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Sarasota Opera Announces 2009-2010 Season

Fall Season returns with La traviata. Winter Opera Festival includes rarely heard Giovanna d'Arco by Verdi

April 2, 2009

Richard Russell, Director of Marketing
rrussell@sarasotaopera.org
(941) 366-8450, ext. 245
Patricia G. Horwell, Communications Officer
phorwell@sarasotaopera.org
(941) 366-8450, ext. 332

Sarasota, FL - Sarasota Opera has announced its 2009-10 season which includes the continuation of the company's internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle with a rare mounting of his early success Giovanna d'Arco. Given the overwhelming success of its first Fall Season in 2008, the company will expand to present six performances (up from five in 2008) of Verdi's beloved La traviata with the Sarasota Orchestra again in the pit. The Winter Opera Festival will return from February 6 through March 21 and include four productions including the double bill of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, as well as Mozart's The Magic Flute and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, along with Giovanna d'Arco.

Ticket prices have been reduced for 2009-10. The least expensive seats will be now be priced at $19 (down from $25 in 2008-09). Subscriptions for the 2009-10 are now on sale and subscribers who order before May 1 will receive an extra 5% discount off single ticket prices. The company is also offering subscription payment plans for the first time. Subscription prices range from $64.60 to $380.00 for a four opera Winter Opera Festival Series and between $80.75 to $475.00 for a five opera series.

Single tickets for the entire 2009-10 Season will go on sale on August 1 via the internet only. Tickets for the fall production of La traviata will go on sale on August 17 at the box office. Individual seats for the four Winter Opera Festival operas will be available at the box office beginning September 1, 2009.

The Fall Opera and Outreach Season will consist of six performances of Verdi's beloved La traviata opening October 30 and running through November 14. This score, last presented in Sarasota in 1998, will also mark the renewed collaboration of the Opera with the Sarasota Orchestra, who will be in the pit for these performances. The Fall Season will also include Up Close, Informal, On Stage, an intimate concert on the stage of the William E. Schmidt Opera Theater of the Sarasota Opera House on October. This concert features the principal artists from La traviata singing their favorite songs and arias for the audience who are seated on stage with them.

The Fall Season will also include numerous outreach concerts and other events which are a part of Sarasota Opera's mission to reach out to the greater Sarasota/Manatee County community.

The Winter Opera Festival returns on February 6, 2010 with the perennial twins Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo. This will be the first time that the double-bill has been conducted by Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi. These two passion-filled and dramatic operas have been favorites of opera lovers since their premieres just over a century ago. Sarasota Opera's evocative sets for both works, designed by David P. Gordon, were first seen in 2005.

The second opera in the 2010 Festival will be Mozart favorite The Magic Flute which returns for ten performances beginning February 13. The composer's final produced opera, The Magic Flute mixes light-hearted comedy as Prince Tamino faces numerous challenges trying to win his beloved Pamina, aided by the delightful bird catcher Pagageno.

Every child has grown up with the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about the brother and sister who outwit the Wicked Witch. Engelbert Humperdinck's beautiful opera Hansel and Gretel returns for six performances beginning February 27, 2010. With its rich orchestration and charming retelling of the story, Humperdinck's opera is a favorite with families as well as with sophisticated opera-goers. Suitable for all ages, Hansel and Gretel will be sung in English and to better accommodate families, all evening performances (except opening night Feb. 27) will start at 7 p.m.

Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco was an early success for the Italian composer but it has since fallen into obscurity. Sarasota Opera's Verdi Cycle and Masterworks Revival Series will return on March 6 with this retelling of the story of the French warrior-saint. Rich with stirring choruses, imaginative orchestral writing, and an abundance of arching melodies, this rarely heard work will have six performances through March 21.

Sarasota Opera 51st Season

Fall Opera and Outreach Season

La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
October 30, November 3, and 11 at 8 p.m.
November 1 and 8 at 1:30 p.m.

2010 Winter Opera Festival

Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and
Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
February 6 at 5 p.m.
February 9, 17, 25, March 12, 19, and 21 at 8 p.m.
February 14 and 28 at 1:30 p.m.

The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in German with English surtitles
February 13, 167, 18, 26, March 3, 7, 13, and 18 at 8 p.m.
February 21 and March 21 at 1:30 p.m.

Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck
Sung in English with surtitles
February 27 at 8 p.m.
March 2, 4, and 10 at 7 p.m.
March 7 and 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Giovanna d'Arco (Joan of Arc) by Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi Cycle and Masterworks Revival Series
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
March 6, 9, 11 and 17 at 8 p.m.
March 14 and 20 at 1:30 p.m.

About Sarasota Opera

Based in Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera will be celebrating its 50th Season in 2008-09. In 1960 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 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater has just undergone a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008 has been called "one of Americas finest venues for opera" by Musical America.

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 2008-2009 season introduced a new fall production for the first time in the history of the company when The Barber of Seville ran for five performances in November 2008. The 2009 Sarasota Opera Winter Opera Festival opened on February 7 and will run through March 29. The festival includes Puccini's Tosca, Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, and Verdi's Don Carlos.

Subscriptions for Sarasota Opera's 51th Season are 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. More information is available at www.sarasotaopera.org.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.

SARASOTA OPERA
61 North Pineapple Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 366-8450
www.sarasotaopera.org