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2011 Press Releases

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March 14, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Youth Opera Announces Open Enrollment for EXPLORE OPERA SUMMER CAMP 2012

Camp curriculum to focus on newest commissioned opera Little Nemo in Slumberland


March 14 - Enrollment is now open for young people ages 8 to 18 for Sarasota Youth Opera’s EXPLORE OPERA 2012 Summer Camp to be held June 11 – June 29, 2012.  The three-week program will run Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.
Campers at EXPLORE OPERA 2012 are introduced to all aspects of opera in a structured, but informal atmosphere, offering classes in singing, acting, opera appreciation, design, and technical production. While all campers attend sessions in these areas, participants are divided into different groups based on age. On the final day of camp, families are invited to join the fun and participate alongside their camper in class. Campers will bring their own lunches, but a daily snack will be provided.
“Our camp’s hands-on approach with not only singing, but all aspects of opera provides a phenomenal opportunity for young performers to really explore” says Youth Opera Coordinator Ben Plocher.  “We are committed to placing our campers in active learning situations with singers, instrumentalists, directors, costume designers, set builders, and other professionals in the theatre world. It’s really more than a camp; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”

EXPLORE OPERA 2012 will be particularly exciting as camp curriculum will focus on Sarasota Youth Opera’s newest commission Little Nemo in Slumberland which will have its world premiere on November 10 and 11, 2012.
No audition or prior experience is necessary to participate. Tuition for the program is $300 per child and a small number of scholarships are available. Registration forms must be postmarked by May 4, 2012.  Before and after camp care is available at no additional charge. 
For more information or to register, please call Ben Plocher, Youth Opera Coordinator, 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.  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.