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Celebrate 25 Years of Sarasota Youth Opera

February 23, 2009

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

Join Sarasota Youth Opera in celebrating 25 years in the community by attending a special concert, 4 p.m. Friday, March 20. Youth Opera members will be joined on the stage of the William E. Schmidt Theater in the Sarasota Opera House by Studio and Apprentice Artists from Sarasota Opera’s 50th Season. They will be accompanied by the Sarasota Opera Orchestra under the direction of Sarasota Youth Opera Music Director Lance Inouye.
The program will include selections from: Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda, Verdi’s La traviata and Nabucco, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Burry’s The Hobbit.
The Sarasota Youth Opera Choruses will perform under the direction of Youth Opera Music Director Lance Inouye. The program is administered by Jacqueline Valentine, Youth Opera Administrator Karl W. Hesser is Director of Education.
Sarasota Youth Opera had its beginnings in 1984, under the direction of Sarasota Opera’s artistic director, Victor DeRenzi. First called Programs for Young People, it had three performing groups   one each in Bradenton, Sarasota and Venice. By the fall of 1986, all three groups had merged and evolved into the Children’s Opera Company, also known as CHOP, complete with its own staff, including administrative, music, and stage directors. There were 46 young people participating. In 1988, 14 CHOP members appeared in the Sarasota Opera mainstage production of Tosca and one member in a principal role in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. In 1990, the company had changed its name again to Sarasota Youth Opera, accepting young people up to the age of 17. Currently, Sarasota Youth Opera consists of year-round programs for singers ages 8 through high school, designed to bring the joy of opera and singing not only to youth, but to the greater Sarasota community as a whole.
Tickets for the March 20 concert are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and $25 for a family pack for up to two adults and four students. They are available now at the Sarasota Opera Box office, in the Pavilion Building of the Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue; by phone at (941) 366-8450, ext. 1, or online at
For more information about Sarasota Youth Opera, call Ms. Valentine at (941) 366-8450, ext. 255 or Mr. Hesser at (941) 366-8450, ext. 249.