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Sarasota Opera Announces it's 2015/2016 Season

February 5, 2015

Sam Lowry, Director of Audience Development
(941) 328-1322

2015 Fall Season
La bohème
 by Giacomo Puccini
Brundibár by Hans Krása (Sarasota Youth Opera)

2016 Winter Festival Season
 by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere)
Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven
The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere)

Sarasota Opera to complete Verdi Cycle in 2016 Season

First company in the world to have performed
the entire canon of Verdi’s music

Sarasota Opera to close 2016 season with week long “Verdi Festival”

Sarasota Opera will present two concerts in
partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is proud to announce its plans for the 2015-2016 fall and winter season, the most climactic in the company’s 56 year history. The season will feature the final two installments of the 28 year Verdi Cycle – The Battle of Legnano and Aida- in a grand spectacle of music, vocal prowess, awe-inspiring choruses, sumptuous scenery, and luxurious costumes. In addition, Sarasota Opera will present Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, and Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Sarasota Opera will host a “Verdi Festival” March 14 – 20, 2016, which will include performances of both Verdi operas, Aida and The Battle of Legnano, as well as two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi. The 2016 season and Verdi Cycle will conclude with Sarasota Opera’s annual Verdi Concert on March 20, 2016. 

Scenic Design for Act III of Aida by David P. Gordon

“Through the Verdi Cycle, our audience has discovered that Verdi is a composer worth knowing at almost every level of his development,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi, artistic director and principal conductor. “All of his works deserve to be performed and they all work best when they are experienced live in a theater. We are proud to be the only company in the world to have performed all his works.”

Executive Director Richard Russell echoes Maestro DeRenzi’s thoughts on the upcoming season. “This is a landmark year for Sarasota Opera,” says Mr. Russell. “The Verdi Cycle has been the most important artistic initiative for the company in the past 28 years and its completion is something we could not have accomplished without the support of our patrons.”

2015 Fall Season

La bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 30, November 1,, 4, 10, 12, 15m, 17
A Sarasota Opera production

Starting off the season in the Fall, Sarasota Opera will present Puccini’s most beloved opera—La bohème. Relive Mimì and Rodolfo’s first encounter, walk through Paris’ Latin Quarter with the two lovers, and celebrate Christmas Eve at the Cafè Momus. You’ll laugh in great fun as the four friends’ joke and prank, and feel the pain of the poet’s broken heart as he realizes his lover’s impending demise. This is the perfect work for newcomers as well as an opera worth seeing over and over.
Brundibár by Hans Krása
Sung in English with English supertitles
November 14 at 1:30pm and 7:30pm
A Sarasota Youth Opera production

Sarasota Youth Opera, the most comprehensive youth opera program in the United States, will present Brundibár by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása. Originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII, this allegorical tale store has three heroes—a sparrow, a cat and a very wise dog—helping Annette and Little Joe raise the money needed to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibár.

2016 Winter Festival Season

Aida   by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
January 30
February 4, 7m, 10, 20, 23, 28
March 2, 5, 13m, 15, 19
A Sarasota Opera premiere/Verdi Cycle Production

One of opera’s most beloved tales of the mythic love triangle between a slave, a vengeful princess, and a great warrior will make its Sarasota Opera debut opening the season on January 30th.  Conducted by Victor DeRenzi, staged by Stephanie Sundine and with new sets by David P. Gordon, this opera features arias such as “Celeste Aida” and “O patria mia.” This is truly grand opera at its grandest!

Cosi fan tutte
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 6, 9, 11, 14m, 17, 21m, 26
March 4, 12
A Sarasota Opera production

Così fan tutte literally means “All women do this.” Two young soldiers are convinced to pull a prank on their brides-to-be, and put the women’s faithfulness to the test. Mozart’s enthralling comedy and masterful score will lighten your heart and make for an evening of great fun.


Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven
Sung in German with English supertitles
February 13, 18, 24, 28m
March 1, 5, 11
A Sarasota Opera production

Sub-titled The Triumph of Married Love, Beethoven’s only opera tells the story of Leonore—a faithful wife—who disguises herself as a young man and adopts the name Fidelio to save her beloved husband, Florestan, from prison by a ruthless tyrant. Her undying love and perseverance saves him from certain death.

The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 27
March 3, 6m, 8, 12m, 16, 18
Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera

Opening on February 27, 2016, Verdi’s The Battle of Legnano will be the final opera presented as part of the Verdi Cycle. As a nation struggles to break away from Barbarossa’s grip, love for the same woman will test the friendship of two warriors as honor calls them into battle. Together with Verdi’s monumental Aida, this tale of love, broken friendship, and war will help close the Verdi Cycle.        


  Sarasota Opera Concert Series

Forbidden Music – Works banned by the Nazis
November 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Sarasota Opera House
November 8, 2015, 3:00 pm
Ferguson Hall at Straz Center, Tampa

Jewish artists were at the very center of cultural life in Germany in the 1930s, but as the Third Reich was rising, their art became increasingly isolated, and ultimately forbidden. In partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, this concert features music by composers who were banned by the Nazis.


Artists Choice Concert
March 9, 2016, 7:30 pm
Sarasota Opera House

A Sarasota Opera tradition! Enjoy principal and studio artists as they perform their choice of the best of opera and song.


The Young Verdi
March 17, 2016, 7:30 pm
Sarasota Opera House

He is known as the preeminent opera composer of the 19th century, and regarded by many as the reigning master of opera of all time. But before all the fame, the young Giuseppe was a talented man with dreams and aspirations. Meet the young Verdi in this concert with music composed before his first opera, Oberto. This concert will be part of the Verdi Festival week and include recently discovered music.


The Verdi Concert
March 20, 2016 4:00 pm
Sarasota Opera House

Closing The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Season, hear one of Verdi’s final works – the Te Deum. In addition, for the delight of every Verdi aficionado, this season’s Verdi Concert will also feature favorite arias, ensembles, and choruses from his most famous operas. This concert will be part of the Verdi Festival week.


Subscriptions for the 2015-2016 Season will go on sale February 16, 2015 in the Sarasota Opera Box Office.  Single tickets go on sale online exclusively at August 1st, 2015 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 1st, 2015. For more information or to secure your subscription for the 2015/2016 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 56th 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