Festival Napa Valley wraps a record-setting season. Roaring back into action with 60 outdoor, sold-out concerts and events over two weeks in July, Festival Napa Valley capped its 15th summer season by raising a record-breaking $2.8 million at its Arts for All Gala, headlined by global superstar Jennifer Hudson.

Jennifer Hudson performs at Arts for All Gala held at Nickel & Nickel Winey

“Money raised provides free and affordable access to world-class performances, supports public school arts education programs in Napa County, and funds scholarships for emerging musicians, all in support of the Festival’s mission to make the arts accessible to all,” said Richard Walker, Festival Napa Valley President.

Top Left: Lisette Oropesa, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Nia Imani Franklin
Bottom Left: Fiona Khuong-Huu, Steven Banks, James Conlon with Festival Orchestra Napa 

All performances took place outdoors, which despite the challenges, were spectacular in their settings. “After the long hiatus of in person events over the past year, the mood was particularly uplifting and joyful, as audiences celebrated coming together again to experience live music,” said Walker.

Guest artists brought a heightened sense of energy and emotion to their performances, as for many, this was their first chance to be back on stage performing to a live audience. 

West Coast premiere of Nia Imani Franklin’s Chrysalis Extended and Emporium for solo piano and orchestra by Aldo López Gavilán, with the composer as soloist.

“One silver lining of the pandemic was new Festival stages at CIA at Copia and Charles Krug, where the Festival presented its first Manetti Shrem Opera, Gianni Schicchi, as well as a Tribute to Tony Bennett, an evening of Opera Under the Stars, and the annual Dede Wilsey Dance Gala featuring Italian ballet superstar Roberto Bolle,” said Walker.

Tribute to Tony Bennett featuring Michael Feinstein at Charles Krug Winery

Charles Krug, one of my favorite wineries, hosted six of the main events and a Patron Dinner.

Top: Charles Krug Winery Patron Dinner. Bottom Left: Hall Winery Patron Dinner, Right: Castello di Amorosa Patron Dinner

The level of talent was spectacular and the Main Stage on the Carriage House lawn proved to be the perfect venue for these shows. “We loved having these shows on our property, Overall, I think it is an outstanding event with unbelievable talent,” said Co-Proprietor, Peter Mondavi Jr.

Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at Charles Krug Winery

Despite a very challenging year for arts organizations to survive, Festival Napa Valley was able to not only present a wide range of performing arts offerings this summer, from symphonic concerts, opera, and dance to chamber music and jazz, but also announce the launch of three major new initiatives during the 2021 Season, which they will work to see flourish in the years to come. One of those initiatives is the Manetti Shrem Opera Program: a comprehensive celebration of the vocal arts including fully staged and semi-staged opera performances, a tuition-free summer conservatory providing advanced study and performance opportunities to college-aged students and recent graduates, and scholarship prizes for extraordinary young opera singers with emerging careers.

Festival Napa Valley 2022 will be held July 15-24, 2022. Visit www.festivalnapavalley.org for more information.