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2011 Press Releases

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March 28, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera Ranked 2nd Most Popular Attraction in Sarasota

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is ranked the #2 most popular attraction in Sarasota, second only to Siesta Key Beach, according to   As of March 28, 2012, Sarasota Opera has received a total of 36 reviews, 30 of which rank the company as “Excellent”, the best rating a company can receive on, while the remaining 6 reviews rank the company as “Very Good”.  As of January 3, 2012, Sarasota Opera had only received two reviews on the popular travel website on which the company has been listed since 2008.  However, thanks to a sudden influx of positive reviews, Sarasota Opera climbed from the 41st position to the number two position.

The geographic demographic of the people who made comments is broad.  Reviewers that made comments seemed to stem from 7 different communities in Florida, 11 different states and several different countries including France, Switzerland, Japan and Canada.

“What this illustrates is that people are traveling to Sarasota, FL and finding more than just a beach” says Sam Lowry, Communications Officer with Sarasota Opera.  “This is not only a testament to the high quality of arts that exist in Sarasota, this is also validation that Sarasota continues to evolve into a multi-dimensional destination location for travelers worldwide.  People can not only enjoy beautiful scenery, they can leave the beach and enjoy artistic performances that are on par with organizations based in the large metropolitan areas they are traveling from.”     

Some of the comments written on are the following:

  • “Wonderful! I live in NY part of the time and this Opera House is better than going to the Met.  Loved every opera I attended!”
  • “Superb productions presented in a beautiful restored historic opera house and attended by knowledgeable packed audiences.”
  • “Opera Lover's heaven!  Beautiful theater, great sound, tremendous performance, beautiful costumes, great orchestra.”

On March 25, 2012, Sarasota Opera completed their 53rd consecutive season with critically acclaimed productions of Madama Butterfly in the fall followed by Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor, Otello and Samuel Barber’s Vanessa in the Winter. 


Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera just completed 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 2011-2012 Season featured Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in the fall.  The 2012 Winter Festival included Bizet’s Carmen (opéra-comique version with
spoken dialogue), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Verdi’s Otello, and Barber’s Vanessa

The 2012 Fall Season will feature Verdi’s Rigoletto and the world premiere of the newly commissioned Little Nemo in Slumberland in the fall of 2012.  The Winter 2013 Season will include Puccini’s Turandot, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles), Verdi’s A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno) and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men

Subscriptions for the 2012-2013 Season are now on sale by calling the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visiting in person at 61 North
Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.  Single tickets will go on sale August 1st online ( and September 4th 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.