Princeton is no sleepy university town in the summer — in fact it is more like a mini cultural mecca. Without trekking to New York or Philadelphia, Princeton area arts lovers can enjoy dozens of offerings from world-class, internationally renowned performers at a fraction of the price of a big city ticket. We recommend you plan ahead, and this annual Summer Arts Preview sectioni starting on page 23 is one way to start.

Offerings include not one but two opera festivals (Princeton Festival and New Jersey Opera Theater) featuring artists who have graced the stages of the world’s major opera houses; a free chamber music series (Princeton University Summer Concert series) featuring such superlative artists as the Johannes String Quartet and the Arianna String Quartet; and a week-long piano festival (the Golandsky Institute) featuring creme de la creme pianists from around the world — this summer’s lineup includes 14-year-old Rachel Cheung from Hong Kong, who just won first prize at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, and Alexander Gavrylyuk from the Ukraine. “A world class pianist performing at his absolute best,” says the New York Times.

As many of our readers may already be aware, Princeton Rep Shakespeare will not perform at Pettoranello Gardens this summer (although the company is holding a workshop for actors, writers, and Shakespeare lovers — visit princetonrep.org).

But if you crave the arts al fresco, you can choose from outdoor movies at the plaza outside Mediterra, Hopewell Train Station, Palmer Square, and Mary Sheridan Park in Lambertville; outdoor concerts at Pettoranello Gardens in Community Park North, Palmer Square, Grounds for Sculpture, Stony Brook Watershed, and Princeton Shopping Center; and outdoor theater at the Open Air Theater in Washington Crossing State Park.

The first thing we recommend you do with this issue is a quick skim-through to eyeball any concerts or performances that you think might sell out. (Princeton Festival has already sold out two performances of its “Man of La Mancha” and has added a third performance on Saturday, June 30.)

So once you’ve zipped through the issue for hot tickets, hold onto it. Then when unexpected (or expected) guests announce they are going to pass through town in the middle of August, you can begin to make some plans. Our listings include websites and contact numbers — always check before going.

Summer Fiction

We are still calling out for submissions for our annual Summer Fiction issue, and for us poetry is to short stories as icing is to a cake. So mail, fax, or E-mail (to fiction@princetoninfo.com) your previously unpublished short story or poem.

This issue is not a contest. It is rather a chance to showcase the creative writing of people who live or work in the greater Princeton community. So be sure to include an autobiographical paragraph or two in a cover letter. Our deadline: Friday, June 22. Issue date: Wednesday, July 25.

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