The company made its official debut with a Viennese-style New Year’s ball on the eve of 2006. Since then its many performances in a wide variety of venues have consistently earned rave reviews and standing ovations. Just two years after its inception, Opera Naples was named Best Performing Arts Group by Gulfshore Life magazine.
In its first decade, the company has presented such well-known grand operas as La Boheme, Carmen, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Faust, Elijah, Eugene Onegin, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Nabucco, Rigoletto, The Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, The Magic Flute, and Tosca. It has staged modern works such as La Tragedie de Carmen, Maria de Buenos Aires, Tango, The Medium and The Telephone, and has produced major choral works such as Verdi’s Requiem. It has staged performances in venues ranging from the Artis-Naples Performing Arts Center to local churches, schools, retirement communities and a public park.
Opera Naples has become firmly established as the city’s opera company and an important part of the cultural life of the region. We are proud to have earned local, regional and state government support, and are very grateful to our sponsors, donors and patrons who continue to encourage us and grow in number.
A Milestone Season
The 2014/2015 season marked our tenth anniversary, but it was a milestone year for several other reasons also. It marked the first season led by our brilliant Artistic Director Ramòn Tebar, the internationally renowned Spanish conductor widely recognized for his musical versatility, compelling interpretations and orchestra building skills. In February 2015, he was awarded one of his country’s highest civil awards by King Filipe VI of Spain, and in May 2015, he was invited to conduct an evening of classical music for H.R.H. Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
The David and Cecile Wang Opera Center
The 2014/2015 season was important also, marking the year we moved into our new permanent home, The David and Cecile Wang Opera Center. The center accommodates our administrative offices, rehearsal rooms, set and costume storage and the Judy and John Hushon Theater.
Here Opera Naples stages chamber operas and concerts, young artists’ auditions and performances and collaborates with other local artistic groups, such as ArtsNaples World Festival, TheatreZone, and the music department at Florida Gulf Coast University. The theater is also made available to a wide variety of local community groups.
The Wang Center serves as the centerpiece of the Davis Triangle Redevelopment Zone in east Naples, an area focusing on cultural arts. The site was purchased and the building funded largely by private donations from individuals like David and Cecile Wang, for whom the Center is named, and by grants from the State of Florida. The center is believed to be the first of its kind devoted to public musical performance and multiple age levels of education to be opened in southwest Florida.