Sarasota, FL – Mounting its first full opera production in the fall, Sarasota Opera will give five performances of Rossini’s delightful comedy The Barber of Seville on November 7, 9 (matinee), 12, 14, and 16 (matinee). All performances will take place at the historic Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, which reopened in March 2008 after a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation.
This inaugural Fall Opera Season will also include Up Close, Informal, On Stage on October 25 at 8 p.m. This unique concert has become a Sarasota Opera fall tradition. The principal artists from The Barber of Seville will sing some of their favorite arias and songs, accompanied by Kristen Kemp. Both the performers and the artists will be on the stage of the Sarasota Opera House, giving this performance a special intimate feel. The singers will also answer questions from the audience, who will have an opportunity to meet them afterwards at a post-concert reception which is included in the ticket price of $60.
The production of The Barber of Seville is the first time that Sarasota Opera has mounted a fully-staged opera in November. The orchestra for these performances will be the Sarasota Orchestra (formerly the Florida West Coast Symphony), the first time that the two local organizations have collaborated on a full Sarasota Opera production. Sarasota Opera Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi will conduct. The new production, which is being built expressly for Sarasota Opera, will be directed by William Gustafson, with sets designed by Jeffrey W. Dean, costumes by Howard Tsvi Kaplan, and lighting by Ken Yunker.
Principal artists for this production will include three artists who are making their Sarasota Opera debuts. Mezzo-soprano Keri Alkema who is singing Rosina has previously sung with the Chautauqua Opera, the New York City Opera and was a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program at the Washington National Opera. Tenor Eric Margiore who will portray Count Almaviva, has sung with Tulsa Opera, Shreveport Opera, and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Italian bass-baritone Stefano de Peppo will sing Dr. Bartolo. Mr. de Peppo has sung in Prague, Milan, Rome Mexico City, Columbia, and in the U.S. at the Minnesota Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, and Palm Beach Opera.
Returning artists include Marco Nisticò as Figaro. Mr. Nisticò was heard in Sarasota as Francesco Foscari in I due Foscari and will return in March to sing Rodrigue in Verdi’s Don Carlos. He has also sung with New York City Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, and at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Sarasota Opera favorite Young-Bok Kim returns after a season’s absence as Don Basilio. In past seasons he has sung Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Nilakantha in Lakmé, and the title role in Verdi’s Attila. Soprano Maria D’Amato, a 2008 Sarasota Opera Studio Artist, will return to sing the role of Berta.
Tickets range from $25 to $115 and are available from the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 366-8450, ext. 1, in person at the box office or by mail to 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. The Sarasota Opera website is currently being redesigned and online ticketing will not be available until the end of October.