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Sarasota Opera’s Winter Festival to feature Robert Ward's The Crucible

January 5, 2011

Patricia G. Horwell, Communications Officer
(941) 366-8450, ext. 332

In its 52nd season, Sarasota Opera will open its 2011 Winter Opera Festival on February 5 with four works including two Sarasota Opera premieres. The festival will open with a revival of the highly successful 2006 production of Puccini’s beloved La bohème. Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be the second work of the season. The company’s acclaimed Verdi Cycle will continue with a mounting of I lombardi, one of the composer’s earliest successes. Finally, Sarasota Opera will launch a new initiative, American Classics, with a production of Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller’s Tony Award winning play of the same name. The Sarasota performances of The Crucible mark the opera’s 50th anniversary. Our Winter Opera Festival will conclude on March 20 with The Verdi Concert celebrating the Risorgimento, or unification of Italy.
Heather Johnson, who received rave reviews for her portrayal of Cinderella in last fall’s La Cenerentola and Beppe in the 2009 production of L’Amico Fritz will play the role of Elizabeth Proctor. Another Sarasota Opera favorite, Sean Anderson, returns to sing Elizabeth’s husband, John Proctor. Mr. Anderson is best known to Sarasota audiences and was highly acclaimed for his roles as Papageno in The Magic Flute and Gabriel Von Eisenstein in the 2006 production of Die Fledermaus. They will be joined by another audience favorite, Jeffrey Tucker, who will sing the role of the Reverend John Hale. Mr. Tucker last appeared with Sarasota Opera in the 2009 season, singing the roles of the Sacristan in Tosca and the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos.
The Crucible, which opens March 5 for six performances, will be directed by Michael Unger whose Sarasota Opera directing credits include Die Fledermaus, La rondine in 2008, and L'amico Fritz. opens March 5. Conducting will be David Neely, who, in addition to his international credits, has conducted Die Fledermaus, Halka (2007), L'amico Fritz, and La Rondine in Sarasota.
2011 Winter Opera Festival
La bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 5 at 4 p.m.
February 8, 16, 19, 24, March 6, 11, 15, and 19 at 8 p.m.
February 13 and 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Sarasota Opera's Winter Opera Festival opens with this beloved work. Is there anything more wonderful than love in Paris? Or more heartbreaking? Puccini’s beautiful score has made this poignant tragedy the most performed in the world.  Tickets: $19 to $120
Don Giovanni  by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 5, 8, 16, 19, 24 and March 6, 11, 15, 19 at 7:30 p.m.
February 13 and 27 at 1:30 p.m.
Aided by his faithful servant Leporello, Don Giovanni adds conquest after conquest to his ever growing list. Three of his victims try to find justice but it takes divine intervention to drag him down to his fiery end. Tickets: $19 to $120
I Lombardi by Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi Cycle
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 26 at 8 p.m.
March 1, 3, 9, and 12 at 7 p.m.
March 6 and 20 at 1:30 p.m.
The Sarasota Opera premiere of an epic opera of warriors, jealousy, and patricide. In this story of two families during the First Crusade, Verdi achieved another one of his early successes. With rousing choruses, beautiful ensembles, and exciting arias, this is an early Verdi opera you won’t want to miss. Tickets: $19 to $120
The Crucible  by Robert Ward
American Classics Series
Sung in English with English supertitles
March 5, 8, 10, and 16 at 8 p.m.
March 13 and 19 at 1:30 p.m.
Based on Arthur Miller’s Tony Award winning play, The Crucible weaves a tale of lust, pride, revenge, and power against a backdrop of the Salem witch trials. Premiered by New York City Opera in 1961, this opera was an immediate audience and critical success. Robert Ward’s powerfully moving score won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.