Press Releases

2011 Press Releases

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June 24, 2011

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322 


Sarasota, FL – Rising opera star, Soprano Kathleen Kim, returns to Sarasota Opera to sing the title role in the 2012 Sarasota Opera production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor .  Ms. Kim was an Apprentice Artist at Sarasota Opera in 2002 and returned as a Studio Artist in 2005.  During the 2010-2011 Season, Ms. Kim appeared as Madame Mao in the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere of Nixon in China, which was broadcast in theaters nationwide via the MET HD program, and reprised her acclaimed portrayal of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos also at the Metropolitan Opera.  In addition, Ms. Kim’s 2010-2011 Season included appearances as The Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte at the Bavarian State Opera, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Poppea in Agrippina at the Boston Lyric Opera.   

“I can’t even describe how excited I am to go back to sing my role debut of Lucia at Sarasota Opera”, says Ms. Kim.  “Lucia has been one of my dream roles since I was a student.  Sarasota Opera performed Lucia di Lammermoor when I was an Apprentice Artist at Sarasota Opera in 2002 and of course I sang in the chorus.  I remember dreaming of singing the title role at every performance.  Sarasota Opera is a very special place for me because it was my first Apprentice Artist program after graduation.  During my time there I learned so much that schools can’t teach – the experience of live theater and being a performer.  Because of my familiarity with the rehearsal process and the number of performances they do, I knew Sarasota Opera would be the perfect place for me to do my first Lucia.  I am so glad I waited!”   

Ms. Kim has been heralded by Opera News as “spectacular”, by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a revelation”, and the Chicago Tribune noted that Ms. Kim “nailed her stratospheric coloratura aria with a precise, penetrating soprano.”

Ms. Kim will be joined on stage by Lee Poulis, last seasons villainous Don Giovanni, as Lucia’s spiteful brother, Enrico.  In addition, Joshua Kohl returns, seen last season as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, as Edgardo and Young-Bok Kim, who was Colline in last season’s La bohème, returns as Raimondo, Lucia’s tutor.  Stage Director, Allison Grant, who directed the 2009 production of Die Zauberflöte, returns to direct and Sarasota Opera favorite Maestro Anthony Barrese will conduct.  Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Lucia di Lammermoor runs from February 18 – March 24, 2012.

Sarasota Opera opens the fall of it’s 2011/2012 Season with Puccini’s tender love story Madama Butterfly starring Soprano Asako Tamura in the title role who last bowed in Sarasota as Amalia in the 2006 production of I masnadieri.  Ms. Tamura has been described as a “first class singing actress” building an international career that has taken her around the world.  Returning after his triumphant turn as Oronte in last season’s I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Rafael Dávila will sing the role of the callous U.S. Naval Officer B.F. Pinkerton, Butterfly’s love.  Mezzo-Soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Butterfly’s maid, Suzuki, and Marco Nisticò returns as American consul Sharpless.  Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Madama Butterfly runs from October 28 through November 15, 2011  

The 2012 Winter Opera Festival opens on February 11, 2012 with a brand new production of Bizet’s fiery Carmen .  Known for her “velvety timbre” and “magnificent presence, both as a singer and as an actress”, Mezzo-Soprano Fredrika Brillembourg will make her Sarasota Opera debut in the title role.  Not seen in Sarasota since 1995, tenor Antonio Nagore will return to the Sarasota Opera stage as the obsessive, love stricken Don José.  Carmen will be performed in French with English supertitles and will run from February 11 through March 24, 2012 

For the first time on the Sarasota Opera stage, Maestro Victor DeRenzi, celebrating his 30th season as Artistic Director, will lead the cast and orchestra in Verdi’s masterpiece Otello which will mark Sarasota Opera’s final five years of the Verdi Cycle ending in 2016.  Rafael Dávila will return to bring his robust and beautiful full lyric tenor voice to the stage in his portrayal of the title role, and Maria D’Amato, last season’s heartbreaking Mimi in La bohème, will portray the deceived yet endlessly faithful Desdemona.  Otello will be performed in Italian with English supertitles and will run from March 3 through March 25, 2012.

Rounding out the 2012 Winter Season will be Samuel Barber’s Vanessa as a continuation of the new American Classics series.  An opera of lyrical and intense beauty, Vanessa weaves a story of lies, secrets and evasion between an aunt and her niece all under an elegant surface.  Kara Shay Thomson, who brought down the house in 2009 as Tosca, returns to sing the title role.  Making their Sarasota Opera debut, rising star, mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, will assume the role as her niece Erika and tenor Scott Piper will sing the role of Anatol, the love interest of both women.  The creative team responsible for the success of last year’s production of The Crucible will return to build Vanessa from the ground up right here in Sarasota including Scenic Designer Michael Schweikardt, Costume Designer Howard Tsvi Kaplan, Lighting Designer Ken Yunker and Wigs and Make-Up Designer Georgianna EberhardDavid Neely returns to conduct and Michael Unger returns to direct.  Vanessa will be sung in English with supertitles projected above the screen and will run from March 10 through March 24, 2012.   

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera just finished its 52nd season. 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 America’s 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 Invitation to Opera performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.
The 2011 Winter Opera Festival recently finished four works in repertory, including two Sarasota Opera premieres. The festival opened with a revival of the highly successful 2006 production of Puccini’s beloved La bohème. Mozart’s Don Giovanni was the second work of the season. The company’s acclaimed Verdi Cycle was continued with a mounting of I Lombardi, one of the composer’s earliest successes. Finally, Sarasota Opera launched a new initiative, American Classics, with a 50th-anniversary production of Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize winning opera The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller’s Tony Award winning play. Commissioned by New York City Opera, it was first performed there in 1961. The Winter Opera Festival concluded on March 20 with the Risorgimento Concert.


The 2011-2012 season will feature Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in the fall. The 2012 Winter festival will include Bizet’s Carmen, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Verdi’s Otello, and Barber’s Vanessa. Subscriptions are on sale by calling (941) 328-1300 or visiting the Sarasota Opera Box Office. Single tickets will go on sale August 1 online ( and September 1 at the Box Office.


Call the Box Office at (941) 328-1300; visit in-person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, in the building next to the Opera House, entrance under the green awning, or go online to 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 N. Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 366-8450