Sarasota Opera Presents The 2019 Opera Gala

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Sarasota Opera will present the 2019 Opera Gala "A Jeweled Affair - An Evening of Glamour and Glitz," a jewel-themed event which kicks off the 2019 Winter Opera Festival. The black-tie evening at the Ritz Carlton-Sarasota will begin with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, during which two silent auctions will take place, featuring curated jewelry from donors' private collections and a selection of exotic travel packages. After the cocktail hour, there will be a performance by Sarasota Opera principal artists, followed by a four-course dinner created by the Ritz Carlton culinary team. The ballroom will be decorated in hues of gold, with towering jewel-toned flower arrangements. After dinner, guests will light up the dance floor to the music of the Scott Blum Band. Tickets for the event are $325 per person. All proceeds benefit Sarasota Opera.

The Event Co-Chairs for Sarasota Opera's 2019 Winter Gala are Carol and Larry English. Serving on the gala committee are Irene Bagby, Lydia McKenzie, Christine Shivery, Elissa Soyka, and Pat Jones, immediate past chair. The corporate sponsors for the event are Allegiant Private Advisors, the law firm of Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz & Getzen, and Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The media sponsor is Sarasota SCENE Magazine.

Sarasota Opera's 2019 Winter Festival opens Friday, February 9, 2019 with Puccini's Turandot, and is followed by Mozart's Magic Flute (opening February 16), Verdi's Nabucco (opening March 2), and a comic double bill: Donizetti's Rita and Wolf-Ferrari's Susanna's Secret, (opening March 9). For more information, visit SarasotaOpera.org, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit the box office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Sarasota Opera is celebrating its 60th 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. The following year 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 Artists 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.

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