July 07--Jerry Seinfeld and the 1600s are the headlines for a fully loaded Artis--Naples season announced Monday. The perennially popular comedian returns to Artis--Naples for two shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, 12 days before a landmark exhibition from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, comes to irs Baker Museum with works by Europe's masters: Rembrandt van Rijn and Jean-HonorÉ Fragonard.
They're not the sole head-turning names: sultry singer Vanessa Williams (Jan. 3), trumpet star Chris Botti (April 29) and Latino legends Los Lobos (Jan. 19) are scheduled. So is the "The Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan, original host of National Geographic's popular TV series (March 30).
Will he bring his pit bulls? Past performances suggest an "arf!" of affirmation.
Classical music stars announced Monday include, in his Jan. 9-10 debut appearance here, Gidon Kremer, the Latvia-born violinist with dozens of discs and an encyclopedic repertoire.
"In the classical world, so few orchestras have been able to engage him that it says a lot about Andrey (Boreyko, the Naples Philharmonic's new music director) and our orchestra that he is coming here," said Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President of Artis--Naples. She was similarly elated that Botti, whom she said rarely accepts orchestral arrangements, would be playing with the Naples Philharmonic.
If there are headlines to the season, there is also a major subtext of collaboration, and from that, the organization hopes, synergy.
Boreyko has tied several concerts to the exhibitions in the Baker Museum:
A March program "Heroes and Masters," featuring the Beethoven Violin Concerto, with guest artist James Ehnes, and Richard Strauss'"Don Quixote"March 5 to 7. It reflects the Ecole des Beaux-Arts exhibition.
A program based on music featured in film to complement the Naples International Film FestivalNov. 7 and 8. Score music from the laureled 2002 film "The Pianist": Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, featured in "Shine" (1996); and The Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5 featured in "Death in Venice" (1971).
Still another Masterworks program nods to a Brooklyn Museum American line drawings exhibition coming here.
"This is an identifier of our organization. We are unique in that we were founded in a way that arts are combined. It's visual. It's performing. It's educational -- it's all the ways arts can be presented," van Bergen said.
Artistic diplomacy marks its opera programming. This season Opera Naples, under its new director, RamÓn Tebar, and with the Naples Philharmonic, bring Puccini's "La Boheme" to Hayes for two performances, Nov. 20 and 22 (8 and 2 p.m. respectively). But van Bergen emphasized Artis--Naples is also discussing a collaboration with the neophyte Gulfshore Opera, a just-announced organization headed by former Opera Naples artistic director Steffanie Pearce.
Most Masterworks artists have been announced, as has its Broadway series. The entire season brochure will be online Monday. Only season subscribers will be able to buy single-star shows now; tickets go on sale to the general public Sept. 15.
Exclusive star shows
In addition to those listed above, these favorites return, with the Naples Philharmonic:
The Beach Boys, the legendary surfer band, Jan. 5
Audra McDonald, Broadway star and Tony- and Grammy-winning vocalist, Jan. 24
Dance programs are few, with one from Miami City BalletFeb. 3 besides its annual "Nutcracker," this year Dec. 6 and 7. Others include:
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the comedic all-male troupe, Feb. 9
Russian National Ballet Theatre, with "Swan Lake" April 6.
Pops and specials
Artis--Naples taps deeply in the baby boomer taste with a thriller and the music of a rock icon, all filtered through the talent of the Naples Philharmonic. This is a partial list; a complete one is in the catalog:
"Psycho," Oct. 31. the Alfred Hitchcock film, digitally remastered, with live music from the Naples Philharmonic
Humorist Garrison Keillor of "Prairie Home Companion," Feb. 16
Itzhak Perlman, legendary violinist, in recital March 22
"The Music of Elton John and More," April 14-18. With Jack Everly, principal pops conductor and Michael Cavanaugh, vocalist, performing the British superstar's hits.
See the brochure on the website at www.artisnaples.org
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