LIVERMORE, CALIF. – What better way to enjoy a summer evening than picnicking in a vineyard, sipping wine and listening to opera? Livermore Valley Opera’s annual Opera in the Vineyard event sells out every year and it’s no wonder. It is an evening of classic opera in a relaxed, casual setting nestled among the vines. And because of the event’s mass popularity, LVO is hosting two events this summer, the first in July and the second in August, to benefit its upcoming 25th anniversary opera season. Details are as follows:
Opera in the Vineyard Events
Sunday, July 17; 5pm – 8pm
1356 South Livermore Avenue, Livermore
Sunday, August 14; 4pm – 7pm
Nella Terra Cellars
5005 Sheridan Rd. Sunol
The two events that will benefit LVO’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Season, offer a chance for the community to enjoy arias from classic operas performed by professional singers in an informal setting, and a perfect opportunity for those curious about opera to get a taste of what LVO offers with its opera productions at the Bankhead Theater.
It is a “bring-your-own-picnic dinner” event where guests can purchase the wines of Retzlaff Vineyards or Nella Terra Cellars while enjoying beautiful singing.
“The annual Opera in the Vineyard is a very popular community event,” says Raquel Holt, an LVO founder and this year’s co-chairperson with Pamela Philbert. “Our supporters and many new guests come each time to enjoy the high quality of the talented opera singers, the wonderful program, and the lovely vineyard setting. It has always been a sold-out event.”
New this year is the addition of a second Opera in the Vineyard in August at the exclusive Nella Terra Cellars in Sunol, one of the region’s newest wineries. Owner Paulette and Gerry Beemiller, founders of the very successful Silicon Valley Charity Ball for the past 20 years that raises millions for Bay Area non-profits, are also big supporters of LVO.
Nella Terra’s expansive gardens and tented area provides a unique setting for a performance in the round where all tables can be out of the sun and in close proximity to the stage. “We are excited to host August’s event at the new Nella Terra Cellars,” says Holt. “This beautiful winery is generally not open to the public so the August Opera in the Vineyard will offer guests a special experience. Come early and stroll the gardens before the performance begins at 4:45pm.”
“It is always wonderful to see our supporters enjoy themselves in an informal and casual setting as they listen to beautiful arias being performed by LVO’s talented principal singers,” adds Holt. “From their picnic baskets, our guests take out a spread of delectable culinary delights to share, and to hear the clinking of wine glasses as they happily make a toast to each other is a delight to see.
Tickets are $40 each in advance, $50 each at the door. Tickets can be purchased online on the Livermore Valley Opera website at www.livermorevalleyopera.com.
Arias a la carte
Once again, LVO will offer the extremely popular “Arias a la carte” portion of the program when guests have the opportunity to purchase songs from a “menu of delectable arias” for the singers to perform at the purchaser’s table or seating area. This year’s singers are LVO favorites tenor David Gustafson who performed in La Traviata, bass Kirk Eichelberger who performed in Lucia di Lammermoor and The Italian Girl in Algiers, soprano Emma McNairy who appeared in Cinderella and Lucia di Lammermoor, mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz who performed in Lucia di Lammermoor, Carmen, and Rigoletto, and Bradley Kynard, baritone, who appeared as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. Making their LVO debut are mezzo-soprano Louisa Waycott and Lisa Davila. Accompanying the singers is pianist Chun Mei Wilson.
While wines will be available for purchase from each winery, no outside wine is permitted. Guests are encouraged to carpool.
Visit LVO’s website http://www.livermorevalleyopera.com/ for more event information.
July 17 at Retzlaff Vineyards in Livermore
David Gustafson, Emma McNairy, Louisa Maycott and Kirk Eichelberger.
August 14 at Nella Terra Cellars in Sunol
David Gustafson, Lisa Davila, Nikola Printz and Bradley Kynard.
Livermore Valley Opera was founded in 1992, and presents fully-staged operas in the spring and fall at the Bankhead Theater. The theater is located in Livermore in the Tri-Valley area, just 45 miles east of San Francisco. The Bankhead Theatre features excellent lines of sight and acoustics, helping the Opera to attract talented singers and stage directors.
LVO combines the talents of professional musicians, stage directors, principal singers, and designers with the dedication and practical abilities of volunteers filling such critical roles as board members, chorus, stage crew, and set builders to reach its artistic goals.
The mission of Livermore Valley Opera is to enrich the community by producing the world’s best operas, and to foster the careers of talented opera singers. LVO encourages a wider appreciation of opera and the associated arts.
Livermore Valley Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.