July  28, 2015
Express Yourself!
Your Support of Festival Opera Matters ~ Give a 25th Anniversary Gift
   We are so happy to report that in the past year Festival Opera has made tremendous progress, both fiscally and creatively, and we feel positively buoyant and very focused on our plans for the future. Thank you for your part in helping us achieve that.
     Were you in the audience at the Lesher Center for Festival Opera's production of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos? If you were, you saw first-hand the power and beauty that Festival Opera can summon to the stage.
     Allan Ulrich, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, proclaimed "No doubt about it. With its production of Richard Strauss' beguiling 1916 tragicomedy, 'Ariadne auf Naxos,' Walnut Creek's Festival Opera is back on the upswing."
     The San Francisco Classical Voice review by Charlise Tiee said, "A sunniness and charm suffused the whole performance, a hopeful sign that Festival Opera is recovering ahead of its highly intriguing November double bill of Gustav Holst's Savitri and Jack Perla's River of Light."
     We have exciting plans for that production, as well as plans for 2016 - including a mainstage production of Mozart's Abduction from
the Seraglio and a collaboration with American Opera Projects to premiere a new American double bill of chamber operas by Wang Jie, OPERA America's 2015 Female Composer Award winner.
    Your involvement is crucial to bringing those plans to life. Please help us keep the momentum building for Festival Opera!
    We intend to continue to share opera in meaningful productions and bridges to diverse members of our community so that more people can discover the power of opera. Won't you please help us build on the success of Ariadne and carry our momentum forward into 2016? Your donation is tax-deductible and helps ensure that Festival Opera's 25-year heritage of live performance of professional opera will continue.
     Thank you for being part of the Festival Opera family! Learn more and DONATE NOW.
Final Scene from Triumphant
Ariadne auf Naxos

Robert Breault (Bacchus) and Othalie Graham (Ariadne).
Photo by Mike Kirwan for Festival Opera.

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               









This Thursday June 30 at 7pm! 
Festival Opera Lite at the Marriott
David Gustafson
Molly Mahoney

   This Thursday concludes the summer schedule for Festival Opera Lite performances at the Walnut Creek Marriott with "Starlight, Starbright", sure to be a stellar performance!

   Festival Opera audiences will remember tenor David Gustafson for his riveting performance in the 2013 production of Verdi's Otello.
Joshua Kosman, music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote, "...David Gustafson owns the title role in Verdi's "Otello" at Festival Opera."

He sang the role of Tony in the recent world premier of Heart of the Soldier at San Francisco Opera.

   Gustafson's roles range from Radames (Aïda), Calaf (Turandot), Cavaradossi (Tosca), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Rodolfo (La Bohème) and Alfredo (La Traviata) to Ernesto (Don Pasquale), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Lionel (Martha), Beppe (Pagliacci), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Nemorino (L'elisir d'amore), among others. 

   Mezzo-soprano Molly Mahoney delighted Festival Opera audiences at this season's Opera in the Park

   She made her debut with West Bay Opera as Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöteas well as her debut with West Edge Opera in Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg's Hydrogen Jukebox, for which she garnered critical acclaim from San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman, who praised her for the "sheer beauty and eloquence [of her] expansive second act solo".
 Molly also sang the title role in Iolanthe with Lamplighters Musical Theater, in a recorded performance which Opera News named one of the Top 12 Must Have Opera CD Releases of 2014.

   June 30, 2015 at 7 pm: a wonderful menu for dinner and appetizers is available, and wine specials will also be offered in Átrio Restaurant in the hotel lobby. There is no cover charge, however a one-drink minimum purchase applies. For more information and reservations for dinner during Festival Opera Lite in Atrio, call the Walnut Creek Marriott at 925-934-2000.
"The Show Must Go On for Festival Opera's Ariadne"
Charlise Tiee, July 13, 2015

Left to right, Michael Desnoyers (Brighella), Daniel Cilli (Harlequin), Shawnette Sulker (Zerbinetta), José Hernández (Scaramuccio) and Roberto Perlas Gomez (Truffaldino).
Photo by Mike Kirwan for Festival Opera.

Festival Opera Awarded
Bernard Osher Grant 

Thanks to The Bernard Osher Foundation for support of Festival Opera's 2015 season productions.