Collier County is the proposed home for a new $25 to $30 million performing arts center dedicated to the memory of superstar tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
Calling Naples “the perfect reflected image” of the blended arts environment her husband advocated, Nicoletta Montovani Pavarotti, his wife, announced plans to build the center in Naples. It would be paired with, she hopes, an academy for young singers, a restaurant and a museum that would house memorabilia from the famed opera singer’s life.
It would be the American home of the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation, which is based in the late singer’s home of Modena, Italy.
Pavarotti didn’t visit Naples itself during his life, but his ties to Florida are strong in that his American debut was in Miami, where he performed a good number of concerts. The Naples Philharmonic was his accompanying orchestra for a later series in Miami.
The center would be known as the Theater in the Garden, and there is already a model for it, the Grange Park Opera house outside London. It would feature 900-seat Italian baroque horseshoe-style seating and an outdoor wide-screen viewing area in drawings from Tim Ronalds Architects.
The Luciano Pavarotti Foundation, which is behind the plan, is already in the process of fundraising, with Robert Kovacevich, as its development director, and Livio Ferrari, one of the founders of Opera Naples, as its director. They, Nicoletta Pavarotti and acoustician Raf Orlowski constitute the conceptual team.
The location has not been determined, but the group has been looking at a 17-acre county-owned area on Bayshore Drive that has long been discussed as a potential arts center site.
Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann said she hopes a space in the city can be found.