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Sarasota Opera The Popular 'Artists Choice' Concert Next Week

At 7:30 pm on Sunday, March 15th, a beloved tradition returns to the historic Sarasota Opera House, when principal artists - the stars of Sarasota Opera's productions - take the stage to perform their favorite songs, arias, and ensembles, accompanied by piano. Hear the beautiful Rigoletto quartet, Carmen's thrilling Seguidilla, a Korean Art Song, and many more special selections. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online at SarasotaOpera.org, by phone, or at the box office. The Winter Opera Festival continues through March 22 with performances of Puccini's La bohème, Gounod's Romeo & Juliet, Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, and Catalani's La Wally (opening March 7). For more information visit SarasotaOpera.org, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

This is Sarasota Opera's 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.


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