Opera Naples has announced tickets are on sale for the II Festival Under the Stars. Conducted by artistic director Ramón Tebar and featuring the Naples Festival Orchestra, the II Festival Under the Stars will take place March 11 – 20 with performances at Cambier Park and the Wang Opera Center.
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 well as a free Family Fun and Community Day on Sunday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Cambier Park. As part of the festival activities, guests at the Family Fun and Community Day event can enjoy performances by Opera Naples’ children’s chorus, Resident Artists along with fun activities, bounce house, exhibits and more.
Featured productions and concerts during the II Festival Under the Stars include:
Opera Star Concert with Joseph Calleja, March 11 at Cambier Park. Due to popular demand, Opera Naples is bringing back Maltese top tenor and international opera icon, Calleja, for an encore performance. “Joseph is truly one of the best tenors in the world. Having him attend last season’s inaugural Festival 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.”
- “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini starring Ramón Vargas, March 13 and 15 at Cambier Park: 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 including 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.
- “On the Town” by Leonard Bernstein featuring Sherill Milnes, March 14 at Cambier Park: 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. Milnes will star as the featured “Narrator.” With more than 650 performances at The Met, Milnes is considered the foremost operatic baritone of his generation. Milnes will narrate the story of three sailors looking for love on a whirlwind 24-hour adventure before heading off to battle in World WarIn 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, March 16 at Cambier Park: 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 recently name ‘Male Singer of the Year’ by International Opera Awards.
- “Glory Denied” by Tom Cipullo, March 18 and 20 at Wang Opera Center: 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.
- Opera Star Concert with Ramón Vargas, March 19 at Wang Opera Center: Not only will Vargas star in the Festival’s production of “Tosca,” but he’ll also close out the series with an intimate and passionate opera concert.
“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 Ramón 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.”
All performances at Cambier Park will take place at the softball field. Tickets start at $28. VIP tables for six are available for $900 for performances at Cambier Park. Seats will be provided for all ticket levels. No outside food or coolers permitted. Guests can purchase light snacks during the event.
To reserve tickets today, contact 239-963-9050 or visit OperaNaples.org.