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April 18, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera Partners and Women’s Exchange, Inc.
Raise Money for Youth Opera!

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera and Women’s Exchange, Inc. have partnered to raise money for Saraosta Youth Opera.  Established in 1962, the Women’s Exchange, Inc. ( ), a non-profit consignment shop, has been working for 50 years to raise money for the arts by donating proceeds from the sale of items sold on consignment.   

On Thursday, April 26th, from 10am – 7pm, anyone is welcome to bring any gently used item or items in good shape, from china and jewelry to gowns and furniture, to the Sarasota Opera House (61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236) which the Women’s Exchange will sell on consignment.  All proceeds earned from the sale of that item will be donated back to the Sarasota Youth Opera program.   Sarasota Opera staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist you with the unloading of your items and give you a receipt acknowledging the donation for tax purposes.   

“This is an exciting partnership and an example of true generosity on behalf of the Women’s Exchange”, says Youth Opera Coordinator Ben Plocher.  “The money raised will help to underwrite tuition scholarships for current and aspiring Youth Opera participants, and will allow us to continue to provide high caliber, accessible musical training for the young singers of the Sarasota/Tampa Bay area.”  

The Women’s Exchange does have a specific list of items they will not accept for consignment as well as special policies on donating furniture.  For more information on those policies, or if you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Simms at (941) 366-8450, ext. 402.

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.

Sarasota Opera just completed their 53rd consecutive season on March 25th to critical acclaim.  The 2011 Fall Season featured Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.  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 run from October 26th through November 12th and will open with Verdi’s Rigoletto and be followed by the world premiere of Little Nemo in Slumberland commissioned for the Sarasota Youth Opera with music by Daron Hagen and words by J.D. McClatchy.  The 2013 Winter Season will open February 9, 2013 and run through March 24, 2013 and will include Puccini’s Turandot, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Verdi’s A King for a Day and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men

Subscriptions for the 2012 – 2013 Fall and Winter Season are now on sale and available by calling (941) 328-1300 or visiting the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue. 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.