Opera Philadelphia's recently announced 2021-2022 season moves away from a traditional opera season, offering productions throughout the year and incorporating both live performamces and the continuation of its Opera Philadelphia Channel developed during the pandemic. A Tempo this Saturday (5/22 at 7 pm) explores the season plans, as host Rachel Katz speaks with General Director and President David Devan about details of the season, putting its O-Festival on temporary hiatus, and the decision to continue offering virtual productions in light of positive audience reception. 

The Princeton Festival is returning to the stage, planning a limited number of concerts with a live audience this year in addition to a variety of online performances and productions after a year of all-virtual events because of the pandemic. A Tempo host Rachel Katz chats this Saturday (5/15 at 7 pm) with Acting Artistic Director Gregory Geehern and Interim Executive Director Becky Brett about the details of the 2021 season, which begins June 2, and some longer-term goals. 

With the gradual lifting of restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, performing arts organizations are planning for summer performances and their Fall seasons. A Tempo this Saturday (5/8 at 7 pm) looks at some of these plans, including the Philadelphia Orchestra's announcement about its Fall return to the main stage at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center. Host Rachel Katz will speak with orchestra President and CEO Matias Tornopolsky, as well as ArtPrideNJ Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Ann Marie Miller and New Jersey Theatre Alliance Executive Director John McEwen.

Orchestras, conservatories and other performing arts organizations have increasingly incorporated elements of film production into their digital performances during the past year as the pandemic forced them to shift to online formats. A Tempo this Saturday (5/1 at 7 pm) looks at how The Colburn School created "The Way Forward," a cinematic performance experience showcasing students, alumni and faculty of its classical music, jazz, ballet and opera programs.

McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton had planned to bring a staged reading of "The Manic Monologues," a collection of stories from people struggling with mental illness, as part of its 2019-2020 season, but the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting shut-down of public performances threatened to keep it from moving forward.

As performing arts ensembles moved their performances online in the wake of venue closures due to Covid-19, many are discovering that their reach now goes far beyond their traditional audiences. This has opened up new possibilities, and this Saturday (1/23 at 7 pm) A Tempo highlights a partnership between the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble to present five of Buskaid's concerts online.

As opera companies roll out 2021 programming, many of the productions were totally conceived of and created in the era of Covid-19, with its restrictions on live performances and the shift to screens and devices. A Tempo this Saturday (1/9 at 7 pm) looks at some upcoming events at Opera Philadelphia and Prototype 2021 Festival. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Opera Philadelphia General Director David Devan about its upcoming showing of Lee Hoiby's Bon Appetit, starring Jamie Barton as Julia Child, which is also serving as a fundraiser and runs Jan.

The Broadway musical called "The Prom" looks at a tiny town where the senior prom is cancelled after a lesbian student says she intends to bring her girlfriend as her date. Now the show has been turned into a star-studded musical for Netflix. Hear Theater Critic Howard Shapiro's review of the film this week on In a Broadway Minute, Friday (12/11) at 8 am and Saturday (12/12) at 10 am.

Many performing arts organizations have had to re-think their annual holiday traditions, including Messiah performances and family concerts, because of the restrictions on live performances and public gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic. A Tempo this Saturday (12/12 at 7 pm) checks in with Trinity-Wall Street and the Philadelphia Orchestra to learn about their revised and re-imagined plans for holiday specials.

Photo by Jorge Cousineau

Since 1992, Westminster Choir College has brought music of the season to the community through its annual Readings and Carols, which has become a highly anticipated part of the holiday season for those in the Princeton, NJ area. This year has brought challenges to the school, including its move by Rider University to Rider's Lawrenceville campus and restrictions on large gatherings and live performances.