FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NAPLES, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2021) – Opera Naples, one of Naples’ leading performing arts organizations, has announced the 2021-22 season. On the heels of a successful end-of-season match campaign led by longtime arts patrons John and Nicoletta Pepe, who encouraged numerous donors to join alongside them to raise more than $143,000 in less than 60 days, Opera Naples is looking ahead to a diverse season. The 2021-22 season will be conducted by Artistic Director and renowned conductor Ramón Tebar and include productions at the newly renovated Wang Opera Center, the II Festival Under the Stars, and an extraordinary concert with Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov at Arthrex One. The season will also include the annual Gala featuring one of the world’s top tenors, Joseph Calleja.
The season includes:
- “Hansel and Gretel,” Oct. 16 and 17, 2021 at the Wang Opera Center: A collaboration with Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music, “Hansel and Gretel” is one of the most successful fairy-tale operas, and resonates with both adults and children alike. The composer, Engelbert Humperdinck, was a protégé of the great Richard Wagner, and the opera’s score is flavored with the sophisticated musical ideas he learned from his idol while still maintaining a charm and a light touch that were entirely Humperdinck’s own. The opera acknowledges the darker features present in the Brothers Grimm version of the familiar folk tale yet presents them within a frame of grace and humor that communicates universally to everyone.
- Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov in concert, Jan. 7, 2022 at Arthrex One: Quite arguably the most popular female opera singer in the past 20 years, Netrebko is known for her lustrous voice, compelling dramatic characterizations, and her alluring stage presence. Following her United States debut in 1995, Netrebko soared and has performed at top opera houses in the world. She’s been awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation for her contributions to opera, and in 2008 was named the People’s Artist of Russia. Praised for his “metallic, stentorian and markedly Italianate instrument” by the L.A. Times, Azerbaijani dramatic tenor Eyvazov has emerged as one of the most sought-after tenors of his generation. Eyvazov has appeared on numerous recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, including a complete recording of Puccini’s ‘Manon Lescaut’ live from the Salzburg Festival. In 2017, he was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Azerbaijan.
- “The Pirates of Penzance,” Jan. 20 & 21, 2022 at the Wang Opera Center: A comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W.S. Gilbert, “The Pirates of Penzance” is a beloved classic fun for all ages. Set on a rocky coast of Cornwall, England during the reign of Queen Victoria, the plot boasts sentimental pirates, blundering police officers and absurd adventures. The beauty, wit and whimsy of Gilbert and Sullivan’s melodic score combined with the many memorable characters make “The Pirates of Penzance” a musical comedy masterpiece.
- Opera Naples Annual Gala Starring Joseph Calleja, Feb. 9, 2022 at Arthrex One: Due to popular demand, Opera Naples is bringing back Maltese top tenor and international opera icon, Calleja, for an encore performance with Ramón Tebar at the piano.”
“Joseph is truly one of the best tenors in the world. Having him attend last season’s Gala as our featured artist left a lasting impression that clearly resonated with our patrons and donors,” said Executive Director Sondra Quinn. “His performance was so mesmerizing that we ventured to bring him back.”
Opera Naples will also host the II Festival Under the Stars conducted by Ramón Tebar and featuring the Naples Festival Orchestra.
Following last season’s inaugural runaway success, the opera company has expanded the festival from four days to over a week, with more than double the performances as the inaugural series. The 2022 festival will include the following productions and concerts:
- “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini starring Ramón Vargas: Since his debut in the early ‘90s, Vargas has developed to become one of the most acclaimed tenors of the 21st century. “Tosca” will showcase the incredible artist’s range in this melodrama in three acts set to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Guiseppe Giacosa and based on Victorien Sardou’s 1887 French-language drama, La Tosca. Set in Rome at the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, “Tosca” is a story of love, lust, murder, and political intrigue. Passion and jealousy drive this tragic tale, which depicts the tempestuous life of opera singer Floria Tosca, her lover Mario Cavaradossi, and the corrupt chief of police, Baron Scarpia.
- “Glory Denied” by Tom Cipullo: Composed in 2007, this acclaimed opera brings to life the story of the longest-held American prisoner of war from the Vietnam era and his agonizing re-introduction to an America that had moved on without him. Based on Tom Philpott’s book of the same name, Cipullo’s masterful adaptation makes a lasting impression with a thrillingly varied score and a mesmerizing libretto. With over twenty productions to date, “Glory Denied” is already one of the most frequently performed pieces of the 21st century.
- “On the Town” by Leonard Bernstein: A musical based on the 1944 ballet Fancy Free, “On the Town” was developed by Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. New York City’s pomp and fanfare sets the stage for this story of three sailors looking for love in a whirlwind 24-hour adventure before heading off to battle in World War II. In this piece, Bernstein introduced several popular and classic songs which remain some of his biggest Broadway hits to date. The appealing musical score, youthful exuberance of characters and the unique moment in history make “On the Town” a true American classic.
- Opera Star Concert with Javier Camarena: Mexican tenor Javier Camarena is the preeminent Mozart and bel canto specialist of his generation. Praised for his burnished tone, gleaming high notes, flawless coloratura, and veracious portrayals, he regularly appears in leading roles alongside today’s foremost stars at the world’s top opera houses, and was the face of Opera News’ 80th anniversary edition this past January.
While the II Festival Under the Stars is slated to take place in March 2022, specific dates and location will be released at a later time.
“Last season’s Festival Under the Stars was a first for Opera Naples, and proved to be one of the most successful initiatives we’ve ever taken on” said Tebar. “By bringing together the best opera artists and the most popular opera productions amidst a backdrop of Southwest Florida’s natural beauty, and creating a narrative around inclusivity, we were able to break down barriers and welcome more than 3,400 patrons over four days – many of whom had never attended an opera performance before. It showed the power music has to bring people together, and we are excited to grow this exceptional format and continue to move opera forward for the next generation.”
Season tickets are currently on sale for Millennium Club members only. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 13. To become a Millenium Club member, contact Development Director Carla Calavitta at CCalavitta@operanaples.org.
For additional information, contact 239-963-9050 or visit www.OperaNaples.org.
Dedicated to presenting high-quality opera productions and concerts featuring internationally renowned performers and directors, Opera Naples is an artistic powerhouse. An advocate of community service and education outreach, Opera Naples has introduced opera to more than 60,000 children since its inception through its various programs, including Lee and Collier County in-school programs and performances, the Resident Artists Program and Summer Youth Program. The company is also dedicated to nurturing the region’s promising young talent through the Opera Naples Academy led by a faculty of revered opera luminaries who offer an immersive program of vocal instruction, lectures and masterclasses. Over the past decade, the company has earned local, regional, and state government support. For more information, visit OperaNaples.org or contact info@OperaNaples.org.
Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, Angela@GSMA.pro