Sarasota Opera to Present Panel: Meet the Artists of LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND, 11/7

On Wednesday, November 7, from 5:00 - 6:00pm, Sarasota Opera will host a special "Meet the Artists" panel discussion focusing on the creation of Sarasota Opera's upcoming world premiere of Little Nemo in Slumberland at the Sarasota Opera House. Maestro Victor DeRenzi will moderate the discussion. The panel will include the opera's composer Daron Hagen, librettist J.D. McClatchy, stage director Martha Collins and scenic designer Michael Schweikardt.

Tickets are $15 and available online at

Little Nemo in Slumberland will mark Sarasota Youth Opera’s 5th commission since the programs inception in 1984. Based on Windsor McCay's early-twentieth-century comic strip of the same name, Little Nemo in Slumberland is a 60 minute, two-act magic opera. The story recounts the adventures of a boy over the course of two nights on a quest to save Slumberland from the evil Emperor Sol who wants it to be bright all night and all day. Nemo's adventures along the way include encounters with a crystal enchantress, menacing giants, a floating bed and a balloon ride, dizzying changes of scale and a palace that turns upside down.

The child principal roles will be performed by members of the Sarasota Youth Opera program and the adult principal roles will be performed by members of the Sarasota Opera Apprentice and Studio Artists Program.

There will be two performances of Little Nemo in Slumberland on Saturday, November 10 at 5:30pm and Sunday, November 11 at 12:30pm.

Composer Daron Hagen is one of America's most respected and prolific full-time composers of concert music and opera. His music enjoys more than a hundred performances a year. Hagen's works have been performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The National Symphony and both the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera. Hagen's works have been recorded on over two dozen CDs.<

Author, poet, and librettist J.D. McClatchy's works regularly appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, and The New Republic. His work Hazmat was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His upcoming schedule includes creating the libretti for An Inconvenient Truth with composer Giorgio Battistelli, commissioned by Italy's Teatro alla Scala, and a new opera, Dolores Claiborne, with composer Tobias Picker for the San Francisco Opera. He currently teaches at Yale University where he is a professor of English and has served as editor of The Yale Review.

For the 2007 Winter Opera Festival, his debut season with Sarasota Opera, Michael Schweikardt designed the sets for Halka, and has since returned as the set designer for recent production of La rondine, L'amico Fritz, The Crucible and Vanessa. He has designed sets and costumes for Rossini’s Le Comte Ory and Handel’s Semele for Florida State Opera and was the set designer for Asolo Repertory Theatre's production of Barnum. For The Pittsburgh Public Theater he was the set designer for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and You Can’t Take It with You.

Martha Collins returns to Sarasota Opera to direct the world premiere performances of Little Nemo in Slumberland as well as Verdi's rarely seen second opera A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno). Ms. Collins has a distinguished history with Sarasota Opera serving as the stage director for Sarasota Opera’s 2010 Winter Opera Festival production of Carmen, Madama Butterfly, I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Giovanna d'Arco, The Elixir of Love, La traviata, I due Foscari, Attila, and I masnadieri. She has been the stage director for Sarasota Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program since 2004 and has directed the Sarasota Youth Opera’s productions of Black Spider, The Hobbit, The Second Hurricane, and Britten’s The Little Sweep.