Fans of opera, chamber music, piano recitals, and carillon are in luck this summer: entire series devoted to their interests have been scheduled. Lovers of musical theater, choral concerts, and symphony will find what they want. People who would rather sing and play themselves will have opportunities, as will children interested in performing in opera.
Despite a teeming season, there are remarkably few conflicts of dates. However, watch out for the evening of Saturday, June 30, when a concertgoer must choose among a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion by Westminster College of Rider University’s Fuma Sacra; “Man of La Mancha” and a chamber music concert, both sponsored by the Princeton Festival; and an outdoor concert by the Riverside Symphonia.
A roughly chronological organization seems the best handle for keeping track of the summer’s events. See listings at the end for dates and ticket details. Up-to-date information can be found on websites. So get out your calendar and pen. Let’s go.
With this summer’s theme of “The Sounds of Spain,” the Princeton Festival runs from Sunday, June 17, to Sunday, July 1. Three performances each of Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” and the Mitch Leigh-Joe Darion musical “Man of La Mancha” are scheduled. So great was demand for tickets that the third performance of “Man of La Mancha” was added to the two originally scheduled. A chorus of 27 local children ranging in age from seven to 13, appears in “Carmen.”
Completing the festival are four single performances: Spanish-tinged jazz with the Miguel Zenon Quartet; a piano recital of Spanish music by Christine McLeavey, co-valedictorian of Princeton class of 2001, who double-majored in music and physics; an evening of flamenco dance; and a chamber music concert featuring Spanish pieces performed by the Concordia Chamber Players. Events are scheduled in various Princeton locations. About to begin its third season, the festival appears in Princeton for the first time, having presented from the Kirby Arts Center at the Lawrenceville School for its first two seasons.
The longest running series of the summer is the Summer Carillon Series. Its concerts begin Sunday, June 24, and end Sunday, September 2. In its 15th season, the annual carillon performances take place rain or shine on Sundays from 1 to 1:45 p.m. in Princeton University’s Graduate College. The 67-bell Princeton carillon is the fifth largest in the United States, and one of the 10 largest in the world. The instrument is located near the top of the Grover Cleveland Tower. Performers include R. Robin Austin, Princeton’s carilloneur, and an invited group of carilloneurs from the United States, France, Portugal and Japan. Players reach the instrument by mounting 137 tightly-coiled stone steps inside the tower. The audience listens from the grounds of the Graduate College. There is no admission charge.
Westminster Choir College of Rider University offers an array of events, many of them free, from Monday, June 25, to Friday, August 3. Most of the concerts and recitals take place in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster campus at 7:30 p.m. For a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St. John Passion” on Saturday, June 30, Andrew Megill takes his Fuma Sacra singers and an orchestra to Miller Chapel at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Members of Westminster’s CoOPERAtive Program for young singers perform songs and recitals from Sunday, July 8, to Saturday, July 28. A novel feature of the CoOPERAtive Program this year is a series of vocal master classes dealing with, among other topics, “French and Bel Canto Arias” and “Handel and Mozart Arias.”
The most venerable of the classical music series is the Princeton University summer chamber music series, now in its 39th season. Originally performed outdoors in the Princeton Graduate College, the series moved indoors to Richardson Auditorium in 1991. This year’s four-concert series includes three string quartet concerts.
Of the total of nine pieces for string quartet to be performed, seven are classical works and two come from the 20th century. String quartets performing are the Johanness String Quartet on Thursday, June 14; the Arianna String Quartet on Tuesday, July 10; and the Biava Quartet on Monday, July 16. A performance of baroque music by the five-member Tempesta di Mare ensemble takes place on Tuesday, June 19. Admission is free but tickets are required.
New Jersey Opera Theater opens its three-opera season with the first of four performances of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” on Friday, July 13. The season includes four performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” with the first scheduled for Saturday, July 14, and three performances of Charles Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette,” to be presented first on Friday, July 20. Performances take place in McCarter’s Berlind Theater. Also at the Berlind Theatre are performances of opera scenes on Tuesdays, July 17 and 24.
NJOT also offers a day camp for children running from Monday to Friday, July 9 to 13. Participants learn the nuts and bolts of creating opera and devise their own mini-operas.
Free events are among the NJOT offerings. They include previews on Friday June 22, and Saturday, June 23; and a musical theater concert on Friday, June 29. NJOT was formed in 2002 with the aim of providing an outlet for emerging artists. The public is also welcome, without reservations, at NJOT’s remaining seven master classes.
Devotees of “The Pirates of Penzance” can further indulge their passion by attending performances of the work at Millburn’s Paper Mill Playhouse’s which run until Sunday, July 8, as well as at NJOT. The theater describes the show as “a raucous and rowdy update.” Paper Mill is valiantly rescuing itself from near bankruptcy, which threatened to close the pioneering 69-year-old theater.
Six evening concerts, five of them solo piano recitals, between Sunday, July 15 and Saturday, July 21 are offered by the International Piano Festival, a component of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton University. Performing artists include Rachel Cheung, a 14-year-old from Hong Kong, on Sunday, July 15; Ilya Itin, Russia, on Monday, July 16; Father Sean Duggan, United States, on Tuesday, July 17; Gulsin Onay, Turkey, on Friday, July 20, and Alexander Gavrylyuk, Ukraine, on Saturday, July 21. Musica Ficta, an ensemble devoting itself to performances of Renaissance and Baroque music from Latin-America and Spain, performs on Thursday, July 19. Performances take place in Taplin Hall on the Princeton campus.
Once again, the daytime programs of the Golandsky Institute immerse participants in the refinements of playing the piano. The Golandsky Institute was founded by Edna Golandsky in 2003 to promote the piano approach devised by Dorothy Taubman. Grounded in physiologically natural movements, the method prevents injury and leads to a powerful stress-free technique with exceptional richness of sound.
Among the daytime Golandsky events open to the public are a three-day series devoted to jazz, as well as talks by Paul Roberts about impressionism, by Edward Bilous on trends in arts education, and by Princeton’s Scott Burnham about Beethoven. Golandsky faculty members John Bloomfield, Robert Durso, and Father Sean Duggan discuss Lowell Liebermann’s “Three Impromptus,” Robert Schumann’s “Carnaval,” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Three-Part Inventions,” respectively.
Individual classical concerts are also part of the summer scene. These single events include orchestra, opera, and choral performance. On Monday, June 18, the Caritas Chamber Chorale performs unaccompanied sacred music at Bristol Chapel of Westminster Choir College. On Wednesday, June 20, Laura Heimes, soprano, solos with Philomel Baroque Orchestra at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. On Saturday, June 23, the Philadelphia Orchestra mounts a 75th anniversary gala at Trenton’s War Memorial. Opera lovers may prefer to spend that evening at the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of “La Boheme” in New Brunswick’s Buccleuch Park. On Saturday, June 30, the Riverside Symphonia presents a “Concert Under the Stars” in Tinicum Park, River Road, Erwinna, Pennsylvania.
For those who prefer to be participants rather than spectators a number of opportunities are available. The Lawrence Sight Reading Orchestra offers instrumentalists a chance to play Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms on Tuesday, June 19. Summer Sings at Westminster Choir College take place on Tuesday evenings from June 26 to July 31. Hymn Sings are scheduled at Westminster for Mondays June 25, July 2, and July 30. Voices Chorale offers a Summer Sing in Hopewell on Friday, June 29.
Attending every Princeton musical event during the summer would leave little time for vacation. However, I would not be surprised if some people tweak their vacation plans to accommodate the concerts they can’t live without.
At Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University:
Miguel Zenon Quartet. An afternoon of jazz presented by Miguel Zenon, saxophone; Luis Perdomo, piano; Hans Glawischnig, bass; and Henry Cole, drums. $45. Sunday, June 17.
Sounds of Spain. Program presented by Christine McLeavey includes a piano recital featuring works of Albeniz, Granados, Montsalvatge, and Mompou. $20. Friday, June 22.
Chamber Music. Concordia Chamber Players present works of Boccerini, de Falla, and Brahms. $25. Saturday, June 30.
At McCarter Theater:
Carmen. Four act opera based on Prosper Merimee’s novella features Jessie Raven, Philip Webb, Christina Pier, Zeffin Quinn Hollis, Charles Schneider, Gregory Mercer, and Branch Fields. Also, Princeton Festival children’s chorus, adult chorus, and orchestra. Conducted by Richard Tang Yuk and directed by Steve La Coss. $25 to $110. Saturday, June 23; Friday, June 29; Sunday, July 1.
At Princeton High School:
Noche Flamenca. An evening of Flamenco with Soledad Barrio. $40. Sunday, June 24.
At Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street:
Lecture. “Mystery of La Mancha: The Transformation of Don Quixote’s World” with Sonia Velazquez. She will compare Cervantes’ novel, the knight errant, and his imagination, to the musical “Man of La Mancha.” Thursday, June 14.
At Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau Street:
Man of La Mancha. Presented by the Young Stars Showcase. Thursday and Saturday, June 28 and 30.
New Jersey Opera Theater
Masterclass: Thomas Bagwell. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. Advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. Woolworth Building, Princeton University, Thursday, June 14.
Masterclass: Bruce Norris. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Thursday, July 19.
Masterclass: Jim Caraher. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Friday, July 20.
Masterclass: Ana De Archuleta. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improveone’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Tuesday, July 24.
Masterclass: Presenter TBA. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Wednesday, July 25.
Masterclass: Scott Altman. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Thursday, July 26.
Masterclass: Brent McMunn. Performances by artists with a variety of voice types. The presenter offers advice on articulation, phrasing, vibrato, and how to improve one’s performance. Free. McCarter Theater. Friday, July 27.
Summer Preview Concert. Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street. Friday, June 22.
Summer Preview Concert, Palmer Square. Free. Friday and Saturday, June 29 and 30.
Summer Preview Concert featuring opera and music theater selections from the 2007 summer season including excerpts from The Magic Flute, Romeo and Juliette, and The Pirates of Penzance. Under the tent behind Panera Bread. Free. Nassau Park Pavilion, West Windsor. Saturday, June 23.
At the Berlind Theater at McCarter, Princeton, 609-258-2787:
Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute). Conducted by Brent McMunn with stage direction by Scott Altman. $52 to $59. Pre-performance lecture at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Sunday, July 13 and 15; Saturdays, July 21 and 28.
The Pirates of Penzance. James Caraher conducts, directed by Michael Scarola. $52 to $59. Pre-performance lecture at 7:15 p.m. Saturdays, July 14 and 21; Friday, July 27; Sunday, July 29.
Opera Scenes Concert. “Divas on Parade.” $20 to $25. Tuesday, July 17.
Romeo and Juliet. Conducted by Steven Mosteller, directed by Marc Verzatt. $52 to $59. Pre-performance lecture at 7:15 p.m. Friday, July 20; Sunday, July 22; Saturday, July 28.
Opera Scenes Concert. “Mischief, Merriment & Mayhem.” $20 to $25. Tuesday, July 24.
The Magic Flute. Pre-performance activities with performers presented for families. $10; $5 children. Performance ticket not included. Saturday, July 28.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 301 North Main Street, Doylestown, 215-598-6142, www.buckschoral.org.
Summer Sings. Singers and music enthusiasts join together to sing through Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah. $10. Tuesday, July 17.
Westminster Choir College, Bristol Chapel, Princeton, 732-560-9669, www.caritaschamberchorale.org.
Benefit Concert. Christ is Our Peace is presented by the Caritas Chamber Chorale, a group of 18 New Jersey singers. The concert benefits Adorno Fathers’ St. Francis Caracciolo Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. The repertoire, divided into sections, shows the progression from longing for God to the peace of salvation. Free will offering. Monday, June 18.
5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick, 732-545-6262, www.christchurchnewbrunswick.org.
Con Brio. Concert presented by British a cappella group. $10. Sunday, July 8.
Taplin Auditorium, Princeton University, 877-343-3434, www.golandskyinstitute.org.
Summer Piano Symposium. Saturday, July 14, through Sunday, July 22.
Opening night concert, Rachel Cheung, 16, first prize winner at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. $25. Sunday, July 15.
Ilya Itin, “the perfect pianist” says Der Standard Wien. Program includes works of Bach, Messiaen, and Chopin. $25. Monday, July 16.
Father Sean Duggan, two-time winner of the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition. He performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. $25. Tuesday, July 17.
Musica Ficta features music of Latin America. $25. Thursday, July 19.
Gulsin Onay, features works of Schumann, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Chopin, and Ravel. $25. Friday, July 20.
Closing night concert by Alexander Gavrylyuk includes works of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Rachmaninov, and Filippenko. $25. Saturday, July 21.
Jersey Harmony Chorus
Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, 609-283-7701. New members are welcome. Mondays, June 25 through September 3.
Buccleuch Park, New Brunswick. www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/season/parks.aspx.
La Boheme. Free. Saturday, June 23.
at the War Memorial
Memorial Drive, Trenton, 609-984-8400, www.thewarmemorial.com.
Philadelphia Orchestra. 75th Anniversary Gala features the orchestra with conductor Rossen Milanov. The performance includes works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. J. Robert Hillier, the honorary chairman of the event, presents a tribute to Louis S. Kaplan and William A. Klemann, two architects of the Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial. $35 to $100. Saturday, June 23.
Mercer Museum, Ashland and Pine streets, Doylestown, PA, 215-487-2344, www.philomel.org.
Concert. Ensemble with soloist Laura Heimes, soprano. $55. Wednesday, June 20.
Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street, 609-497-2484, .
Opera Video Series. Screening of “Orfeo ed Euridice” following a brief introduction to the opera. Dessert and beverages provided. Bring lunch. Register. Free. Monday, June 18.
Screening of “La Boheme.” Saturday, June 23, and Monday, July 2.
Grover Cleveland Tower, Graduate College, 609-258-3654.
Concerts on the fifth largest carillon in the country. Free. Sundays through September 2.
Princeton University Summer Concerts
Richardson Auditorium, 609-631-7884. Free tickets available at the box office at 6:30 p.m.
The Johannes String Quartet. Musicians include Soovin Kim and Jessica Lee on violin, Choong-Jin Chang on viola, and Peter Stumpf on cello. Thursday, June 14.
Tempesta Di Mare. Musicians include Gwyn Roberts on recorder, Richard Stone on lute, Emlyn Ngai and Karina Schmitz on violin, and Rebecca Humphrey on cello. Tuesday, June 19.
The Arianna String Quartet. Musicians include John McGrosso and David Gilham on violin, Robert Meyer on viola, and Kurt Baldwin on cello. Tuesday, July 10.
The Biava Quartet. Musicians include Austin Hartmann and Hyunsu Ko on violin, Mary Persin on viola, and Jacob Braun on cello. Monday, July 16.
Tinicum Park, Erwinna, PA, 609-397-7300, www.riversidesymphonia.org.
Concert Under the Stars. Bring a picnic and celebrate the holiday. Saturday, June 30.
St. Paul School
214 Nassau Street, Princeton, 609-921-7587, www.spsprinceton.org.
Boys Choir Concert. “Minnesota’s Singing Boys: The Land of Lakes Choirboys,” a 34-member choir, presents sacred and secular music. Free. Friday, June 22.
Jacobs Music, 2540 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, 609-434-0222, www.princetonol.com/groups/steinway.
Meral Guneyman. Classical and jazz transcriptions of Gershwin songs. CD release party for her new album “Playing Virtuosity.” Register. Sunday, July 22.
Music Together, 225 Pennington-Hopewell Road, Hopewell, 609-637-9383, www.voiceschorale.org.
Summer Sings. Accompanied by Tim Brown. Tuesday, June 26.
Westminster Choir College
At Bristol Chapel:
Hymn Sing. “All Heaven is Singing: Celebrating Erik Routley” led by Nancy Wicklund with organist Ken Cowan. Monday, June 25.
Sing In. Led by Giselle Wyer. Tuesday, June 26.
Recital. John Burkhalter. Wednesday, June 27.
Hymn Sing. “Hymns for Independence Day” led by Lois Laverty. Monday, July 2.
Sing In. Led by Joseph Ohrt. Tuesday, July 3.
Recital. James Jordan. Thursday, July 5.
CoOperative Program. Masterclass presented by Susan Shiplett Ashbaker, “The First Aria.” Monday, July 9.
Sing In. Led by Scott McCoy. Tuesday, July 10.
CoOperative Program. Recital by the opera stars of tomorrow. Wednesday, July 11.
Recital. Jill Crawford. Thursday, July 12.
CoOperative Program. Recital. Friday, July 13.
CoOperative Program. Masterclass presented by Ted Taylor, “French and Bel Canto Arias.” Monday, July 16.
CoOperative Program. Masterclass by Brian Zeger focusing on Handel and Mozart arias. Tuesday, July 17.
CoOperative Program. Recital by the opera stars of tomorrow. Wednesday, July 18.
Recital. Soprano Lorna MacDonald. Thursday, July 19.
CoOperative Program. Recital by the opera stars of tomorrow. Friday, July 20.
CoOperative Program. Master class presented by Daniel Beckwith. Monday, July 23.
Sing In. Led by Sun Min Lee. Tuesday, July 24.
CoOperative Program. Recital by the opera stars of tomorrow. Wednesday, July 25.
Recital. Elem Eley. Thursday, July 26.
CoOperative Program. Recital by the opera stars of tomorrow. Saturday, July 28.
Hymn Sing. Led by Stan Szalewicz. Monday, July 30.
Sing In. Led by Joe Miller. Tuesday, July 31.
Hymn Sing. $5 to $10. Friday, August 3.
Student Recital. Performers include baritone Victor Miller, who studies with Tim Urban; and sopranos Ana Kouyoumdjian and JoAnne Harla, who study with Aurora Micu. Free. Wednesday, June 13.
At Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary:
Bach Festival Concert. $10. Saturday, June 30.
Bristol Chapel, 609-921-2663, www.rider.edu.
Chopin and More. Recital by piano and chamber music students features the piano music of Chopin, Scriabin, and Liszt, and chamber music by Piazolla, Brahms, and Milhaud. Pianists include Alan Chin, Evan Shieh, Joshua Suslak, Tammy Lam, Shannon Cahill, and Michelle Rograno. Jonathan Taratuta-Titus performs on piano and saxophone. The Mefisto Trio also performs. $10. Saturday, June 30.