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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents SIREN SONG

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The program includes duets from the operas Lakmé, The Marriage of Figaro, and more.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents SIREN SONG

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Siren Song, its first video production, featuring soprano Johanna Fincher, mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein and pianist Michael Stewart.

The program, which was performed and filmed in the one-of-a-kind music room of the Fischer-Weisenborne residence, includes duets from the operas Lakmé and The Marriage of Figaro as well as popular tunes from The Sound of Music, The King and I, My Fair Lady, Little Women and more.

Tickets are $15 and will be available at from August 21 through August 31. Patrons will receive a link and password to the video that will be available for online viewing anytime during that time.

The expression "direct to video" has taken on a whole new connotation for artists and arts organizations this season, with live performances everywhere being supplanted by video and live-streaming. "I think COVID-19 has made accidental techies out of everyone," says Joseph Holt, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts. "And while there's still nothing quite like the experience of attending a live performance, we're grateful for this technology that allows us to virtually keep the music playing and the performances happening."

For its first ticketed video production, the organization engaged area singers Johanna Fincher and Robyn Rocklein, and pianist Michael Stewart (all past performers for Artist Series Concerts), to perform a frothy and uplifting program of hits from the worlds of opera, film and musical theater. Another valuable "player" in the production is the venue itself, the music room of the Fischer-Weisenborne residence where Artist Series Concerts holds its popular Soirée Series concerts. "With its great acoustics, its impeccably maintained Steinway grand piano and the overall spacious and sumptuous atmosphere, it's the perfect setting for shooting 'on location,'" says Holt.

Soprano Johanna Fincher grew up singing in the Sarasota Youth Opera and Venice Little Theater. Since then, she has performed as a soloist in Scotland, Germany, Austria. Hungary and Bulgaria. Locally, she has sung with Opera Tampa, St. Petersburg Opera, the Venice Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Pops and Choral Artists of Sarasota. Mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein has appeared in major roles throughout Europe and the U.S. She has performed with Arizona Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Choral Artists of Sarasota, with Barry Manilow and as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Columbia Artists' Lord of the Rings Symphony. Michael Stewart is on staff at Manatee School for the Arts and is the pianist for Choral Artists of Sarasota. He has played in prestigious venues and with major orchestras throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America. He is also one of the featured pianists in Artist Series Concerts' popular piano extravaganza, Piano Grand.

Artist Series Concerts is also working with Florida Studio Theatre on the video production and screening of "Women of Note," a concert created as part of FST's Suffragist Project. That concert video is scheduled to be released sometime in September. Plans are also in the works to stream some of the performances from the organization's 2020-21 25th anniversary season, which is now tentatively scheduled to begin on October 11 with the Omer Quartet. Note: The Florida Jazzmasters concert, which was first scheduled for September 13, has been moved to December 6, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The October 25 and 26 recitals with Jennifer Kreider and Austin Cripe have been moved to October 26 (now one single performance), also at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. (See the updated concert schedule in the attached document - confirmed changes are highlighted in red. Further changes to the schedule will be communicated as soon as new details have been confirmed.)

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