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Sarasota Opera Hits The Road With OperaMobile

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Sarasota Opera Hits The Road With OperaMobile

This week, Sarasota Opera launched its newest initiative to bring opera to the community in the midst of the Covid-19 emergency public health measures. OperaMobile's first ride featured performances by Soprano Hannah Brammer (Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Winter 2020) and Baritone Alex Boyd (Count Monterone in Rigoletto, Fall 2019) with Maestro Jesse Martins accompanying on piano.

Hanna and Alex were recently married and live in the Tampa Bay area, so the duet sung from Mozart's Don Giovanni didn't pose a social distancing challenge for the couple. Other selections included familiar arias from Bizet's Carmen, Puccini's La Rondine, Catalani's La Wally, and Gounod's Faust.

The OperaMobile event began with a concert in front of the Sarasota Opera House. That performance was followed by a number of short concerts at various buildings and homes throughout the area, each lasting 20-30 minutes. At each location, the artists performed from a trailer pulled by a pick-up truck, with amplification so patrons and passers-by were able to hear clearly while still practicing social distancing.

The concept of OperaMobile came out of a desire for the Company to show gratitude for community support, while also providing a chance for neighbors and passers-by to enjoy a nice musical moment. Sarasota Opera had to suspend its 61st season after the March 12 performance of La Wally yet paid all of their artists and crew for the entire season. The cessation of the Winter Opera Festival and subsequent theater rentals has made a dramatic impact in the opera's annual operating budget.

"We're really looking forward to the day where we can do full opera again, but right now, this is a way we can bring some music to our community," Executive Director Richard Russell, said.


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