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March 15, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera Announces the 2012 – 2013 Season

2012 Fall Season will include the world premiere of Daron Hagen and
J.D. McClathcy’s Little Nemo in Slumberland
2013 Winter Festival will feature three Sarasota Opera premieres which include
Puccini’s  Turandot; Verdi’s A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno) - his first comedic opera;
and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men.
2012 Fall Season
Little Nemo in Slumberland
(world premiere)
2013 Winter Festival
The Pearl Fishers
(Les Pêcheurs des perles)
A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno) (World Premiere of New Critical Edition)
Of Mice and Men

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce its 2012 – 2013 Fall and Winter Seasons. 

2012 Fall Season
The 2012 Fall Sarasota Opera Season will open with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto  [rih-go-leht-to], based off of Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’Amuse and the opera chosen to be the first performed in the newly renovated opera house when it re-opened in 2008.  The story follows a hunchbacked jester as he tries to shield his daughter Gilda from the evils of the world only to have it unveiled that she is in love with the lascivious Duke of Mantua who has deceived her to win her heart.  Rigoletto will open on October 26, 2012 and run through November 12, 2012. 

In addition, the fall season will include the world premiere performance of Sarasota Youth Opera’s newest commission, Little Nemo in Slumberland , music by Daron Hagen and libretto by J.D. McClatchy. 

Little Nemo in Slumberland will be a Co-Production with the University of Kentucky Opera Theater and will utilize a new leading edge, innovative theater technology, SCRIBE (Self-Contained Rapidly Integratable Background Environment), that was piloted at the University of Kentucky. This technology, which has been successfully used in productions at the University of Kentucky Opera Theater and The Atlanta Opera, will help meet the creative challenge presented by bringing such a fantasy based story to life.  There will be two performances on November 10 and 11, 2012. 

2013 Winter Festival
The 2013 Sarasota Opera Winter Festival will open with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s vocally extravagant final opera Turandot [too-ran-dough] which features some of the composers most glorious music including the famous tenor aria “Nessun Dorma” (None shall sleep). Set in Ancient China, Turandot is based off an ancient Persian fairy tale which tells the story of a beautiful princess who men travelled all over the world to win the heart of by solving three riddles.  Answer incorrectly and lose your head.  Answer correctly and melt the heart of the ice princess Turandot. 

Following Turandot will be much in demand return of Georges Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (Les Pêcheurs de perles [lay peh-share deh peh-rl]), a proven favorite of Sarasota Opera audiences.   Last seen in 2003, The Pearl Fishers features the famously infectious Act I duet for tenor and baritone “Au fond du temple saint”, in which our two heroes, Nadir and Zurga, reaffirm their pact of eternal friendship despite their mutual love for the priestess Leila. 

Sarasota Opera will present Giuseppe Verdi’s second opera A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno) [oon jor-no di ray-no]), Verdi’s second opera and his first comedy.  This will be the world premiere of a new critical edition which uses as its principal source Verdi’s own manuscript.  A King for a Day is based on the play Le faux Stanislas by Alexandre Vincent Pineu-Duval.  A true Verdi rarity, A King for a Day will be the 29th installment in the company’s continuing Verdi Cycle. 

Of this production, Maestro DeRenzi says, “It is part of our artistic vision to present all of Verdi’s rarely performed works along with the more mainstream pieces.  Our audience has come to recognize and appreciate the artistic value of these early works, and we are proud to be one of the only opera companies in the United States to present them.”  2013 will also mark the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth.   

Finally, Sarasota Opera will present Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men as a continuation of the American Classics Series.  Premiered in 1969 at Seattle Opera, Floyd adapted the opera from the novella by John Steinbeck and wrote both the music and libretto himself.  The opera stays faithful to Steinbeck’s story of two workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, struggling for work during the depression era as they pursue their hopes to achieve the American dream of owning their own farm one day.  However, when a hard and cruel world forces them down a different path, George and Lennie are forced to say goodbye to the bright horizon they had envisioned for themselves.

As was done with the first two American Classics Series Operas, the 2011 production of The Crucible and the 2012 production of Vanessa, Sarasota Opera will design a series of education events around this production Of Mice and Men to help familiarize and educate the Sarasota Opera audience about this important work.   

The four productions will run in rotation from February 9 through March 24, 2013.   

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 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