April 28, 2015
Festival Opera Lite: A Musical Journey
Walnut Creek Marriott ~ Thursday, May 28
Christopher Bengochea
Sara Duchovnay
Festival Opera Lite is back by popular demand for a second engagement at the Walnut Creek Marriott, with "A Musical Journey" of songs from around the world. Festival Opera Lite presents familiar opera arias, popular songs and Broadway show tunes. Designed to be both an introduction to opera for newbies and fun for opera enthusiasts, Opera Lite events are a laid-back social  environment with music, food, wines, and good company. The second Opera Lite is on Thursday, may 28, at 7 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Marriott, 2355 North Main St., Walnut Creek. 
Featured Bay Area opera stars Sara Duchovnay and Christopher Bengochea will be joined by piano accompanist, Danielle Naler. A wonderful menu for dinner and appetizers is available, and wine specials will also be offered in Atrio Restaurant in the hotel lobby. There is no cover charge, however a one-drink minimum is requested.  
Christopher Bengochea is a critically-acclaimed and prize-winning international opera tenor who appeared in Festival Opera's 2014 season production of The Emperor of Atlantis, as well as previous productions. A former resident artist of Opera San Josť, he is currently appearing in Livermore Valley Opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Sara Duchovnay originated the role of Dorothea in Allen Shearer's opera Middlemarch in Spring, which premiered in San Francisco in March 2015. In May, Sara returns to Pacific Opera Project, where she will sing Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, followed by her debut with Festival Opera singing the role of Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has sung principal roles in West Edge Opera's production of Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg's opera Hydrogen Jukebox and Nannetta in Falstaff for Opera Josť, among others.

For more information and reservations for dinner during "A Musical Journey" in Atrio, call the Walnut Creek Marriott at 925.934.2000.
Tickets On Sale May 1  
R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos

   Tickets go on sale May 1 for Festival Opera's 2015 production of Richard Strauss'
Ariadne auf Naxos, Friday, July 10 and Sunday, July 12 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.

    * Opening Night Dinner at Prima
    Join us for a special opening-night experience: good food, good wine, and good company at an elegant pre-opera dinner at Prima Ristorante, just a block from the Lesher Center. Just $120 per person, reserve your place at the same time you order your opera tickets.

    * Premiere Seating
    You can reserve some of the best seats in the house - Premiere Seating - on either orchestra or balcony levels. Seats previously reserved for invited guests only are now available in this exclusive section.

    * Student Tickets
    $20 Standard-category seating is available for students with valid identification at both performances.

   There are a few ways to order tickets for
Ariadne auf Naxos:
Click here for complete ticketing information.
Tickets go on sale May 1, 2015.
Contact Us

Festival Opera

1630 North Main Street, #61 

Walnut Creek, California 94596   



Sara Nealy - General Director

Dick Brundage, CBC - Marketing Director  



Board of Directors   

Susie Hanson, Chair

Peter Johnson, Vice Chair 

David Baer, Secretary      

Nina Bancroft Dickerson 

Jennifer Kwock-Lau     

Diane Heald     


2015 Calendar

FRI May 1       Tickets Go On Sale for
                     Ariadne auf Naxos

THU May 28  
7:00 pm
Festival Opera Lite
"A Musical Journey"
Walnut Creek Marriott
Christopher Bengochea &
Sara Duchovnay 
SUN June 21Opera in the Park
Father's Day Tribute to Dads Civic Park, Walnut Creek
Shawnette Sulker
Daniel Cilli
Betany Coffland
Jose Hernandez 
FRI July 10Opening Night Party
Prima Ristorante, Walnut Creek 
FRI July 10 
SUN July 12
Ariadne auf Naxos 
Lesher Center for the Arts
Walnut Creek 
Nov 13-14
Chamber operas: 
Holst's Savitri and
River of Light
Nov 15
Chamber operas: 
Performance in San Jose
Venue TBA
Dec 10  
6:30 pm 
2015 Holiday Gala
Round Hill Country Club
Be Seen at Opera in the Park Father's Day - Sunday, June 21
Join the Tribute to Dads and Families

Sponsor booths at Opera in the Park's Community Fair

Opera in the Park is only months away, and you can join our community partners for this popular public event. Held in Walnut Creek's Civic Park, this free concert and fair features acclaimed singers and music in a
Tenor Zachary Gordin singing at 2012
Opera in the Park.
Photo credit:
Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group
relaxed picnic environment.

   This year, featured artists include opera singers Betany Coffland, Jose Hernandez, Shawnette Sulker and Daniel Cilli. Music Director and host is John Kendall Bailey.

   A special performance of Indian Bollywood dance will be presented to get everyone in the mood for Festival Opera's fall chamber operas with Indian cultural themes.

   Because Opera in the Park sponsors are in the spotlight before a diverse base of patrons and community supporters, your organization can stand out as a partner in the arts. To become a sponsor, contact Sunshine Deffner, Community Fair Manager by email.
2015 Season Grant Award by the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation

 Festival Opera gratefully acknowledges the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation for support of our 2015 season.
The $40,000 award facilitates the programs and productions of 2015, and supports ongoing progress of the community-based opera company.

                         Thank you.