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May 2, 2012

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Youth Opera’s 2012 Summer Camp

Deadline Extended to Monday, May 7th!


Camp Curriculum to focus on Newest Commissioned Opera

Little Nemo in Slumberland

Sarasota, FL - Enrollment for Sarasota Youth Opera’s 2012 Summer Camp, June 11 – June 29, 2012 has been extended to 5pm Monday, May 7, 2012.  The three-week program will run Monday thru Friday from 9am – 4pm each day at the Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.

Sarasota Youth Opera Summer Camp promotes serious study of all aspects of opera in a structured, but informal atmosphere, offering classes in music, voice, acting, opera appreciation, design, and technical production. The final session will showcase the participants’ work during the program in a performance featuring all campers. 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!”

Youth Opera faculty members include stage director Martha Collins (Carmen, I lombardi alla prima crociata, Madama Butterfly), Apprentice Artist stage director and famed mezzo-soprano RoseMarie Freni (22 year resident artist at New York City Opera, 3 year resident artist at Bayerische Staatsoper/Germany), and mezzo-soprano Nicole Mitchell who was a Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artist in addition to singing the role of Tituba in the 2011 production of The Crucible.  Ms. Mitchell has also sung with the New York Philharmonic and Alabama Symphony as well as at Carnegie Hall and the Tanglewood Music Center. 
This summer 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.  The opera will feature Youth Opera members in lead roles on the Sarasota Opera main stage in full costume, make up and accompanied by a live orchestra.   

No audition 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 7, 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.

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.