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Storming the Castle 

Festival del Sole brings world-class music within reach

click to enlarge musiccc.jpg

It's a scenario imaginable only in the most lavish of movie scenes: a world-class mezzo-soprano singing Handel arias in a Tuscan castle that was transported, brick by brick, from the Old Country to the grape-drenched hills of the New Country. But it's real, and it happens each year.

Napa Valley opulence is encapsulated in Festival del Sole, taking place in venues throughout Napa County for 10 days, beginning July 13, when Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham kicks off the festival with a VIP-only concert at Castello di Amorosa.

From there, the festival features wine, food, yoga, music, theater, lectures, dance and returning star Joshua Bell. (For the casual listener, he's the violinist on the Red Violin soundtrack.)

Though it would be easy to spend a college tuition during the 10-day festival, there are also free events with young artists like Jacqueline Piccolino, Mayumi Kanagawa and Sarina Zhang. Pick out your fanciest attire and head to Napa, July 13–22. Ticket prices range, but get up to $500 for VIP events. For full schedule, see—Nicolas Grizzle

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