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Sarasota Opera to Present Two Concerts in Partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum

October 22, 2015

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

Sarasota Opera to Present Two Concerts in Partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum

Sarasota, FL – In partnership with the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, Sarasota Opera will present two concerts entitled “Forbidden Music—Works Banned by the Nazis.” The two performances of “Forbidden Music” will take place at the Sarasota Opera House on Saturday, November 7th at 8:00 p.m., and will be repeated in Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center in Tampa on Sunday, November 8th at 3:00 p.m. The dates were selected to coincide with the commemoration of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass,” which took place in November, 1938. These concerts have been underwritten by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

“Prior to WWII, Jewish artists were at the very center of cultural life in Germany but as the Third Reich rose in power, the music of many well known composers was ultimately banned,” says Richard Russell, Executive Director of Sarasota Opera. “We are grateful to the Florida Holocaust Museum for partnering with us to design a series that will be both musically enlightening and educational.” 

The concerts will feature works banned as part of the Nazi campaign against “Entartete Kunst” (degenerate art), a label that was originally applied to the visual arts and later expanded to music, poetry and theater. Among the composers represented, will be Felix Mendelssohn, George Gershwin, and Gustav Mahler, and Erich Korngold. The program will feature songs, arias, and ensembles linked together through a narration developed in collaboration with the Florida Holocaust Museum.

In addition to the concerts, the collaboration will include a talk and panel discussion following the theme of antisemitism:

On November 5th at 5:30pm Hava Holzhauer, Florida Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, will offer a talk focused on antisemitism in Europe leading up to the Holocaust, comparing and contrasting it with antisemitism today in Europe and in the United States.

Following Ms. Holzhauer’s talk, there will be a facilitated community conversation with a panel discussion about contemporary antisemitism worldwide and locally on Thursday, November 19th at 5:30pm. Both events are free and will take place at the Sarasota Opera House Kamlet Library.

Forbidden Music – Works banned by the Nazis
November 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Sarasota Opera House
Ticket Price: $10 - $35
Premium Seating: $180 which includes prime seating and a V.I.P reception prior to the concert.
To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit  

November 8, 2015, 3:00 pm
Ferguson Hall at Straz Center, Tampa
Ticket Price: $10 - $45
Premium Seating: $180 which includes prime seating and a V.I.P. reception after the concert.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Straz Center Box Office at (813) 229-7827 or visit .

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is approaching its 57th 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