Sarasota Opera Offers Free Performances this Spring

As part of its commitment to our community, Sarasota Opera will hold free concerts...

March 17, 2008

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

As part of its commitment to our community, Sarasota Opera will hold free concerts for the general public in March and April. No tickets are necessary.

The Scenes at Noon concerts on Fridays, March 28 and April 4, at noon will feature the Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artists, performing staged scenes from operas, in costume with piano. The scenes will be directed by Apprentice Artist Stage Directors Martha Collins and RoseMarie Freni and Guest Stage Director Stephanie Sundine. The Program and Music Director of the Apprentice Artists Program is Roger L. Bingaman.

At the Covers at Three Concert on March 28, at 3 p.m., Sarasota Opera Studio Artists, who are covering leading roles in the main stage operas, will perform excerpts from those operas. Richard Cordova is the Program and Music Director of the Studio Artists Program.

No tickets are required, however, seating is limited. All three free performances will be held in the Peterson Great Room at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. For more information, please call Sarasota Opera at (941) 366-8450.

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 recently reopened after a $20 million renovation and restoration. The project was 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. Construction is near completion, in preparation for March opening to the 2008 Opera Festival. Sarasota Opera's 2008 Winter Opera Festival will open on March 1, 2008 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