Sarasota Youth Opera to Hold Summer Workshop

Young people ages 8 to 18 may enroll now in Sarasota Youth Opera’s Summer Workshop to be held June 9-27, 2008.

March 24, 2008

Contact: Richard Russell, Director of Marketing
(941) 366-8450 x 245
Patricia Horwell, Communications Officer
(941) 366-8450 x 332

Young people ages 8 to 18 may enroll now in Sarasota Youth Opera’s Summer Workshop to be held June 9-27, 2008. The three-week program will run five full days per week, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.

The Summer Workshop promotes serious study of all aspects of opera in a structured, but informal atmo¬sphere, offering classes in music, voice, acting, opera appreciation, design, and technical production. The final session will showcase the participants’ work during the program. Campers will bring their own lunches, but a daily snack will be provided. Enrollment is limited to 80 young people.

Tuition for the program is $300 per child. A small number of scholarships are available.
For more information or to register, please call Becky Taylor, Director of Youth Opera Programs, at (941) 366-8450, ext. 255.

About Sarasota Youth Opera

A vital part of the mission of Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Youth Opera provides a unique experience for young people in southwestern Florida. Established in 1984, it was one of the first programs of its kind in America. Members of the program participate in all aspects of opera production.
During the fall term, members form the Youth Opera Choruses, which perform throughout the community in formal concerts, as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement centers. During the Winter Opera Festival many of them are selected to perform as the children's chorus and as supernumeraries in the main stage operas. After the festival ends, the focus shifts to the fully staged Youth Opera production, featuring a work expressly written for young people to perform. This year, Sarasota Youth Opera will present the U.S. premiere of Dean Burry’s The Hobbit on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10. Tickets are available through the Box Office, (941) 366-8450, ext. 1 or online at

Sarasota Youth Opera Program is generously underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts, Florida Arts Council, Woman's Exchange, the Appleby Foundation, HRH, the Franklin G. Berlin Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, and Publix Super Markets Charities.

About Sarasota Opera

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is in now in its 49th season. In 1958 the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320 seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979. Renovations began in 1982 and the 1,033 seat theater, now on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. Since 1983 the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi. Since then the company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its OPERA-tion performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.

The Sarasota Opera House has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation and restoration. The project is designed to restore the historic 1926 theater to its original glory, while creating a venue for opera for the 21st century. Decorative details have been restored, seating has been replaced, and the orchestra pit enlarged to allow for an expansion of the repertoire. Backstage systems have been updated and public areas and amenities expanded and enhanced. The 2008 Opera Festival opened March 1 with Verdi's Rigoletto. The season, which will run through April 13, will also include Puccini's La rondine, Verdi's rarely-heard I due Foscari (The Two Foscari) and conclude with Mozart's Così fan tutte. Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2008 Opera Festival are now on sale at the box office at (941) 366-8450, ext. 1, 1-888-OPERA-12, or in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. Tickets can also be purchased on line at