Sarasota Opera Announces 2019-2020 Season

Sarasota Opera Announces 2019-2020 Season

Sarasota Opera announced its 2019-2020 Fall and Winter Festival Seasons today at a press conference held on the Sarasota Opera House main stage in Sarasota, Florida. Artistic director and principal conductor Victor DeRenzi and executive director Richard Russell presided over the event and were joined by principal artists performing selected arias from the upcoming seasons' works.

"Next season we look forward to bringing our community beloved works, along with an important opera that hasn't been seen in the U.S. in 30 years that has great meaning for me and for the company," says Maestro DeRenzi.

"Love in its many forms inspired our 2019-20 season. The interesting and exciting season contains some favorites but also several works not seen in Sarasota for many years," says Executive Director Richard Russell.

2019 Fall Season

One of Verdi's greatest works-Rigoletto-opens the Fall Season, followed by Sarasota Youth Opera's Brundibár, a children's opera by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása.

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage
November 1, 3m, 6, 12, 14, 17m

The story of a protective father, a lecherous Duke, and a naïve woman who discovers that love isn't always true, one of Verdi's greatest works returns to Sarasota Opera. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with Stephanie Sundine directing.

Brundibár by Hans Krása
Sung in English with English titles above the stage

November 15 and 16

Sarasota Youth Opera will present a revival of their acclaimed production of Brundibár. Originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII, this allegorical tale has three heroes-a sparrow, a cat and a very wise dog-helping Annette and Little Joe raise the money needed to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibár. The opera will be preceded by a moving prologue which features the words of young people, crafted by Sarasota Youth Opera music director Jesse Martins and stage director Martha Collins.

2020 Winter Opera Festival

Commencing the 2020 Winter Opera Festival is Puccini's beloved La bohème. Charles Gounod's passionate Romeo & Juliet will follow. Third in the season will be Donizetti's comic opera The Elixir of Love. Rounding out the season is Catalani's La Wally, part of the "Beyond Verdi" series.

2020 Winter Season

La bohème by Giacomo Puccini

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

February 8, 11, 13, 16m, 19, 25, 29m
March 3, 6, 11, 14, 19, 21
Almost two centuries ago in Paris' Latin Quarter, a love affair flourishes, withers and dies in Puccini's romantic portrayal of bohemian life. A perfect work for newcomers to opera as well as the most devoted opera fan. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with stage direction by Mark Freiman.

Romeo & Juliet by Charles Gounod

Sung in French with English translations above the stage

February 15, 18, 20, 23m, 28
March 4, 8m, 14m, 20

In this story-immortalized by the genius of William Shakespeare and overflowing with the melodies of Charles Gounod-a young couple pursues their great love to the grave. This work was last seen at Sarasota Opera in 1993. Anthony Barrese will conduct, with Martha Collins directing.

The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

February 22, 26

March 1m, 5, 13, 17, 21m

In this charming Bel Canto comedy, Nemorino's love is unwavering, but Adina won't give him a second glance. All is saved by Dulcamara's magic love potion-or is it? Marco Nisticò will be making his mainstage directing debut.

La Wally by Alfredo Catalani

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

March 7, 10, 12, 15m, 18, 22m

In a village in the German alps, Wally chooses love over family. However, with a cruel bet, the man of her dreams breaks her heart, igniting a chain of events that leads to tragedy. This beautiful work had its last fully staged U.S. production in 1989, when it launched Sarasota Opera's Masterworks Revival Series. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with Stephanie Sundine directing.

Artists Choice Concert
Sunday, March 15, 2020, 7:30pm
Tickets: from $10
Sarasota Opera is bringing back this community favorite after its brief absence to make room for the festivities of the 60th Anniversary season. Enjoy principal and studio artists as they perform their favorite selections of opera and song.

Ticket Information

Subscriptions for the 2019/2020 Season will be available for renewal Monday, March 4, 2019 online at, by phone at (941) 328-1300, and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office. Single tickets for the 2019/2020 season will go on sale exclusively online at August 1st, 2019 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 2nd, 2019. For more information on the 2019/2020 season, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Current Season: Sarasota Opera will open its 60th consecutive season on Saturday, February 9th with Giacomo Puccini's Turandot. The season continues with the return of The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, and the Sarasota Opera premiere of a comic double bill: Rita (Two Men and a Woman) by Gaetano Donizetti and Susanna's Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. For more information and to purchase tickets for the current season, visit or call the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.


Sarasota Opera is celebrating its 60th Season of bringing world-class opera to Florida's Gulf Coast. The company was launched in 1960, when a touring chamber opera company came to the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art. The following year the Asolo Opera Guild was formed to present the season. By 1974 the Asolo Opera was mounting its own productions at the theater. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to full-scale opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater which in 1984 (as the Sarasota Opera House) became home to the newly renamed Sarasota Opera. The building underwent a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation in 2007 enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities, including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008, has been called "one of America's finest venues for opera" by Musical America.

Since 1983, the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi and administrative leadership of Executive Director Richard Russell since 2012. Sarasota Opera has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle, completed in 2016, that made Sarasota Opera the only opera company in the world to present all of Verdi's works. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice and Studio Artists programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Explorations in Opera performances for local schools and the industry-leading Sarasota Youth Opera program.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award from the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.

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