Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Opera Takes Over Rahway: Free Pop-Up Performance by New Jersey Opera Theater at Rahway Train Station


WHEN: from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20
 Rahway Train Station Plaza Stage

Members of the New Jersey Opera Theater will give the community a preview of their talents with a free hour-long pop-up performance. The evening will be filled with music from the Italian opera Norma, offering a preview of the upcoming fully-staged show. 

After the event, head down the street to the Coffee Box, where these singers and others will entertain at the venue’s Open Mic and Community Jam starting at 7 p.m.

Rahway resident Joseph Mayon, who made his Carnegie Hall debut as Pollione in Norma with Harmony Project NYC, collaborated with Union County Performing Arts Center to form the New Jersey Opera Theater last summer. Since then, he has gathered friends and colleagues, many of whom have performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and other prestigious venues, to sing with the company.

“This building is such a gem to perform in,” he said of the Union County Performing Arts Center, which dates back to 1928. “The acoustics are perfect; it’s an amazing place to sing.”

Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma is a poignant tale of love and betrayal when Norma, the high priestess of the Druid temple, discovers that her lover, Pollione, is in love with her friend, the young Druid priestess Adalgisa

Audience members are encouraged to dress in Druid or Roman attire for the fully staged performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 30, in which the Druids battle it out with the Romans in 50 B.C. 

Mayon strives to introduce new audiences, especially younger people, to the rich, immersive experience of opera. As such, ticket prices are affordable and students with ID are admitted free to all of New Jersey Opera Theater’s performances.

“I don’t want anyone to not have an opportunity to hear this music,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re 80 – if you’re enrolled in school, you can come to our shows for free.”

Norma stars Casandra LaMotte (Norma), Anna Viemeister (Adalgisa), Joseph Mayon (Pollione), Steven Fredericks (Oroveso), Jax Hassler (Flavio) and Anita Lyons (Clotilde). The performance is conducted by Richard Nechamkin.

TICKETS: start at $20; seniors get BOGO tickets (buy one, get one free) and UCPAC members get 20% off all seats. The Union County Performing Arts Center is located at 1601 Irving Street, Rahway. For more information, call 732-499-8226 or visit or