Roaring back into action with 60 outdoor, sold-out concerts and events over two weeks,
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.
“Thanks to the spirited generosity of the donors and sponsors who supported the Arts for All Gala, Festival Napa Valley is making a profound impact on the quality of life in Napa Valley,” said Leslie Frank, Festival Board Member and cochair, along with her husband Rich Frank, of the Arts for All Gala. “We are funding arts education in schools, and ensuring concerts are accessible by offering free and affordable programs that everyone can enjoy.” Over $13 million has been raised to date at Wine Country’s biggest arts charity event.
The gala evening at Oakville’s Nickel & Nickel featured a dinner helmed by Chef Charles Phan together with Chef Nash and his team at Tre Posti, fine wines courtesy of Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente, and a live auction led by Emmy award winning auctioneer John Curley featuring 15 once-in-a-lifetime luxury lots. A veritable who’s who of arts philanthropists and community champions filled the sold-out event, including tennis legend John McEnroe, who made a surprise guest appearance onstage to raise $50,000 for a tennis match with him followed by a rock concert featuring McEnroe and his band at Silverado Resort the next day.
The top bid of the night was $300,000 for “Angels of the Arts,” an evening of music, art, and cuisine to honor philanthropists Maria Manetti Shrem and Jan Shrem. The elegant gala evening at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society in San Francisco will include a private performance by four time Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming. Other top lots included an exclusive luxury experience at the 2022 Kentucky Derby complements of Sentient Jet, a “sneak peek” dinner for 8 couples at Chef Phan’s soon-to-debut Slanted Door Napa, an Adriatic cruise with Michelle and Robin Baggett aboard the luxury yacht Crystal Express, a “Wine, Women and Music” luncheon hosted by Gala Chair Leslie Frank, a ski adventure with Darioush and Shahpar Khaledi, and a glamor-filled red carpet experience at the 2022 Cannes
Film Festival curated by legendary fine jewelry house Pomellato.
Grammy and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson and her band capped off the night with an inspiring concert, bringing the 360 guests to their feet as the Napa Valley summer evening came to an end. Festival Napa Valley scholarship winner Genesis Celaya also performed and reminded guests of the power music education has in a young person’s life.
Highlights of Festival Napa Valley
Other Festival Napa Valley 2021 highlights included:
• The launch of Frost School @ Festival Napa Valley, a multiyear partnership with University of Miami’s Frost School of Music with Frost faculty and students playing a leading role in the Festival’s chamber music and orchestral programs
• The first Manetti Shrem Opera, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, conducted by Kent Nagano and starring Lucas Meachem
• A Dance Gala headlined by ballet superstar Roberto Bolle joined by Melissa Hamilton, Angelo Greco, Misa Kuranaga, Skylar Brandt and Aran Bell
• World premieres of compositions by Jake Heggie, Gordon Getty, and Festival Napa Valley’s 2021 Composer in Residence Nia Imani Franklin, performed by celebrated cellist Matt Haimovitz
• A Tribute to Tony Bennett concert featuring Michael Feinstein, Wé McDonald, Jordan Donica, Jane Monheit, and Nia Imani Franklin
• Festival debuts of Lisette Oropesa, Tessa Lark, and Audrey Vardanega, and return appearances by Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Chad Hoopes
• Opera Under the Stars with Michael Fabiano, Simone McIntosh and Mario Rojas, conducted by James Conlon
• Prizes awarded to Chad Goodman (the inaugural Joel Revzen Conducting Fellow), Nia Imani Franklin (Khaledi Prize),Sophia Benitz (Prescott Ashe Scholarship), and Simone McIntosh and Mario Rojas (Manetti Shrem Prize)
• Tuition-free Blackburn Music Academy and Manetti Shrem Summer Vocal Conservatory
• Admission-free programs including the ever-popular Bouchaine Young Artist Series, Novack Concerts for Kids and Festival Live! Chamber Series
“We overcame the challenges of the past year to turn Festival Napa Valley 2021 into our most extensive and varied season to date,” said Richard Walker, president & CEO. “The range of music styles, venues and price options made it possible for everyone to enjoy the 10 Best Days of Summer.”
Festival Napa Valley 2022 will be held July 15-24, 2022. A limited number of passes are available as part of Festival Napa Valley’s 2022 pre-sale through August 31, 2021.
About Festival Napa Valley: Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, Festival Napa Valley offers programs that enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region and make the arts accessible to all. The Festival presents world-class performances staged in iconic venues and inspiring educational programs offered at Napa County schools year-round. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs and vintners participate each year.