Author Dennis Romano Will Give Free Talk on the Historical Subject of Verdi's I due Foscari

Dennis Romano author of "The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge Francesco Foscari, 1373-1457" will give a talk about the historical Francesco Foscari...

March 11, 2008 5:00 PM

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

Sarasota, FL - Dennis Romano author of "The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge Francesco Foscari, 1373-1457" (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007) will give a talk about the historical Francesco Foscari, who is the leading character in Verdi's opera I due Foscari (The Two Foscari), which is being presented this season by Sarasota Opera. The talk will take place on Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 4 p.m. in the Jonas Kamlet Library of the Sarasota Opera House and is free to the public. The same evening at 8 p.m., Sarasota Opera will present its first performance of the opera I due Foscari.

The historical Francesco Foscari was Doge of Venice from 1423-1457. The stuff of legends, his life was marked by political conflict, vengeful enemies, family heartbreak, and, at the end, the forced relinquishment of the ducal throne. Professor Romano will talk about his life and how the dramatic true-to-life tale was turned into a play by Lord Byron and an opera by Giuseppe Verdi.

Professor Romano is a professor of history and fine arts at Syracuse University. He is a specialist in Medieval and Renaissance Italy with a particular emphasis on Venice. He is the author of four books including the first biography of Francesco Foscari.

Sarasota Opera will be presenting I due Foscari (The Two Foscari), the rarely-heard opera by Giuseppe Verdi beginning March 22, 2008 at 8 p.m. It will have an additional six performances through April 13.

Professor Romano's talk is free and open to the public. No ticket is required, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets to the performances of I due Foscari start at $25 and are available from the Sarasota Opera Box Office (941) 366-8450, ext. 1 or online at

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