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Sarasota Opera Launches New Website Dedicated to The Verdi Cycle

February 4, 2016

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


Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is proud to announce the launch of its new website, , dedicated to the company’s 28-year Verdi Cycle. Started in 1989 with a production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, The Verdi Cycle is the company’s commitment to perform all the works of Giuseppe Verdi, both operatic and non-operatic, intended for performance. The Verdi Cycle is due to be completed at the close of the company’s 2016 Winter Festival Season on March 20, 2016, making Sarasota Opera the only company in the world to have performed every note of Giuseppe Verdi.

Features of the website include listings of all of Verdi’s operatic and non-operatic music performed by Sarasota Opera, including production information and photos; testimonial pages for artists who performed in Verdi Cycle productions, as well as audience members who saw Verdi Cycle operas, to share their experience; scholarly resources for Verdi enthusiasts; and even a countdown clock tracking the time left to the completion of the Verdi Cycle.

 “Verdi has been a part of Sarasota Opera’s identity for close to 30 years, and over that time our patrons have experienced Verdi at every stage of his musical life,” says Victor DeRenzi, the company’s artistic director and principal conductor. “We invite anyone who has had any part of the Verdi Cycle, either as a performer, audience member, or even as a casual observer, to join this virtual community of Verdi lovers to relive and recount your experience.”

Sarasota Opera opened the 2016 Winter Festival Season, the largest and one of the most important in the company’s 57-year history, on January 30th with the company premiere of Verdi’s Aida. The season also features Verdi’s rarely seen The Battle of Legnano, opening February 27th, which will mark the final operatic installment of the Verdi Cycle.  In addition, Sarasota Opera will re-mount its critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s comedy Cosi fan tutte and premiere a new production of Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio.

Sarasota Opera was honored by the City of Sarasota on January 30th by renaming the block of Pineapple Avenue stretching from 1st street to Main Street “Verdi Place” in honor of the company’s completion of the Verdi Cycle this season. The ceremony began with a trumpet fanfare from the balcony of the opera house which was followed by Maestro DeRenzi, Richard Russell, and City of Sarasota officials unveiling the new sign to company and community members in attendance. 

The season will culminate with a “Verdi Festival Week” March 15 – 20. The Festival will include continued performances of the two Verdi operas performed this season, Aida and The Battle of Legnano, two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi, an international Verdi Conference, a 28-year retrospective exhibit on the Verdi Cycle, and many more commemorative events. More details forthcoming.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the current season, visit or call the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.  

Based on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is in the midst of 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 and the administrative leadership of Executive Director Richard Russell since 2012. 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