Highlights include performances by Joshua Bell, Danielle de Niese, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Hélène Grimaud, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Bolshoi Ballet, plus the Napa premiere of the innovative 24 Hour Plays
Napa Valley, CA, January 2012 – Festival del Sole in partnership with IMG Artists returns for another spectacular season, July 13-22, 2012, in California’s beautiful Napa Valley.
Set among lush, rolling foothills and breathtaking vineyard landscapes, Napa Valley Festival del Sole blends world-class artistry, gourmet cuisine, fine wines and lifestyle programs in a unique celebration of the art of life, all during a ten-day experience the New York Times calls a “feast for the senses.”
Among the artists appearing this season are violinist Joshua Bell, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, sopranos Danielle de Niese and Lisa Delan, baritone Nathan Gunn, cellist Nina Kotova, guitarist Angel Romero, pianist Hélène Grimaud, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Bolshoi Ballet.
Other highlights include the Napa premiere of 24 Hour Plays, an exciting feat of extreme theater, which involves writing, rehearsing and performing a series of plays in just 24 hours – in this case 4 plays with musical interludes from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Audiences will also enjoy the popular Bouchaine Young Artists Series, the annual Taste of Napa event featuring fine foods and wines from local purveyors, wellness programs, and an opportunity to experience yoga in the vineyards.
Bringing together the legendary hospitality of over 70 of Napa’s finest wineries and estates over the past six seasons, as well as stunning venues including a castle courtyard, a historic theater and concerts under the stars, Festival del Sole is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Friday, July 13
Napa Valley Festival del Sole’s seventh season kicks off with an Opening Night Gala at Castello di Amorosa, a castle as imposing and persuasive as any in Europe. The concert features American superstar mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, in a program of Handel arias conducted by Nicholas McGegan. A reception atop the castle’s tower overlooking Napa Valley precedes the concert, and dinner fit for a king follows in the ornate barrel room, hosted by Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, proprietors of Bouchaine Vineyards.
Saturday, July 14
Guests are invited to start the day with yoga in a vineyard, led by a winemaker-cum-yoga instructor, Nicole Abiouness, followed by a tasting of her refreshing rosé – only in Napa! The festival presents the annual A Taste of Napa gastronomic showcase of artisanal food purveyors and renowned wineries, at The Westin Verasa Napa. The event includes an installment of the festival’s popular wellness series led by Melina Jampolis, M.D. That evening, guests will enjoy dinner set amid the vineyards of the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery, and a concert under the stars (program TBA). An after-party follows at Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley in nearby Yountville.
Sunday, July 15
Chimney Rock gets the day started right with a gourmet brunch paired with their fine wines. At the Napa Valley Opera House, the festival presents three choirs from the Golden Gate International Children’s Choral Festival in a free family concert. At Lincoln Theater, Festival del Sole presents the Napa premiere of 24 Hour Plays, starring film and theater actors creating, learning and performing four short plays in the space of a day, with musical interludes from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The day culminates with the annual festival gala at Meadowood Napa Valley, featuring sparkling wine, a croquet match on the property’s championship lawns, a performance by jazz vocalist Antoniette Costa, pianist/violinist Tara Kamangar, and cellist/beatboxer Kevin Olusola, a live auction of unique and fabulous lifestyle lots, and gourmet dinner on the greens.
Monday, July 16
The day begins with the first concert of the popular Bouchaine Young Artists Series at the exquisite Jarvis Conservatory, followed by a Vintner’s Luncheon at Darioush, site of an elegant event each season. The festival’s first-ever beach party (Napa style!) takes place at La Herradura Ranch, with Caribbean music on a sandy beach beside a private lake, followed by a private concert in a historic stone winery with classical guitarist Angel Romero, cellist Nina Kotova and the RNO String Quartet. Guests will be treated to a festive dinner following, surrounded by vineyards.
Tuesday, July 17
Tuesday’s Bouchaine Young Artists concert at the Jarvis Conservatory is followed by a Vintner’s Luncheon at Black Coyote Chateau. The festival returns to Castello di Amorosa for the second of four performances in the beautiful courtyard. The concert features the Russian National Orchestra joined by opera star Danielle de Niese. The evening comes to a perfect ending with dinner at Ehlers Estate, co-hosted by Cuvée Napa Restaurant.
Wednesday, July 18
A Vintner’s Luncheon at Kenzo Estate follows a Bouchaine Young Artists concert at the Jarvis Conservatory. At Castello di Amorosa, female audience members will swoon to heartthrob baritone Nathan Gunn making his Napa debut, accompanied by his wife, pianist Julie Jordan Gunn. The concert also features chamber music with soprano Lisa Delan, cellist Nina Kotova, and pianists Hélène Grimaud and Kristin Pankonin. Dinner at new festival partner winery Alpha Omega closes the day’s festivities.
Thursday, July 19
Spring Mountain Vineyard kicks off another full day of Festival del Sole with a Vintner’s Luncheon. An extraordinary multidisciplinary program takes place at Castello di Amorosa — Chopin: Seduction, Smoke and Music, performed by pianist Simon Trpceski, cellist Nina Kotova and American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, with actors reenacting the love affair between Frédéric Chopin and celebrated French author Aurore Dupin, more commonly known by her pseudonym George Sand. A gala dinner follows at Raymond Vineyards.
Friday, July 20
Following a Bouchaine Young Artists concert, a Vintner’s Luncheon takes place in the historic Cask Room at Merryvale Vineyards, co-hosted by Tra Vigne Restaurant. The festival’s annual Dance Gala takes place at Lincoln Theater, a once-in-a-lifetime event with the Bolshoi Ballet, flown from Moscow to Napa for this appearance. The dancers will perform to live music played by the Russian National Orchestra in the U.S. debut of Gordon Getty’s The Oath of Ushers, in addition to classics from the ballet repertoire. A dinner at HALL Napa Valley caps this historic evening.
Saturday, July 21
After starting the day with yoga in the vineyards, guests are invited to a Vintner’s Luncheon at Kristine Ashe Vineyards. A concert at Farmstead this afternoon features regional favorite Alma Desnuda performing their self-described Acoustic Soul music. In the evening, guests are treated to a magical evening at Far Niente, with dinner, fine wine, and a private concert with festival favorite Joshua Bell and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet.
Sunday, July 22
Tamber Bey Vineyards hosts a fun and elegant Vintner’s Luncheon on the festival’s closing day. At Lincoln Theater, the Russian National Orchestra is joined by Joshua Bell, pianist Hélène Grimaud making her Napa concerto debut, and composer Daniel Brewbaker. Festival del Sole’s seventh season comes to a close with a gala dinner at Cardinale.
The night before the official opening, major benefactors and sponsors gather for the annual Founders Dinner, hosted this year by Anita and Ron Wornick at their picturesque and art-filled Seven Stones Winery.
The Russian National Orchestra’s appearance as Resident Orchestra is made possible by a major grant from Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, proprietors of Bouchaine Vineyards, with additional core support from Athena and Timothy Blackburn.
Annual programs established with generous gifts include the Dede Wilsey Dance Series and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Farrow Vocal Arts Series. This support helps to bring top stars from the worlds of dance and opera to Festival del Sole stages each season.
The Bouchaine Young Artist Series is sponsored by Bouchaine Vineyards and features free performances by talented young artists. This year, the program is expanded thanks to generous additional underwriting from Bouchaine Vineyards, enabling the festival to invite extraordinary young musicians from around the world to make their U.S. debuts in Napa.
Festival del Sole’s strong network of support includes Founding Sponsors Calistoga Ranch and Bouchaine Vineyards, 55 Degrees, and more than 70 Partner Wineries. Media sponsors are Diablo Publications and San Francisco Chronicle, and media partners include American Public Media, Capital Public Radio, KDFC, KVON and The Vine, San Francisco Magazine, and WineCountry.com.
Hotel and Resort Partners include Calistoga Ranch, Auberge du Soleil, Bardessono, The Carneros Inn and The Orchard at The Carneros Inn, Meadowood Napa Valley, Harvest Inn, Vineyard Country Inn, Villagio Inn & Spa, Vintage Inn, The Westin Verasa Napa, Napa River Inn, River Terrace Inn, Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, Hilton Garden Inn Napa, Wine Country Inn and Poetry Inn. Visit www.festivaldelsole.org to take advantage of special rates and packages.
Festival del Sole operates under the auspices of Festival Association Napa Valley, a not-for-profit charitable organization established to enrich the region’s cultural vitality, to present superb artistic programming, to nurture young talent, to build the audiences of tomorrow and to showcase the exceptional hospitality, wine and cuisine of the Napa Valley. The festival is produced by IMG Artists.
Tickets go on sale March 1. Purchase online at www.festivaldelsole.org or by calling 888-FDS-NAPA [888-337-6272] or in person at the festival office, 1556 First Street, Suite103A in Downtown Napa.
Individual ticket prices start at $39. The Bouchaine Young Artists Series and Golden Gate International Children’s Choral Festival concerts are free (tickets are required for admission).
VIP Packages—from the full Passport to daily and evening only passes—includes exclusive access to vintner’s luncheons, gala dinners and other special events, and prime seating at performances. Pricing includes a tax-deductible contribution in support of the festival. For information and purchases, contact Lisa Pavageau at Lisa@FestivalDelSole.org or call the festival office at 707-200-1314.
For further information and schedule updates, please visit www.FestivalDelSole.org