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2011 Press Releases

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June 26, 2012

Samuel Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322


Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce the appointment of David Walker, internationally known countertenor whose 17 year performance career took him to many of opera's greatest stages, as the Associate Director of Development for Sarasota Opera effective immediately.    

Mr. Walker joins Sarasota Opera from his position of Associate Director of Philanthropy for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, FL
where he was a key member of their capital campaign team and assisted in securing $8 million in new individual and institutional donations.  He has also worked in development and marketing with Fort Worth Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sarasota Opera during the Winter 2010 Season, as well as served as a consultant for several national arts organizations.  He has been a guest lecturer on the business of opera and was
invited to serve as a guest speaker/panelist for the 2012 Opera America Conference, the annual conference of administrative professionals from opera companies nationwide.

Mr. Walker is a world renowned countertenor and enjoyed a 17 year performance career performing at some of the most prestigious opera houses in the
world including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and the English National Opera
in London.  He appears on several CDs and DVDs, and has won many awards including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Australian Helpmann Award, and the Florida Grand Opera Competition. 

“Having previously worked with Sarasota Opera during its 2010 Winter Season, I am thrilled to once again work with such a talented and caring group of people”, says Mr. Walker.  “The company and its incredibly supportive community made a strong impact on me, and I feel fortunate to be returning to this opera family!”

His primary responsibilities will include overseeing the Special Events and Grants Departments, the Single and Double Co-Producer major individual giving programs, and the Verdi Circle individual giving program.

Mr. Walker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Engineering from Lafayette College, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance with a certificate in Opera Performance from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Arts Administration and a Master of Business Administration with an Arts Administration focus from the College-Conservatory of Music and University of Cincinnati respectively.          

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 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), a continuation of our Verdi Cycle to be complete in 2016, and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, a continuation of our American Classics Series. 

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.