Sarasota Opera Announces 60th Festival Season

Sarasota Opera Announces 60th Festival Season

Sarasota Opera will celebrate its 60th anniversary season in 2018/2019 as it announced today at a press conference held on the main stage of the Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, FL. The event was overseen by Maestro Victor DeRenzi, artistic director and principal conductor, and Richard Russell, Executive Director. Performances were offered by soprano Kara Shay Thomson who sang "In questa reggia" from Puccini's Turandot and bass Young Bok Kim who sang "La calunnia" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville. In addition, the audience participated in a community sing of the famous chorus "Va, pensiero" from Verdi's Nabucco.

"2018-19 will be a season with some of our favorite operas, as well the discovery of wonderful under-performed gems", according to Sarasota Opera's Executive Director. "We are also excited to introduce a new concert series which will expand the length our season even further."

Highlights of the upcoming season include the launch of a new concert series and the Sarasota Opera premiere of two one act operas to be performed on a double bill; Rita (Two Men and a Woman) by Gaetano Donizetti and Susanna's Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. Susanna's Secret will be a continuation of our "Beyond Verdi" series launched in 2017.

"From the power of Verdi and Puccini, to the light-heartedness of Rossini, Donizetti and Wolf-Ferrari , Sarasota Opera's 60th season has something for everyone to enjoy," says Maestro DeRenzi. "We look forward to celebrating this milestone in our company's history along with our community that continues to support Sarasota Opera and our mission.

2018 Fall Season

The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 26, 28, 31
November 6, 8, 11

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! Our favorite barber is back! Doctor Bartolo plans to marry his ward Rosina, but she has other plans for her future. Figaro, the barber, comes to the rescue and assists Rosina in sneaking, scheming, and plotting so she can marry her beloved Lindoro, who unbeknownst to her is the Count Almaviva.

With a comic plot and Rossini's most recognizable melodies, The Barber of Seville is one of the most performed operas in the world.

The Little Sweep by Benjamin Britten
Sung in English with English supertitles

November 3 and 4

Sarasota Youth Opera will present a revival of our acclaimed production of Britten's charming opera-The Little Sweep. A group of children, with the help of a kind nursery maid, work to free a young chimney sweep apprentice from his cruel master. Last seen in 2013, this enchanting work, which was written to introduce young people to opera, will be sure to delight children and adults alike. The Opera itself will be preceded by a prologue created especially for Sarasota Youth Opera by Youth Opera Music Director Jesse Martins and stage director, Martha Collins.

2019 Winter Season

Turandot by Giacomo Puccini

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 23, 28
March 3, 8, 15, 17, 22

Turandot will return after making its Sarasota Opera premiere in 2013 to sell-out houses. In exile, Prince Calaf wanders outside the Chinese Imperial Palace where any man seeking the Princess Turandot's love must answer three riddles. If they succeed, the reward will be the princess' hand-if they fail, execution! After a glimpse of Turandot's fabled beauty, Calaf declares his intention of meeting the challenge and melting the ice princess' heart. Puccini's last and grandest opera, Turandot, has become one of his most frequently performed operas with rich melodies including the famous aria "Nessun dorma!"

The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sung in German with English supertitles

February 16, 19, 21, 24, 27
March 1, 16, 21, 23

Last seen at Sarasota Opera in 2010, The Magic Flute tells the story of Prince Tamino's heroic quest. After being rescued by the Queen of the Night's three ladies, Tamino is visited by the Queen herself, who asks him for help saving her daughter from Sarastro's evil hands. With the gift of a magic flute and the help of an awkward new friend, the bird catcher, Papageno, the prince will find out that hero and villain aren't always who they may seem.

Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 2, 5, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 24

Nabucco, king of Babylon, conquers the Hebrews, destroying the temple and taking them into captivity. Meanwhile his rebellious daughter, Abigaille, plots to take power and gain the affection of her sister Fenena's lover, Ismaele. Learning of the coup, the blasphemous Nabucco seizes the crown and declares himself God but is struck mad by a thunderbolt. Will he regain his reason, repent, and return the Jews to their homeland? Nabucco, Verdi's third opera and the one to have permanently established Verdi's success as an opera composer, contains some of the master's most exciting music, including his most famous chorus "Va, pensiero." This iconic Verdi opera was last seen in Sarasota in 1995.

Rounding out the 2019 Winter Festival Season will be the Sarasota Opera premiere of two rare one-act comedies by Donizetti and Wolf-Ferrari that will make for a delightful evening at the opera. This will be the first time these operas have been presented as a double bill. Both operas will feature the same cast of artists.

Rita (Two Men and a Woman) by Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in French with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 23
Sarasota Opera Premiere

Rita and her husband Peppe own an inn. Peppe, a sweet and timid man, is terrified of his tyrannical wife. When Gaspar, Rita's first husband whom she believed drowned, comes back, he turns Rita and Peppe's lives upside down.

This charming one-act opera was written in 1841 to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz, but was never performed. It was found among Donizetti's personal belongs following his death and premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1860 and was later occasionally performed in an Italian translation. Sarasota Opera's production will mark the U.S. staged French

Susanna's Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 23
Beyond Verdi Series

Sarasota Opera Premiere

Sarasota Opera continues its "Beyond Verdi" series with the Sarasota Opera debut of the rarely seen Susanna's Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari which premiered in 1909.

As the story goes, Susanna has a secret she isn't telling. Having smelled tobacco on his wife's clothes, her new husband, Count Gil, is convinced that she is having an affair. He searches and searches, but can't seem to catch her in the act. What could her secret be? Once extremely popular, Susanna's Secret is a charming and inventive work that will round out an enjoyable evening of comic opera.

This fall, Sarasota Opera will launch a new concert series which will feature favorite Sarasota Opera artists in four themed evenings with piano at the Sarasota Opera House. Each concert will include three or four singers and be performed with piano accompaniment. Recital dates for the 2018/2019 festival season will be:

An Evening of Latin Music
Friday, October 12, 2018
Sarasota Opera House

An Evening of Operetta
Friday, December 14, 2018
Sarasota Opera House

Operatic Favorites in Celebration of Sarasota Opera's 60th Anniversary
Friday, April 5, 2019
Sarasota Opera House

Opera Composers in Song
Friday, May 10, 2019
Sarasota Opera House

Subscriptions for the 2018/2019 Season will be available for renewal Monday, March 5, 2018 both online at and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office. A date to secure new subscriptions will be forthcoming.

Single tickets for the 2018/2019 season go on sale online exclusively online at August 1st, 2018 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 4th, 2018. For more information on the 2018/2019 season, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Sarasota Opera will open its 59th consecutive season on Saturday, February 10th with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini'sManon Lescaut. The season continues with the return of Carmen by Georges Bizet, and the Sarasota Opera premiere of Norma by Vincenzo Bellini and Tiefland by Eugen d'Albert.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the current season, visit or call the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.


Based on Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera recently completed its internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle making it the only company in the world to have performed every work of Giuseppe Verdi.

In 1960, the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater 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. The company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Invitation to Opera performances for local schools and the unique 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 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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