May  25, 2015
Catherine Martin Joins Cast of
Ariadne auf Naxos as The Composer

   Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin's 2013-2014 season included a debut at the Kennedy Center with Washington National Opera in the premiere of The Lion, the Unicorn and Me, and a return to Houston Grand Opera as Wellgunde in Das Rheingold, and to the Glimmerglass Festival as Der Komponist (The Composer) in Ariadne auf Naxos.
  From a Washington Post review of Les Contes d'Hoffmann: 
   "The evening's standout was Catherine Martin as Nicklausse, Hoffmann's muse, who appears in the guise of a trusted (male) companion for most of the evening. Martin has a gorgeous, warm voice that you want to keep listening to (no small achievement in a role that often seems tiresome), and she's a big talent." 
   Ms. Martin makes her company debut with Festival Opera as she reprises the role of The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos this July.  
Don't Miss Festival Opera Lite:
This Week! 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. Come enjoy a laid-back social scene with music, food, wines, and good company.  
   Featured Bay Area opera stars Sara Duchovnay and Christopher Bengochea will be joined by piano accompanist, Danielle Naler. A wonderful menu for dinner and small plates is available, and wine specials will also be offered in Atrio Restaurant in the hotel lobby. 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. HE is a former resident artist of Opera San Josť.
   Sara Duchovnay originated the role of Dorothea in Allen Shearer's opera Middlemarch in Spring, which premiered in San Francisco in March 2015. Sara returned to Pacific Opera Project, where she sang Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, and will sing the role of Naiad in Festival Opera's production of Ariadne auf Naxos.
   For more information and reservations for dinner during "A Musical Journey" in Atrio, call the Walnut Creek Marriott at 925.934.2000.
Get Your Tickets Now for
R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos

   Tickets are on now on sale 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.
Click here for complete ticketing information.
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

    Tickets 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
Booth Space Still Available
Opera in the Park Father's Day - Sunday, June 21
Join the Tribute to Dads

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 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.
PG&E booth featuring children's activities.

   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 Diablo Regional Arts Association

Festival Opera gratefully acknowledges the Diablo Regional Arts Association for support of our 2015 season.
The $10,000 award facilitates the programs and productions of the 2015 season, and supports ongoing progress of Festival Opera.

                         Thank you.