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Sarasota Opera Announces 2014/2015 Season

March 25, 2014

Sam Lowry, Communications Officer
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota Opera Announces its 2014/2015 Season

Subscriptions Now on Sale for New Season

2014 Fall Season
Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
The Hobbit by Dean Burry (Sarasota Youth Opera)

2015 Winter Festival Season
Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
The Marriage of Figaro by W.A. Mozart
The Golden Cockerel by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (Sarasota Opera Premiere)
Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere)

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce its 2014 – 2015 Fall and Winter season, one of the grandest seasons in the company's history.  Highlights include the return of some of Sarasota Opera's most popular productions, acclaimed artists, and the Sarasota Opera premieres of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel as well as the Verdi masterpiece Don Carlos in its original form. 

"We are proud to present a 2014-2015 season which embodies all the elements for which we have become world renowned; Familiar operas along with works you won't see anywhere else, in the highest quality productions," says Richard Russell, Executive Director of Sarasota Opera.    

2014 Fall Season

Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 31, November 2, 5, 11, 13, 15
A Sarasota Opera production

The Fall season opens on October 31, 2014  with a revival of Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo.  In true theatrical tradition, a clown must go on with the comedy despite his real life humiliation at his wife's infidelity.  In partnership with the Sarasota Orchestra, this opera features the iconic tenor aria "Vesti la giubba."  Pagliacci will run for 6 performances through November 15th. Tenor Michael Robert Hendrick, who has won critical success for his recent performances as Erik in The Flying Dutchman and Lennie in Of Mice and Men, will return to sing Canio.  Maestro Victor DeRenzi will conduct.

A new addition to the fall season, following each performance audience and artists can mingle at an after-party in the Opera House courtyard (weather permitting). A cash bar will be available.   

The Hobbit by Dean Burry
Sung in English with English supertitles
November 15 at 7:00pm and November 16 at 1:30pm
A Sarasota Youth Opera production

Sarasota Youth Opera, the most comprehensive youth opera program in the United States, will present a remount of its acclaimed production of The Hobbit by Dean Burry on the Sarasota Opera main stage.  Sarasota Youth Opera presented the U.S. premiere of this opera. The prequel to The Lord of the Rings, the opera recounts how the comfort-loving Bilbo Baggins, unwillingly dragged into a heroic quest, accidentally acquires the golden ring of power.

2015 Winter Festival Season


Sarasota Opera's 2009 production of Puccini's Tosca. Photo by Richard Termine

by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 7, 10, 15m, 18, 26
March 3m, 8, 14, 17, 22m, 25, 28m
A Sarasota Opera production

Opening the Sarasota Opera Winter Festival Season on Saturday, February 7th will be Tosca, Giacomo Puccini's powerful melodramma about a tempestuous diva whose jealousy leads to tragedy.  Two of Sarasota Opera's favorite artists  will return to reprise their respective roles from 2009.  Soprano Kara Shay Thomson (Vanessa, Cavalleria rusticana) will return as the volatile opera singer, and tenor Rafael Dávila (Otello, I Lombard alla prima crociata) returns as her lover Cavaradossi. Baritone Mark Walters (Die Fledermaus, Lakme), described by Opera News as "a force to be reckoned with," returns as the sinister Scarpia. Maestro Victor DeRenzi will conduct.

The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 14, 17, 19, 22m, 25
March 10m, 13, 20, 27
A Sarasota Opera production

On Valentines Day, Saturday, February 14th, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro will return to the Sarasota Opera stage. In her efforts to thwart the lecherous advances of the Count Almaviva, Susanna and her fiancée Figaro join the Countess Almaviva, to outwit the countess’ husband.  Soprano Angela Mortellaro (Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Gretel) will sing Susanna and baritone Sean Anderson (Die Fledermaus, Of Mice and Men) will return as Susanna's pursuer Count Almaviva.

The Golden Cockerel by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Sarasota Opera Premiere
Sung in Russian with English supertitles
February 21, 24 and March 8m, 11, 14m, 19
A Sarasota Opera premiere

Saturday, February 21st, will be the Sarasota premiere of The Golden Cockerel by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Based on a story by Pushkin, The Golden Cockerel is the tale of the bumbling King Dodon who enlists the help of a magical Golden Cockerel to protect his country from attack. However, when the King is seduced by the alluring Queen Shemakha, both he and his country meet an unhappy end. Once a favorite show piece for coloratura sopranos like Lily Pons and Beverly Sills, this rarely heard masterpiece by the composer of Scheherazade is a fairy tale filled with exotic and beautiful music.

Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in French with English supertitles
March 7, 12, 15m, 18, 21m, 24
Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera

In the penultimate year of it's acclaimed Verdi Cycle, Sarasota Opera will present Verdi's epic Don Carlos in the original Paris version which premiered in 1867.  Sarasota Opera has previously performed the revised four-act version.  Verdi's powerful drama recounts the ill-fated attraction between Don Carlos and Elisabeth, the wife of his father, King Philip of Spain. Set in Renaissance Spain, and dominated by the inquisition, this powerful drama is one of opera’s great masterpieces.

Tenor Jonathan Burton (Turandot) returns to sing the title role of Don Carlos. Bass-baritone Kevin Short (The Flying Dutchman, A King for a Day) will sing the role of  King Philippe II along with baritone Marco Nisticò (The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto) who returns to sing the role of Rodrigue. Soprano Michelle Johnson, whose career trajectory has taken off since winning the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Élisabeth de Valois. Maestro Victor DeRenzi will conduct.         

Subscriptions for the 2014-2015 Season are on sale now.  Single tickets go on sale online at August 1st, 2014 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 1st, 2014. For more information or to secure your subscription for the 2014/2014 season, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.  

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is approaching its 55th 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 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