, June 10, followed by shows at 185 Nassau Street through June 30.

One-night-only engagements range from dance to cabaret. Lustig Dance Theater opens the festival on Saturday, June 9, at McCarter Theater, and the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra gives its annual spring concert simultaneously in Richardson Auditorium.

The Gamelan Orchestra comes to Taplin Auditorium on Saturday, June 16, and Concordia Chamber Players perform in Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel on Sunday, June 17. Sylvia McNair Cabaret closes the festival on Saturday, June 30, in Taplin Auditorium.

Speakers during the festival will include Princeton professors Stacy Wolf and Robert Hollander, Rider professor Timothy Urban, Princeton Art Museum docent Marianne Grey, and UNC’s Nancy Goldsmith.

Visit www.princetonfestival.org for a full schedule of events.

#b#Choirs Combine For ‘Cathedral Classics’#/b#

Voices Chorale and the Bucks County Choral Society will present a joint concert in the Princeton University Chapel on Sunday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Part of the Princeton Festival, the concert will include Poulenc’s “Gloria” with soprano Jane Kamp, Handel’s “Coronation Anthem No. 4,” pieces by Rachmaninoff, Howells, Barber, and Bairstow, and several short organ interludes. Voices’ Lyn Ransom and BCCS’ Thomas Lloyd will conduct.

According to Ransom, the 140-voice choir will be a crowd-pleaser. “I think that this three-way effort between Voices, Bucks County Choral Society, and the Princeton Festival will lead to an outstanding concert experience,” she says. How does she know? “What the singers like, audiences usually love,” she says.

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