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August 2, 2018

Festival Napa Valley 2018 Gala

Alex Chases and Maria Manetti Shrem
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Nadine Sierra
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Leslie Silver and Jonathan Tetelman
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Maria Quiros
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Shahpar and Darious Khaledi
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Olya and Serge Troxel
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Karen Richardson
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
Lawrence and Gorretti Lo Lui
Photo by Drew Altizer photography
Nadine Sierra and Jonathan Tetelman perform with the Blackburn Music Academy Orchestra.
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography
The table setting for opening night.
Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

“Opera Under the Stars,” the opening night gala of Festival Napa Valley, now in its thirteenth year, took place Friday, July 20, in a romantic Meadowood glade beneath noble native oaks—a scene worthy of the most romantic opera.

The evening’s concert, which featured a series of arias from beloved Verdi and Puccini works, had its own drama: At the last moment, the program’s featured tenor was unable to appear. New York rising star tenor Jonathan Tetelman jumped on a plane to save the evening, arriving with just enough time for a quick rehearsal before appearing on stage with soprano Nadine Sierra.

Accompanied by the festival’s new Blackburn Music Academy Orchestra of young musicians, the duo performed selections from La Traviata, Tosca, La Boheme, and Don Giovanni. Matthew Shilvock, general director of San Francisco Opera, took note of Tetelman’s performance, and opera fans now hope to see Tetelman on stage at San Francisco’s opera house soon.

“With the introduction of three new concert series and a summer music camp, Festival Napa Valley 2018 is the most dynamic season we have presented to date,” said Richard Walker, president and CEO of the festival. “The range of music styles and venues makes it possible for everyone to enjoy Festival Napa Valley.”

Following the concert, guests—including Ann and Gordon Getty, Maria Manetti Shrem, Jan Shrem, Timothy and Athena Blackburn, Karen Walker, Alex Chases, Claire and Steven Stull, Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi, Agustin and Valeria Huneeus, Clarke Swanson, Sonia Tolbert, and Sabrina Weyeneth Persson—dined in the garden as the moon rose above the Meadowood redwood grove.

The 2018 season, July 20-29, was dedicated to first responders who saved lives, homes and properties in the recent Sonoma and Napa Valley wine country wildfires.

Written by Diane Dorrans Saeks

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