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2011 Press Releases

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October 26, 2011

Ben Plocher


Youth Opera Coordinator

(941) 366-8450, ext. 249

Sarasota Opera to Host an Open Casting Call for the

CARMEN Children’s Chorus

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is hosting an open casting call to offer the opportunity to children, ages 8 and up, to participate in the Children’s Chorus of the Winter 2012 production of Bizet’s Carmen on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:45pm – 7:45pm in the Pavilion building adjacent to the Sarasota Opera House.   Acceptance is based off audition and availability.  Selected singers will be given the opportunity to perform on the Sarasota Opera mainstage in full costume and make-up alongside professional opera singers.  Availability days (minimal), evenings and weekends is required however rehearsals and performances are not daily. 

Sarasota Opera is seeking children who are:

·        Ages 8 and up

·        Ideal height is no taller than 5 feet, 5 inches but other heights will be considered

·        Disciplined and can quickly follow directions

·        Note:  girls must be willing to dress as a boy


At the audition, Maestro Jesse Martins, Youth Opera Music Director, will first teach the group an excerpt from the children’s chorus part in Carmen and then listen to each singer individually.  Callbacks with Maestro Victor DeRenzi, Artistic Director, will be held on Monday, November 14 th at 5:30pm.  Music rehearsals will begin in December and continue until staging rehearsals start on January 14th, 2012.  There will be a total of 12 performances from February 2nd through March 24th.  Two performances will be weekday matinees.  Please visit for a complete listing of performances.

If you would like your child to be considered for this unique opportunity, RSVP to the Youth Opera Coordinator via email or at 941-366-8450, ext. 249.  


What:                    Open Call for Sarasota Opera 2012 Winter Season Children’s Choruses


When:                   Tuesday, November 3, 2011 at 6:45pm. 

Callbacks will be on Monday, November 14 th at 5:30pm with Maestro DeRenzi


Where:                 Pavilion Building adjacent to the Sarasota Opera House

61 North Pineapple Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34236


Contact:               Ben Plocher, Youth Opera & Outreach Coordinator

                                (941) 366-8450, ext. 249





Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera just finished its 52 nd 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 2011-2012 season will feature Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in the fall. The 2012 Winter Festival will include Bizet’s Carmen (opéra-comique version with spoken dialogue), 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 went on sale August 1st online ( ) and September 1st in the Box Office.


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