Guest column: Dave Trecker ... The ArtsNaples Festival – Don't Miss It!

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The ArtsNaples World Festival is about to kick off what may be the top cultural event of the year in Naples.

It's a Russia fest, from start to finish, and it has something for everybody – Russian music of all sorts, opera, films, theater and even some Russian jazz. And Russian paintings too.

It has Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" (that's a festival in itself!) and Stravinsky's "Histore du Soldat."

It has piano concerts, chamber music and the Naples Philharmonic in full symphony mode.

It has Opera Naples performing Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin."

It has the Russian comedy "The Inspector General" at the Sugden Community Theater.

It has Merlin Lickhalter, the visionary who put it all together, and it has the brilliant William Noll, who serves as both impresario and maestro.

There's never been anything quite like it in Naples. And if all goes well, it could lead to more of the same. Lickhalter and Noll are considering a Latin American theme in 2013 and a Chinese theme in 2014.

This year's festival schedule has been well publicized, but here it is again.

May 12

The Phil, 8 p.m. – The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky and more

May 13

The von Liebig, 2 p.m. – The Declassified Chamber Ensemble performing Stravinsky

May 14

The von Liebig, 2 p.m. – Pianist Pavel Neressian performing TchaikovskyMercato Silverspot Theater, 7 p.m. – The Russian film "Thank God I Am Alive"

May 15

The von Liebig, 2 p.m. – The Festival String Quartet performing

Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky

Mercato Silverspot Theater, 2:30 p.m. – "The Vanished Empire"

The Phil, 8 p.m. – The Festival Chamber Orchestra and pianists

Philipp Kopachevsky, Michael Berkovsky and Pavel Neressian performing Rachmaninoff and more

May 16

The von Liebig, 2 p.m. – Pianist Pavel Neressian performing Moussorgsky

Mercato Silverspot Theater, 5 p.m. – "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears"

Sugden, 8 p.m. – "The Inspector General"

May 17

Sugden Theater, 3:30 p.m. – "The Inspector General"

Mercato Silverspot Theater, 7:30 p.m. – "Elena"

The Phil, 8 p.m. – Opera Naples performing "Eugene Onegin"

May 18

The von Liebig, 2 p.m. – Pianist Philipp Kopachevsky performing Rachmaninoff

Sugden, Theater, 8 p.m. – "The Inspector General"

In addition, throughout the week there will be Jazz a la Russe from 9 p.m. in the Lobby Lounge of the Ritz-Carlton, Children's Theater from 3 p.m. at the Golisano Children's Museum and works by Russian artists at the von Liebig and the Naples Museum of Art.

Don't miss this amazing week. Tickets are still available for many of the events.

The ArtsNaples slogan is "Stay in May." You'll be glad you did!

From Trecker's blog, The Residents' Corner, at naplesnews.com/blogs. Trecker, a retired executive of Pfizer, is a founder and vice president of the Collier Community Alliance; a director of the Pelican Bay Services Division and Collier County Presidents Council; and former chairman of the Pelican Bay Foundation and Pelican Bay Property Owners Association.

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