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Sarasota Opera Announces Changes to 2021 Winter Opera Festival

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Fully staged opera productions for well-spaced audiences planned for February, March, and April.

Sarasota Opera Announces Changes to 2021 Winter Opera Festival

Sarasota Opera announced a redesigned 2021 Winter/Spring Opera Festival that will include two operas that feature a smaller cast and orchestra to be presented in February and March, and a second two-opera season in April, both to a well-spaced audience and limited capacity. Each production will run for between an hour and an hour and a half with no intermission. The featured productions will be The Happy Deception (L'inganno felice) by Gioachino Rossini, Maid to Mistress (La serva padrona) by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Il signor Bruschino by Gioachino Rossini, and Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell. The company will defer their previously scheduled productions to future seasons.

"We are both optimistic and committed to adapting our art to the challenges of today's world," says Executive Director Richard Russell. "Our sold out Fall Season performances show that audiences are eager for live opera to return to the stage of the Sarasota Opera House."

Casting and production teams for each opera will be announced at a later date.

Works scheduled for February, March, and April 2021

Opening the 2021 Winter Opera Festival on Friday, February 12th will be The Happy Deception (L'inganno felice), an opera in one act by Gioachino Rossini. The opera was an instant success when it premiered in Venice in 1812. A duchess disappears and then washes up on a beach in a small mining town. A kind miner takes her in and cares for her, until ten years later when her grieving husband and his entourage pay a visit. Abduction, menace, passion, and comedy all swirl towards a happy conclusion. Sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage, there will be six performances through February 25, 2021.

Opening on Friday, February 19, 2021 will be Maid To Mistress (La serva padrona), a short opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. The plot involves a wealthy older bachelor who grows impatient with his saucy young maid and resolves to find a wife to care for him properly. The maid has other ideas though, and schemes to get the promotion she desires - bride and mistress of the home. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage. There will be six performances through Thursday, March 4, 2021

Opening on Friday, April 9, 2021 will be Il signor Bruschino by Gioacchino Rossini. This lighthearted operatic comedy opens with one of Rossini's most innovative and playful overtures. Anxious young lovers navigate their way through meddling parents, an arranged marriage, and a case of mistaken identity, with sparkling arias and ensembles soaring towards happily ever after. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage. There will be six performances through April 24, 2021.

Opening on Sunday, April 11, 2021 will be Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell. In this Baroque treasure based on the Aeneid of Virgil, Dido the Queen of Carthage falls in love with the Trojan warrior Aeneas, yet scheming sorcery and fateful spells doom their great passion. Hear the abandoned and heartbroken queen conclude the epic tale with one of opera's most memorable laments. The opera will be sung in the original English, with titles above the stage, for six performances through April 25, 2021.

Virtual performance options will be available

All four operas will also be live streamed in high definition with multiple cameras, premium audio, and subtitles, and will be available for purchase as a virtual season for $100 or as a single opera for $25.

Health and safety

Sarasota Opera will continue to use enhanced cleaning procedures, testing, masking, and ample spacing to protect artists, crew, musicians, staff members, and audience. The historic Sarasota Opera House, which normally seats 1119, will be limited to an audience of 275, approximately 20% of its capacity. Details on health and safety can be found at In the evolving environment of COVID-19, future plans will be continually evaluated, and other adjustments may be made to the performance schedule and protocols if circumstances require further changes.

Ticket Information

Current subscribers will be contacted to discuss their options: they may convert their subscription tickets to the revised season, defer their subscriptions to the following year, make a tax-deductible donation of their tickets, or receive a refund. Remaining 4-opera subscriptions and single tickets for the 2021 Winter and Spring Opera Festivals will be available for purchase January 4, 2021. For more information on the upcoming 2021 Winter and Spring performances, visit, or contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.

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