Sarasota Opera Announces New Concert Series Debuting In May

Sarasota Opera Announces New Concert Series Debuting In May Sarasota Opera is set to launch a new program this spring with a series of summer concerts entitled Sarasota Opera House PRESENTS. This series will bring Sarasota audiences musical performances of American standards, jazz, rock, bluegrass, country, and more.

Sarasota Opera will debut this new series on Friday, May 4, at 7:30pm with the one and only Tony Danza who will offer an unforgettable evening of timeless songs and personal stories in his cabaret show entitled Standards & Stories. The New York Times raved, "Tony's a live wire who tap-dances, plays the ukulele, tells stories, and radiates irresistible charm... He exudes the kind of charisma that can't be taught!"

Star of stage, television, and screen, Mr. Danza, whose new Netflix series The Good Cop will premiere in September 2018, will grace the Sarasota Opera House stage for one night only.

"Recognizing that there are more year-round residents looking for entertainment options in the summer, a few years ago Sarasota Opera began expanding its offerings outside the opera season," says Executive Director Richard Russell. "We started with film now plan to offer some live entertainment in our historic Opera House. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to present Mr. Danza to Sarasota audiences and look forward to announcing other upcoming programs very soon."

Tickets for Tony Danza: Standards & Stories range from $39 - $89 with a limited number of VIP seats at $125 which includes a post-show meet-and-greet with Mr. Danza. Get your tickets today by calling (941) 328-1300 or visit

On Saturday, August 18th, Sarasota Opera House PRESENTS will present Ricky Nelson Remembered starring Mr. Nelson's twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Show and ticket information is forthcoming.

First named A.B. Edwards Theater, The Sarasota Opera House has been in the center of Sarasota's cultural life from the very beginning. The theater opened April 10, 1926, bringing to the area a variety of shows that included movies, opera, vaudeville, and artists like Will Rogers, Ziegfeld Follies, Tommy Dorsey, and the legendary Elvis Presley. It housed the crystal chandelier that was used in the movie set for Gone with the Wind for decades, and it was one of the places the movie The Greatest Show on Earth was first premiered.

Since its purchase in 1979 and subsequent historic restoration in 2007 by Sarasota Opera, it has been the premier theater in Sarasota for Opera, Ballet, Symphony Orchestra, and various other community events, with unparalleled acoustics for music performances.

ABOUT Tony Danza

Combining timeless music with wit, charm, storytelling, and a dash of soft shoe and ukulele performances, Danza is accompanied by his talented four-piece band. Danza performs a selection of his favorite standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as selections from the hit Broadway musical Honeymoon in Vegas (which he also starred in), while interweaving stories about his life and personal connection to the music.

The New York Times raved "Tony's a live wire who tap-dances, plays the ukulele, tells stories and radiates irresistible charm... He exudes the kind of charisma that can't be taught!"

Perhaps best known for his starring roles on two of television's most cherished and long-running series, Taxi and Who's The Boss, Tony Danza has also established himself as a song and dance man, and recently received rave reviews for his performance in the Broadway musical comedy, Honeymoon In Vegas, with the New York Times calling his performance "sly genius," and a "career high". Among his past successes, Tony has starred on Broadway in the The Producers, A View from the Bridge, and opposite Kevin Spacey in The Iceman Cometh, and starred in beloved films such as Angels In Outfield, She's Out of Control, and Hollywood Knights.

Danza can be next be seen on the small screen in There's Johnny!, a limited series premiering on Nov 16th on Hulu. The series, created by Paul Reiser (Mad About You) is set behind the scenes at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Danza plays a supporting role as Freddie de Cordova, the executive producer of The Tonight Show. He's old-school Hollywood and the reigning authority. Danza has a special connection to the role, as he was a frequent guest of Carson's on The Tonight Show and even guest-hosted multiple times.

It was also recently announced that Danza will soon be returning to television in a starring role in The Good Cop, a Netflix original series premiering in 2018. Tony will play an ex NYC cop in the one hour dramedy from the creator of Monk.


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 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. 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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