Review of Festival Napa Valley 2016 – Best of the Fest

Review of 60 events celebrating the superstars of opera, symphony, dance, theater, wine, food and art during this once in a lifetime events in the very picturesque Napa Valley

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Festival Napa Valley: Opening Night with Kristen Chenoweth at Castello di Amorosa. Image: Paul E. Richardson.

NAPA, CA, July 28, 2016 –Festival Napa Valley just wrapped up 10 glorious days of music, wine, food and art. This beloved cultural event featured 60 events that celebrated the superstars of opera, symphony, dance, theater, wine, food and art.

Guests enjoyed these once in a lifetime events in the very picturesque Napa Valley. Pass holders were graced with lush vineyards and towering mountains while the sun shined down warm upon their shoulders as they listened to these life-changing performances.

Festival Napa Valley, Opening Night at Castello di Amorosa. Image: Paul E. Richardson
Festival Napa Valley, Opening Night at Castello di Amorosa. Image: Paul E. Richardson

The venues for these performances are just as amazing as the artists themselves. Festival-goers had “behind the rope” access to the biggest names in wine and food in Napa Valley. Wineries hosted everything from classical performances to divine dinners and luscious lunches.

Here is a list of the best of Festival Napa Valley 2016:


Opening Night at Castello di Amorosa: An Intimate Evening with Kristin Chenoweth. “The Castle”, as it is called in Napa Valley, is the product of a lifelong obsession and 14-year construction by V. Sattui owner Dario Sattui. This 13th century Tuscan-style castle is as jaw dropping as the performance given by Chenoweth. Fun, flirty and man that gal can sing!

Festival Napa Valley: Rhapsody in Blue by Aldo López-Gavilán. Image: Paul E. Richardson.
Festival Napa Valley: Rhapsody in Blue by Aldo López-Gavilán. Image: Paul E. Richardson.

Rhapsody in Blue at Lincoln Theatre with special guests Kathleen Battle and Aldo López-Gavilán. The Lincoln Theater is one of Napa Valley’s only large performing arts venues, and it is located right on the historic Veteran’s Home grounds in Yountville. This performance was of the highest quality and moved the audience. From the energetic Rhapsody in Blue performance by Aldo Lopez-Gavilan to the booming vocals of Kathleen Battle, this night rocked the crowd to the edge of their seats.

Festival Napa Valley: Sarah Chang performs. Image: Paul E. Richardson.
Festival Napa Valley: Sarah Chang performs. Image: Paul E. Richardson.

Sarah Chang in concert at Lincoln Theatre. Chang is an absolute superstar of a violinist. Her emotional and incredibly impactful performance had audience’s mouth watering for more. Her raw emotions while playing the violin are absolutely stunning to watch. Everyone in the audience felt fortunate to be a witness to her artistry.

Full Moon Party at the Harvest Inn with Charlie Palmer. The full moon was the inspiration for this festival fete with expertly crafted culinary delights paired with lovely wines from Whitehall Lane and island-like rhythmic music to get your tail-feathers shaking. They even featured a firedancer to enchant the crowd.

Festival Napa Valley: Lester Lynch performs with the NYC Young People's Chorus. Image: Bob McClenahan.
Festival Napa Valley: Lester Lynch performs with the NYC Young People’s Chorus. Image: Bob Mcclanahan.

American Spirituals with Lester Lynch and Young People’s Chorus of NYC at Mont la Salle Chapel, followed by a Patron Dinner at Hess Collection. WOW. That is the word on the lips of every attendee from this amazing evening. The extremely talented youth group from New York wowed the audience in the remarkable Mont la Salle Chapel. The evening would have been fine if it ended there, but then Lynch took the stage, and take the stage he did. He took it by brut vocal force that only a true baritone can master. His rendition of Amazing Grace brought the crowd to tears. If that weren’t enough, dinner was still on the agenda for the evening. A masterful, elegant dinner was had outside under the stars at the gorgeous Hess Collection property. The Young People’s Chorus of NYC was brought back for an intimate performance while Patron’s enjoyed the dinner.

Festival Napa Valley: Tribute to Margrit Mondavi at Far Niente. Image: Bob McClenahan.
Festival Napa Valley: Tribute to Margrit Mondavi at Far Niente. Image: Bob McClenahan.

Tribute to Margrit Mondavi at Far Niente. The Far Niente winery was originally founded in 1885. After a multi-year restoration, the winery was brought back to life in the late 70’s by Beth and Gil Nickel, and restored to its original beauty. Guests will be surrounded by 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and vineyards. What an ideal setting to pay tribute to one of the greats of Napa Valley. This star-studded affair was complete with an incredible dinner, wine and even an appearance by Sophia Loren.

Festival Napa Valley: Patron Dinner at HALL Wines. Image: Bob McClenahan.
Festival Napa Valley: Patron Dinner at HALL Wines. Image: Bob McClenahan.

Patron Dinner at Hall Wines. Owners Kathryn and Craig Hall have created a masterful place to showcase their fine wines alongside fine and performing art. Attendees were impressed by the architecture, the wine and the art here. The sculpture is incredibly well done here. Seemingly being a part of the fabric of the estate.

Festival Gala at Meadowood Napa Valley. Meadowood is Napa Valley’s first ultimate country resort, offering golf, tennis, croquet, hiking, swimming, fitness, spa, wine education and a Michelin rated three star restaurant dining experience. This year’s Festival Gala had a theme of Imaginarium and was hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor, singer and comedian Wayne Brady. Guests were thrilled with a whirlwind adventure of international Cirque du Soleil, a multi-course feast and gorgeous Napa Valley wines.

Festival Napa Valley: Opera Gala. Image: Paul E. Richardson.

Festival Napa Valley: Opera Gala. Image: Paul E. Richardson.

Opera Gala at the Lincoln Theatre. One doesn’t need to be an opera fan to appreciate the raw vocal power of all stars Michael Fabiano and Isabel Leonard. The tenor and mezzo-soprano performed an unforgettable evening of arias and duets from operas such as Carmen, Figaro and Don Carlo. This event year after year never disappoints and is a must attend event for 2017.

Festival Napa Valley will return in 2017 for another 10 days of music, wine, food and fun from July 14 – 23. Advance purchase tickets are now available and you can save 25% of any multi-day pass.

Info & Tickets:

http://napafest.org

 

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Sherrie Perkovich
Sherrie is a perky, music and wine-loving, Northern California local that seeks out and spreads the word about San Francisco experiences as well as unforgettable wine-related travel experiences. She is CMO of The Grape Hunter USA, where they focus on helping artisan wineries and developing unique wine travel for consumers. Follow her on Twitter @BigNoseWino Sherrie is a San Francisco local that fancies herself an extroverted fine dining, wine drinking, know-it-all. If it’s happening near SF, Sherrie is in on it. Follow her columns, for the widest range of Out and About San Francisco ~ San Jose treats and Wine Country Weekly.