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Sarasota Opera announces 13th performance of AIDA

February 2, 2016

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

“Whether you’ve seen it once or a hundred times, this is a production worth attending. In every way, it’s worthy of the world-wide attention the Verdi Cycle is getting for the Sarasota Opera.”
 ̶ June LeBell, The Observer on Aida

“Definitely worth the wait… The opening night performance achieved a very high level of excellence, clearly spotlighting Sarasota Opera’s position as an important regional company.”
 ̶ Richard Storm, Herald Tribune on Aida

Sarasota, FL – Due to overwhelming demand, Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce an additional performance of the company’s production of Verdi’s Aida has just been added to its current season calendar. Aida, one of opera’s most beloved tales of the tragic love triangle between a stunning slave, a vengeful princess, and a great warrior, opened Sarasota Opera’s 2016 Winter Festival Season on January 30th to critical acclaim. Originally set to run for 12 performances, a 13th performance has been added for Thursday, March 10th at 7:30pm.

The last time the company added a performance to their calendar was the debut of their production of La bohème by Giacomo Puccini in 2006.    

“We are thrilled the community has embraced this production so enthusiastically,” says Richard Russell, Executive Director. “I can not imagine a better way to commemorate the final season of the Verdi Cycle but to have to add more Verdi.”

Sarasota Opera was recently honored by the City of Sarasota 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. 

Since 1989, Sarasota Opera has been committed to performing all of the works, both operatic and non-operatic, of Giuseppe Verdi. At the completion of the Verdi Cycle on March 20, 2016, Sarasota Opera will be the only company in the world to have performed every work of Giuseppe Verdi. The final week of the 2016 Winter Festival Season will be a dedicated Verdi Festival week. In addition to the new productions of Aida and The Battle of Legnano, Sarasota Opera will present two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi, an international Verdi Conference, a 28 year retrospective exhibit on the Verdi Cycle, as well as many other special events.

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
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

The King of Egypt: Jeffrey Beruan
Amneris:  Leann Sandel-Pantaleo*
Aida:   Michelle Johnson
Radames:  Jonathan Burton
Ramfis:   Young Bok Kim
Amonasro:  Marco Nisticò
High Priestess:  Mary-Hollis Hundley•
The Messenger:  Matthew Vickers•

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

* Sarasota Opera debut
• Sarasota Opera Studio Artist

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. 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