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Announcing the 2015–2016 Sarasota Opera Season

In 1989 Sarasota Opera began The Verdi Cycle—a unique undertaking to perform the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. The Cycle covers not only all the operas (including alternate versions), but also Verdi’s body of non-operatic music. The 2016 Winter Opera Festival marks the end of this extraordinary journey with new productions of The Battle of Legnano and Aida.

The final week of the Opera Festival will be exclusively devoted to Giuseppe Verdi, including two concerts of his music, talks, panel discussions, and other special events.  The completion of the Cycle will make Sarasota Opera the only company in the world to have performed all of Verdi’s music!

As we make history right here at the heart of downtown Sarasota, where will you be?

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The 2015 Fall Season

Starting off the season in the fall, we are bringing back Puccini’s most beloved opera—La bohème. Relive Mimì and Rodolfo’s first encounter, walk through Paris’ Latin Quarter with the two lovers, and dine at Cafè Momus on Christmas Eve. You’ll laugh at the four friends’ jokes and pranks, and feel the poet’s broken heart as he realizes his lover’s impending demise. Also see Sarasota Youth Opera’s production of Brundibár, originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II.

La bohème
OCTOBER 30, NOVEMBER 1M, 4, 10, 12, 15M, 17, 2015

“How cold your little hand is!”—says the poet to Mimì—a young girl who lives in the same building, and makes flowers for a living. With Paris of the 1830s as the backdrop, love flourishes, withers and dies in this melodious and heart-wrenching masterpiece. Featuring Puccini’s most beautiful melodies, this is also the perfect first opera for newcomers.

Hans Krása's
Sarasota Youth Opera Production
NOVEMBER 14, 2015, 1:30 pm, 7:30 pm

Originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII, this fairy tale has three heroes—a sparrow, a cat and a very wise dog—helping Annette and Little Joe raise the money needed to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibár.

The 2016 Winter Opera Festival

The Winter Festival brings the Verdi Cycle Grand Finale festivities, and will feature its final two installments—The Battle of Legnano and Aida— in a grand spectacle of music, vocal prowess, awe-inspiring choruses, sumptuous scenery and luxurious costumes. In addition, you’ll see Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte—the story of two young soldiers who pull a prank on their brides-to-be, and put their faithfulness to the test.

FEBRUARY 4, 7M, 10, 20M, 23, 28,
MARCH 2, 5, 13M, 15, 19, 2016

One of opera’s most beloved tales of the tragic love triangle between a slave, a vengeful princess and a great warrior will be presented by Sarasota Opera for the first time, helping to close the Verdi Cycle on a high note. You don’t want to miss this grand spectacle of music, vocal prowess, awe-inspiring choruses, sumptuous scenery and luxurious costumes.

Così fan tutte

FEBRUARY 6, 9, 11, 14M, 17, 21M, 26
MARCH 4, 12, 2016

"Così fan tutte" literally means “All women do this.” Two naive young soldiers are compelled to pull a prank on their brides-to-be, and put their faithfulness to the test. Mozart’s enthralling comedy and masterful score will lighten your heart and make for an evening of great fun.

FEBRUARY 13, 18, 24, 28M
MARCH 1, 5M, 11, 2016

Sub-titled The Triumph of Married Love, Beethoven’s only opera tells the story of Leonore, a faithful wife who disguises herself as the boy, Fidelio, to save her beloved husband, Florestan, from prison by a ruthless tyrant. Her undying love and perseverance will ultimately save him from certain death.

The Battle of Legnano
MARCH 3, 6M, 8, 12M, 16, 18, 2016

As a nation struggles to break away from Barbarossa’s grip, love for the same woman will test the friendship of two warriors as honor calls them into battle. Together with Verdi’s monumental Aida, this tale of love, broken friendship and war will help close the Verdi Cycle.

2015-2016 Season Concert Performances

Forbidden Music—The Music Banned by the Nazis
Saturday, November 7, 2015 8 pm
The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House

Jewish artists were at the very center of cultural life in Germany in the 1930s, but as the Third Reich was rising, their art became increasingly isolated, and ultimately forbidden. In partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, this concert features music by composers who were banned by the Nazis.

Artists Choice Concert
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:30 pm
The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House

A Sarasota Opera tradition! Enjoy principal and studio artists’ talent, as they perform their choice of the best of opera and song.

The Young Verdi Concert
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 7:30 pm
The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House

He is known as the preeminent opera composer of the 19th century, and regarded by many as the reigning master of opera of all time. But before all the fame, the young Giuseppe was a talented man with his own dreams and aspirations. Meet the young Verdi in this concert of music composed before his first opera, Oberto.

Exclusive Subscriber Pre-sale Starts September 2015
The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Concert
Sunday, March 20, 2016
The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House

Closing The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Season, hear one of Verdi’s final works— the Te Deum. Plus, for the delight of every Verdi aficionado, this season’s Verdi Concert will feature favorite arias, ensembles and choruses from his most famous operas.

As an added benefit to Subscribers, The Verdi Concert and a Grand-Finale celebration event will be on sale exclusively to season-ticket holders starting September 2015. Sales to the general public will start January 2016.

2015-2016 Season Events

The Opera Gala
Saturday, January 23, 2016  6:30 pm
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Let’s celebrate the start of the Verdi Cycle’s final season with a party that promises to be as monumental as the season we’re kicking off. As always, the elegant fair will include a cocktail hour, a delectable four course dinner, a special performance by our Principal Artists and much more!

A Taste of Downtown Food & Wine Festival
Saturday, September 19, 2015, 1:00–4:00 pm
The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House

Following last year’s great success, our food & wine festival is back, benefiting Sarasota Youth Opera. Enjoy menu samplings from your favorite downtown restaurants, along with fine wine pairings.

Curtain Raiser Dinner
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Michael’s on East Wine Cellar, Cocktail Attire

The official start of Sarasota Opera’s social season will have you enjoying a delectable three-course dinner, as well as a performance by our Studio Artists.

2015-2016 Lectures

Understanding Opera
Executive Director Richard Russell and Director of Artistic Administration Greg Trupiano team up to delve into the world of opera. These enjoyable morning talks will take place at the Jonas Kamlet Library at the Sarasota Opera House, and will focus on different elements of this all-encompassing art form.

It’s a Scandal!
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 10:30 am

Hear about history’s great operatic scandals and fiascos with featured speakers Richard Russell and Greg Trupiano.

The Tenor Voice
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:30 am

Delve into the history and development of the all-mighty tenor—with Executive Director Richard Russell.

Opera vs. Opera
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 10:30 am

What happens when two great composers write operas on the same subject? With Richard Russell and Greg Trupiano.

My System is better than Your System
Thursday, November  5, 2015, 10:30 am

Greg Trupiano will explain the difference between “stagione” and opera in rep.

2015-2016 Meet the Artists

Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director Richard Russell will take turns interviewing the singers and artistic staff responsible for bringing our productions to the Sarasota Opera stage at the place it all comes together—The William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre, Sarasota Opera House.

Meet the Artists: La bohème
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 5:00 pm

Meet the Artists: Aida
Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 5:00 pm

Meet the Artists: Così fan tutte
Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 5:00 pm

Meet the Artists: Fidelio
Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 5:00 pm

Meet the Artists: The Battle of Legnano
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 5:00 pm

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