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February 27, 2013

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera House to open as a “Donor Giving Station” for the 2013 36 Hour Giving Challenge March 5th and 6th!

Sarasota, FL – At 6:30am on Tuesday, March 5, Sarasota Opera House will open as a “Donor Giving Station” to those wishing to give to the 2013 36 Hour Giving Challenge.  Sarasota Opera will have three computer stations set up in the Opera House for those wanting to give during the Giving Challenge.  Sarasota Opera staff will be on hand throughout the day to assist in any way necessary.   

In addition, Sarasota Opera will provide refreshments, periodic raffles, and three lobby concerts at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm featuring Sarasota Opera artists.

“We are excited to be able to offer this service to our patrons”, says Richard Russell, Executive Director of Sarasota Opera.  “We want to ensure no one misses the chance to support the organizations they love through this rare and special giving opportunity.”    

The Sarasota Opera House will remain open on March 5th until midnight and re-open again at 9am on Wednesday, March 6, for the duration of the Challenge.

For those wondering if they can donate ahead of March 5th, Sarasota Opera has created an option for them as well!  Giving Challenge donors can call Rachel Assi, Individual Giving Officer at Sarasota Opera, at (941) 366-8450, ext. 253 anytime between now and March 4th.  Rachel will take all their information and Sarasota Opera will input their donation on March 5th!   

The 36-Hour Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation, with support from sponsors Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation, Charlotte Community Foundation and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.     

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