Some people spend a lifetime in pursuit of art appreciation. Others spend just 10 days, and still manage to soak up a wealth of world-class artistry, music, opera, dance and theater, exclusive food and wine gatherings, wellness education, and premier lifestyle experiences.
With the Napa Valley Festival del Sole 2012 running July 13 – 22, attendees will celebrate the 7th annual showcase that features everything from admission-free concerts featuring gifted young musicians who will be awarded scholarships, to the world’s top stars of opera.
Previous Festivals have been described by the New York Times as a “feast for the senses,” while Travel + Leisure deemed it “California wine country’s top summer festival” and Diablo Magazine titled it “one of the hottest tickets on the global classical music circuit.”
Among the artists performing this season are violin superstar Joshua Bell, famed 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 dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet.
Other headliners include the Napa Valley premiere of 24 Hour Plays, a feat of extreme theater that involves writing, rehearsing and performing a series of plays in just 24 hours. A-list actors appearing in this event include Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Chris Noth and Hugh Dancy.
Then, there is the return of the popular Bouchaine Young Artist Series, in a series of free concerts showcasing soprano Jacqueline Piccolino, who has performed in the mainstage productions of Le donne curiose, Sweeney Todd, and Les contes d’Hoffmann; the Échappé String Quartet of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; 17-year-old violinist Mayumi Kanagawa of The Colburn School Academy in Los Angeles, plus many more talented performers.
To fuel the fire, the 10-day Festival features more than 40 of the Napa Valley’s finest wineries, estates and restaurants, offering experiences ranging from intimate dinners at private wineries to outdoor Vintners Luncheons to tastings and samplings. There is Taste of Napa at the Westin Verasa Napa, the Festival Gala and Auction at Meadowood, an intimate luncheon for VIP guests on the secluded Kenzo Estate, and so much more.
The best recommendation: pour yourself a glass of excellent Napa Valley wine, curl up on the couch with your laptop, and go through the extensive Festival website inch-by-inch. Then click and order tickets.
If you can manage 10 days of event-going, by all means go for it. It’s guaranteed to bring a lifetime of education and pleasure.
Details: Napa Valley Festival del Sole, July 13 – 22, festivaldelsole.org.
Tip: With so many events happening in the expansive, mountainous Wine Country that is Napa Valley, who wants to think about driving? Rent a Pure Luxury limo or Town Car for the week, and study art instead of the road.