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February 21, 2013

Samuel Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera Announces Newest Star for Upcoming Production of Of Mice and Men

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera held auditions for a dog that is needed for its upcoming production of the opera Of Mice and Men on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

The audition took place at the Sarasota Opera House.   Auditionees and their owners gathered in the Sarasota Opera Courtyard.  Each auditionee was assigned an individual time slot during which they were video taped following commands and interacting with the performers. 

Sarasota Opera is proud to announce the chosen dog is “Pede”, a 13 year old border collie mix, 13 years of age, who is owned by Jean Smith of Arcadia. 


“Pede” will play the role of “Candy’s dog” in Sarasota Opera’s production of Carlisle Floyd’s  Of Mice and Men

The dog is described by the characters in the opera as a “good herding dog”.  The dog is also described as old, ragged, and slow.  In the opera, the dog belongs to the character of “Candy”, who will be sung by bass Andrew Gangestad.  As the Act I synopsis reads:

A furor erupts in the bunkhouse over Candy’s old smelly dog, with Carlson and the ranch-hands demanding that the dog be shot rather than remain in the bunkhouse.  Candy protests, but is eventually overwhelmed by the shouts of the men, and Carlson takes the dog outside and shoots him.”   

Pede has already joined the rehearsal process and, according to stage manager Francesca MacBeth, “is doing a fantastic job!”

Performances for Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men begin on March 9th and run through March 23rd.  Tickets are available online at or by calling the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300. 

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is approaching its 54th 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 2013 Winter Season opened on February 9, 2012 with Puccini’s Turandot followed by Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Verdi’s A King for a Day and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men.  Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2012 – 2013 Winter Season are now on sale online at or calling the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.

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.

Sarasota Opera 61 N. Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236 (941) 366-8450