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Sarasota Opera Announces Casting for 2015/16 Season

July 28, 2015

Sam Lowry, Director of Audience Development
(941) 328-1322
slowry@sarasotaopera.org

Sarasota Opera Announces Casting for 2015/2016 Festival Season

Single Tickets on sale online Saturday, August 1st

Sarasota Opera to complete 28 year Verdi Cycle in 2016 Season

2015 Fall Season
La bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Brundibár by Hans Krása

2016 Winter Opera Festival
Aida 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, FL – Sarasota Opera is proud to announce casting for the 2015-2016 fall and winter season, truly the most climactic in the company’s 57 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, the company will present Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio , and Mozart’s comedic Così fan tutte .

“This is a landmark season for the company and I think we have a wonderful line-up of artists for this important event,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor at Sarasota Opera. “We are happy to bring back many of the talented singers well-known to our audience as well as welcome new artists to our stage.”

At the close of the Verdi Cycle on March 20, 2016, Sarasota Opera will be the only company in the world to have performed every note of Giuseppe Verdi intended for performance that is currently availible. Sarasota Opera will close the Cycle with a “Verdi Festival Week” March 15 – 20, 2016 which will include performances of both Verdi operas, two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi, an international Verdi Conference, and many more commemorative events.

Single tickets for the 2015/16 Fall and Winter Festival season go on sale exclusively online Saturday, August 1st.  Single tickets will be available for purchase through the Sarasota Opera Box Office on Tuesday, September 1st.

 

2015 Fall Season

La bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 30, November 1, 4, 10, 12, 15m, 17, 2015
A Sarasota Opera production

Starting off the season in the fall, Sarasota Opera will re-mount its production of one of 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’ jokes and prank, and feel the poet’s broken heart as he realizes his lover is fatally ill. This is truly the perfect opera for newcomers to Opera.

Soprano Jessica Rose Cambio and tenor Martín Nusspaumer, both enjoying international careers, will make their respective Sarasota Opera debuts as the ill fated lovers Mimì and Rodolfo. Soprano Angela Mortellaro (Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Gretel) returns to sing the role of the flirty Musetta and baritone Craig Irvin, also making his company debut, will sing Marcello. Stephanie Sundine returns to direct and Victor DeRenzi will conduct. 
   
Brundibár by Hans Krása
Sung in English with English supertitles
November 14, 2016 at 1:30pm and 7:30pm
A Sarasota Youth Opera production

Sarasota Youth Opera, currently the most comprehensive youth opera program in the United States, will present Brundibár by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása. Performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII, this allegory 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.

Jesse Martins, Sarasota Youth Opera Music Director, will conduct and Martha Collins (The Hobbit, Little Nemo in Slumberland) will direct.

 

2016 Winter Opera Festival

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, 2016
A Sarasota Opera premiere/Verdi Cycle Production

One of opera’s most beloved tales of the tragic love triangle between a stunning slave, a vengeful princess, and a great warrior will make its Sarasota Opera debut in a new production opening the season on January 30th. Soprano Michelle Johnson (Élisabeth in Don Carlos) will return to Sarasota Opera in the title role having previously won praise for her performances of the Ethiopian princess at Glimmerglass Opera and Opera Santa Barbara. Mezzo-soprano Leann Sandel-Pantaleo, whose career has taken her to La Scala, Houston Grand Opera, and the Berlin Staatsoper, will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Amneris. Tenor Jonathan Burton (Don Carlos, Turandot) will make his role debut as Radamès, Marco Nisticò (Don Carlos, Rigoletto) will sing Amonasro, the King of Ethiopia, Young Bok Kim (Don Carlos, Jérusalem) will sing  the High Priest Ramfis, and Jeffrey Beruan (Jérusalem, Il trovatore) will sing the King of Egypt. This new production will be the largest in Sarasota Opera’s history.  

Stage Director Stephanie Sundine returns to direct and Victor DeRenzi will conduct.


Cosi fan tutte
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 6, 9, 11, 14m, 17, 21m, 26
March 4, 12, 2016
A Sarasota Opera production

Così fan tutte literally means “All women do this.” Two naïve young soldiers are compelled to pull a prank on their brides-to-be, and put their faithfulness to the test. Following her appearance this fall as Musetta in La bohème, Angela Mortellaro will return to sing the role of the scheming maid Despina and native Italian bass Stefano de Peppo (A King for a Day, La Cenerentola) will sing Don Alfonso. The four lovers in the story will be sung by Jennifer Townshend (Don Carlos) as Fiordiligi, Shirin Eskandani (Sarasota Opera debut) as Dorabella, Heath Huberg (Jérusalem, The Pearl Fishers) as Ferrando, and Corey Crider (A King  for a Day) as Guglielmo.  Italian conductor Marcello Cormio (The Barber of Seville) returns to conduct and Kathleen Smith Belcher, who has served as stage director at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera, makes her company directorial debut.

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 new Sarasota Opera production

Sub-titled “The Triumph of Married Love,” Beethoven’s only opera tells the story of Leonore who disguises herself as the young man, Fidelio, to save her beloved husband, Florestan, from prison. Her undying love and perseverance ultimately saves him from certain death.

This opera, last performed at Sarasota Opera in 1995, will have many of Sarasota Opera’s favorite artists. Kara Shay Thomson (Tosca, Vanessa) returns to sing the role of Leonore and Michael Robert Hendrick (Pagliacci, Of Mice and Men) will sing the role of her husband Florestan.  The cast also includes Sean Anderson (The Marriage of Figaro, Of Mice and Men) as Don Pizarro, Harold Wilson (The Flying Dutchman) as Rocco, and Jeffrey Beruan (Jérusalem, Il trovatore) as Don Fernando. Returning to the podium after a triumphant debut of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel last season will be Ekhart Wycik and stage director Tom Diamond (The Flying Dutchman, The Golden Cockerel) will return to direct.

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 Sarasota Opera’s Verdi Cycle. As a nation struggles to break away from foreign oppresion, love for the same woman tests the friendship of two warriors as honor calls them into battle. Described as possessing a soprano that is both “gleaming and glorious” soprano Jennifer Black will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Lida, the source of conflict between the two warriors. Arrigo, Lida’s former lover thought dead, will be sung by Martín Nusspaumer (La bohème), and Rolando, Lida’s husband, will be sung by Todd Thomas (Tosca, Attila). Together with Verdi’s monumental Aida, this tale of love, broken friendship, and war will help close the Verdi Cycle. 

A new production, The Battle of Legnano will be directed by Martha Collins (Tosca, Jérusalem) and conducted by Victor DeRenzi.

Subscriptions for the 2015-2016 Season are on sale now.  Single tickets go on sale online at   www.sarasotaopera.org 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.          


La bohème by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 30, November 1m, 4, 10, 12, 15m, 17, 2015
A Sarasota Opera production
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

Artists:
Mimì:   Jessica Rose Cambio*
Musetta:  Angela Mortellaro
Rodolfo:  Martín Nusspaumer*
Marcello:  Craig Irvin*

Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  Stephanie Sundine
Scenic Designer: David P. Gordon
Costume Coordinator: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

* Sarasota Opera debut


Brundibár by Hans Krása
Sung in English with English supertitles
November 14, 2015 at 1:30pm and 7:30pm
A Sarasota Youth Opera production

Artists:   
Sarasota Youth Opera members

Conductor:  Jesse Martins
Stage Director:  Martha Collins
Scenic Designer: Jeffrey W. Dean
Costume Designer: B. G. Fitzgerald
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker


Aida  by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
January 30, February 4, 7m, 10, 20m, 23, 28,
March 2, 5, 13m, 15, 19, 2016
A Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera
Opening Night performance begins at 7pm
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

Artists:
The King of Egypt: Jeffrey Beruan
Amneris:  Leann Sandel-Pantaleo*
Aida:   Michelle Johnson
Radames:  Jonathan Burton
Ramfis:   Young Bok Kim
Amonasro:  Marco Nisticò

Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  Stephanie Sundine
Scenic Designer: David P. Gordon
Costume Coordinator: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker
 

Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 6, 9, 11, 14m, 17, 21m, 26,
March 4, 12, 2016
A Sarasota Opera production
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm
The March 12th performance will begin at 8pm

Artists:
Fiordiligi:  Jennifer Townshend
Dorabella:  Shirin Eskandani*
Guglielmo:  Corey Crider
Ferrando:  Heath Huberg
Despina:  Angela Mortellaro
Don Alfonso:  Stefano de Peppo

Conductor:  Marcello Cormio
Stage Director:  Kathleen Smith Belcher*
Scenic Designer: David P. Gordon
Costume Designer: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

* Sarasota Opera debut


Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven
Sung in German with English supertitles
February 13, 18, 24, 28m,
March 1, 5m, 11, 2016
A Sarasota Opera production
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

Artists:
Don Fernando:  Jeffrey Beruan
Don Pizarro:  Sean Anderson
Florestan:  Michael Robert Hendrick
Leonore:  Kara Shay Thomson
Rocco:   Harold Wilson
Marzelline:  Vanessa Isiguen•
Jaquino:  TBD

Conductor:  Eckhart Wycik
Stage Director:  Tom Diamond
Scenic Designer: Michael Schweikardt
Costume Designer: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

• Sarasota Opera Studio Artist


The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 27 March 3, 6m, 8, 12m, 16, 18, 2016
Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

Artists:
Federico Barbarossa: Young Bok Kim
Rolando:  Todd Thomas
Lida:   Jennifer Black*
Arrigo:   Martìn Nusspaumer
Marcovaldo:  Harold Wilson

Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  Matha Collins
Scenic Designer: Jeffrey W. Dean
Costume Coordinator: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Ken Yunker

*Sarasota Opera debut

 

ABOUT SARASOTA OPERA
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
  www.sarasotaopera.org