“Stay in May, we’ll bring you the world.”
ArtsNaples World Festival is at it again, bringing culturally rich events and performances to Naples during the traditionally slow month of May. Noted for focusing on a specific region to base ArtsNaples’ theme on, for 2015, Maestro William Noll, artistic director of the festival, chose France.
Now in its fourth year as a multiday festival, ArtsNaples has steadily grown, not just encouraging seasonal Neapolitans to stick around for a few more weeks, but also becoming a tourist boon, attracting outsiders to come for what is now fourteen days of artistic and culinary expression, all celebrating France. Eager crowds will enjoy performances in dance, orchestra, opera, chamber music, theater, as well as cinema screenings, art exhibitions, and culinary expression, twenty-eight different events in all over the fourteen-day run. And the best part of all: an educational component brings the arts to nearly one thousand Collier County and Southwest Florida students, with interactive assemblies with middle and high school students, master classes with local high school music classes, and early learning with musical instruments with pre-kindergarten students.
With so much to offer, we highlight a few we’re looking forward to.
ArtsNaples gala, Soiree au Cabaret, will take place on Thursday, April 30 when the Club at Pelican Bay transforms into bohemian Paris. An evening of exotic cabaret performances await with showgirls in sequins and feathers, can-can ruffles, satin, and lace sing and dance, while a cadre of entertainers escort guests on a promenade down the Champs-Élysées with French-inspired cuisine to boot. Aperitifs, anyone?
- The party begins at 6:30 p.m.; admission costs $352 per person. For more information, call 239-390-2788 or click here.
ArtsNaples events will run April 27-May 10 at various locations. For a complete listing of events and performances, visit artsnaplesworldfestival.org.
On May 3, the Friends of the Collier County Museum and the France-Florida Foundation for the Arts will celebrate the United States of America’s favorite adopted son, Marquis de Lafayatte with a special reception featuring cocktails, art, and concert. Hosted by the Collier County Museum in collaboration with the exhibition “Lafayette: Apostle of Liberty,” a collection of rarely displayed works including illustrations, reproductions of rare documents, Jacques Royal drawings, seven limited edition plates from the Lafayette Legacy Collection, and a bronze seal of French King Louis XVI. Lyric soprano, Julia Lima, will introduce the exhibition with a program of French songs.
- The party begins at 6 p.m. at the Collier County Museum Exhibit Hall. Tickets cost $37; for more information call 239-3902-2788, or click here.
Arsenault Gallery, Naples—Paul Arsenault’s paintings related to the publication The Florida French Heritage Trail, on display through May 9.
Naples Art Association at The von Liebig Art Center—Viva La France! Exhibition of art by Bernard Millemot, through May 9.
Referred to as a hybrid of opera and play, Opera Français and Peter Brook’s The Tragedy of Carmen, an adaptation of George Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen, distills the grand opera into ninety minutes of drama (a whopping one-third of the original opera). Reduced to just four voices, much of Carmen has been transformed: gone are the choruses, ensemble numbers, and several characters. The goal: to focus and intensify the dramatic underpinnings of Carmen – a proud soldier on a path of self-destruction over the gypsy femme fatale.
- Carmen – Carla Dirlikov (mezzo-soprano)
- Don José – Casey Finnigan (temor)
- Escamillo – Corey Crider (baritone)
- Micaëla – Marinel Cruz (soprano)
- Stage Director – Mario Corradi
Moorings Presbyterian Church, Naples—French Organ Masterworks, and French Symphonic Masterworks, May 5; Music During the Reign of Louis XIV, May 7.
Naples Art Association—The Debussy Etudes for the Piano, May 2; The Art of the French Art Song, May 3; French Piano Masterpieces, May 4; Piano Trios of Debussy and Ravel, May 8; Special Mother’s Day Family Concert featuring performers of all ages, in partnership with the Naples Music Club, May 10.
On May 4, Grammy Award-winning vocalist Sylvia McNair will come to the Sugden Community Theatre for the concert Ma vie de Cabaret (Life is a Cabaret) concert. Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets cost $57; click here to purchase.
- Chez Boët, Naples—Demystifying the Truffle, demonstration and lunch, May 5.
- La Bazenne on Fifth, Naples—A Cocktail Party à la Française, culinary tips, lunch and wine, May 4; Tribute to the Mothers of Culinary Art, interactive cooking class and dinner, May 10.
- Le Lafayette, Naples—Beloved French Favorites, interactive class and lunch, May 8.
- Sea Salt, Naples—Inspired by the Sea, a demonstration by Chef Fabrizio Aielli and lunch, May 6.