Dear Editor of U.S.1,

  I would like to take a moment to respond to Elaine Strauss’s beautifully written article about Princeton Friends of Opera in the January 13 edition.  We are all extremely pleased and grateful to U.S. 1 for reaching out to us and helping to support our organization and the opera community in this way.  Articles, such as this recent one on PFO, including our support of the new to Princeton ensemble, Grand Harmonie’s presentation of Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio, enhance the efforts of all arts organizations, and help to provide music lovers with opportunities to enjoy wonderful music.

 As the article accurately described, PFO is very much a community driven organization.  Our mission is to serve opera performance, opera training, and young singers.  There is an additional less visible aspect to PFO's process, which the article also explained so well:  the opportunity to meet and to work with other music enthusiasts, to share, to volunteer, and to contribute to the vitality of opera and music in this area.  In essence, PFO is nurtured by a shared goal.  We can take advantage of opportunities that arise, such as hosting Grande Harmonie, because we are not aligned with any company or program, thus giving us the freedom to pick and choose our projects and thereby serve the needs of many organizations. 

Princeton Friends of Opera membership is open to all with details on our website:  While many of our events are by necessity focused on fundraising, we do have an open members program and reception in the fall.  With most of our costs covered by contributions, our overhead is minimal and most of our modest membership dues along with the funds we raise through our events are channeled back into the community. 

We try to make our fundraising events as interesting as possible--for instance, our spring event is celebrated for its unusual happenings--one year featuring a Maypole dance, early English music, and Renaissance and Medieval English gourmet dishes. This year the spring event being held on May 14 is titled "Princeton Strikes Gold”  and will feature gourmet dishes based on operatic associations such as Peach Melba and Tournedos Rossini, along with a program of arias from the Golden Age of Opera, and a talk on opera themes as portrayed in the works of Impressionist artist Edgar Degas.

“Food, Music and Art - The Red, White and Blue of PFO.”

Anne McMahan


Princeton Friends of Opera