Sarasota Opera Invites The Community To A Free Open House Next Week
On Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 pm, the community is invited to visit Sarasota Opera House for a wide variety of free activities and offerings. Visitors can enjoy art songs, ensembles, and arias sung throughout the opera house, raffles, backstage tours, wig and makeup demonstrations, a display from the recent acquisition of approximately 30,000 historic opera costumes, special ticket offers, and complementary refreshments. Artists appearing in the upcoming Winter Opera Festival productions of La bohème, Romeo & Juliet, The Elixir of Love, and La Wally will be on hand to share the excitement of the season, themed "Love is In the Air." The festive event will conclude with a special performance on stage. For more information, visit SarasotaOpera.org, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Sarasota Opera is entering its 61st Season of bringing world-class opera to Florida's Gulf Coast. The company was launched in 1960, when a touring chamber opera company came to the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art and the Asolo Opera Guild was formed to present the season. By 1974 the Asolo Opera was mounting its own productions at the theater. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to full-scale opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater which in 1984 (as the Sarasota Opera House) became home to the newly renamed Sarasota Opera. 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. Sarasota Opera has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle, completed in 2016, that made Sarasota Opera the only opera company in the world to present all of Verdi's works. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice and Studio Artist's programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its "Explorations in Opera" performances for local schools and the industry-leading 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 from 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.