Napa Valley is the sight of Barrett Wissman’s brainchild, Festival del Sole. Based on a similar festival which takes place every year in Italy, the Tuscan Sun Festival, the Festival del Sole combines the visual and culinary arts, wine-making, literature, and of course, music.
It all began during the 1990s when IMG Artists Chairman Barrett Wissman and his wife Nina Kotova, a cellist, and friends, often talked about creating an event which would be a warm and welcoming, highlighting music and arts. Friend and author of Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes, thought that perhaps Cortona in Italy would be the perfect place for such an event. By 2003 the Tuscan Sun Festival was launched, with great success.
It did not take long for Barrett Wissman, his wife Nina Kotova and their friends, to realize that Napa Valley would be an equally delightful venue for a similar festival. In 2006 San Francisco Bay Area lawyer Rick Walker teamed up with IMG Artists and created the Napa Valley Festival del Sole.
During the Festival del Sole Wissman brings together some of the world’s most renown soloists, orchestras and ensembles over a ten-day period. In venues as varied as outdoor amphitheaters to candlelit wine cellars, the festival offers something for everyone.
The 24 Hour Plays is also part of the Festival del Sole. The concept of the 24 Hour Plays began on the Lower East of Manhattan in October 1995. Originally intended to be a one-time event by its creator Tina Fallon, The 24 Hour Plays has morphed into a type of franchise which has produced over 500 plays during the past 18 years in venues all over the world.
The 24 Hour Plays is just one of many internationally renown artists making the Festival del Sole the warm and welcoming event Barrett Wissman, his wife and friends, had originally intended it to be.