Sarasota Opera Opens 2020 Winter Opera Festival With Fanfare And Ceremony
On Saturday, February 8, Sarasota Opera opened the 2020 Winter Opera Festival with a festive brass fanfare played from the outside balcony of the Opera House, followed by the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the completion of the Verdi Cycle.
Upon conclusion of the cycle in 2016, Sarasota Opera became the only opera company in the world to present all of Verdi's works. Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi officiated over the unveiling of the plaque, which was followed by the announcement of a "Friendship Pact" between the City of Sarasota and Busseto, Italy-Giuseppe Verdi's hometown, by Toni Duval, president of the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota.
In addition, Giancarlo Contini, Mayor of Busseto, sent a congratulatory statement celebrating the Friendship Pact: "I am extremely pleased to sign this 'Pact of Friendship' between our cities - Busseto, a small community of 7000 people, and the most beautiful Sarasota, a vast and bright metropolis. I am struck by the beauty of your Opera House building: the windows and arches have a scent of the Italianate, like the splendid opera productions of your theatres! A city that produces as many works a year as four Italian theaters in similar major cities. Please accept my personal warmest greetings, from all in my Administration, and on the part of all citizens of Busseto."
Following the ceremony, Giacomo Puccini's timeless and beloved La bohème was performed to a sold-out audience. The Winter Opera Festival continues with performances of Gounod's Romeo & Juliet (opening February 15), Donizetti's The Elixir of Love (opening February 22), and Catalani's La Wally, (opening March 7) with performances through March 22. For more information, visit SarasotaOpera.org, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.