Rebirth of the Napa Valley Opera House by aihaozhe2


									Built in 1879, the Napa Valley Opera House was the backdrop for what was
considered to be the only "permissible" form of entertainment of its day. Home to
many classic acts including Gilbert and Sullivan, it was the place to be seen by men
and women of higher status.

Just thirty-five years later the Opera House closed its doors. It hardly recovered after
the 1906 San Francisco Bay Earthquake and new innovations in entertainment like the
movie cinema. For more than half a century various businesses set up shop in the
Opera House. During World War 1 the military even turned it into a makeshift armory
for a time.

The Napa Valley Opera House was nearly torn down in 1973 until a group of
historical preservationists rallied to list it as a National Historic Landmark. In 1985,
the late artist Veronica di Rosa and her friends formed what was to become the Napa
Valley Opera House Non-Profit Group and purchased the property. Unfortunately di
Rosa didn't live to see the project completed.

Now, completely refurbished, the Napa Valley Opera house owes its renewed,
glorious state to the caring entrepreneurs and citizens of Napa Valley. Vineyard owner
Robert Mondavi issued a $2,000,000 grant ' and challenge that the non-profit group
met with fervor, raising an additional $2,000,000 used to restore it to its former glory.
A year later, in 1998, the Light the Lights Community Campaign raised half a million
dollars to further champion the cause.

Those involved in rejuvenating and restoring the Opera House also went the extra
mile to update its amenities. Improvements included a more suitable orchestra pit and
a 25' addition called the River House that provided more room and tied the project
into the Napa River development project. The generosity and concern of the
community continued throughout this process. Studio 1030 was developed for the sole
purpose of raising the $3,000,000 needed to complete the restoration.

In June of 2002 performances began at the Napa Valley Opera House. Dianne Reeves
was bestowed the honor of performing for the opening season. Other shows followed
including family shows and classical music. The 2002 season was a success.

The day finally came in 2003 when the main theater of the Opera House could
officially open its doors to the main theater. It was the first time since 1913 it could
boast that claim. The glory of the Napa Valley Opera House was a dream no more. It
is an incredible story of a community coming together to honor history and art and
home. After countless hours volunteered by the community, millions of dollars
donated to its worthy cause, the Opera House once again stood for reputable
entertainment. The exception this time being that it is available to all regardless of
"class" or status. If one decides to take their family to Napa Valley they would be
remiss not to include the Opera House as a part of it. The experience of the Opera
House is one to share with all.

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