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2011 Press Releases

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January 28, 2012

Contact:  Samuel Lowry 
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Youth Opera 

Open Enrollment Through February 2012

Sarasota, FL – Celebrating its 28th year, the Sarasota Youth Opera program, the most comprehensive program of its kind in the United States, will continue to enroll new singers, ages 8 – 18, for the 2012 Winter Season throughout the end of February.  Currently sitting at 56 members, the Sarasota Youth Opera program is growing but there is room for more.  Prospective members may attend any of the weekly rehearsals on Thursdays from 5:00pm – 6:30pm or on Saturdays from 10:00am – 11:30am.  Attending a rehearsal is a great way to see the Sarasota Youth Opera in action as well as meet the Sarasota Youth Opera team; Jesse Martins, Youth Opera Music Director, and Ben Plocher, Youth Opera and Outreach Coordinator.   

Winter/Spring Season
During the Winter Season, the Sarasota Youth Opera will perform outreach concerts throughout the community as well as participate in special performances with the Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artists on March 10, 2012 and Maestro DeRenzi’s 30th Season Gala on March 25, 2012.  This season promises to be particularly exciting as preparations have begun for Sarasota Youth Opera’s latest opera commission, Little Nemo in Slumberland, best described by the composer, Daron Hagen ,as “a short two-act magic opera”. The world premiere will take place in the fall of 2012.  If you think that young people can not sing opera, come see members of the Youth Opera Chorus as the ever so mischievous street Urchins in Bizet's Carmen opening February 11th. 

Sarasota Youth Opera accepts all levels of talent and provides vocal training through its choral and performance-based program under the guidance of Sarasota Opera’s music staff. Tuition is $150 per term and tuition assistance and payment plans are available based on financial need.  The Winter/Spring term began in early January and will end in mid May.

To make an appointment to attend a Sarasota Youth Opera rehearsal, call Ben Plocher at (941) 366-8450, ext. 249.

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is approaching its 53rd consecutive 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 Fall Season featured 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 Samuel 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.