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Pineapple Avenue to be re-named "Verdi Place"

January 25, 2016

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


Sarasota, FL – The City of Sarasota and Sarasota Opera would like to announce that the block of Pineapple Avenue stretching from 1st Street to Main Street will be re-named “Verdi Place” in honor of Sarasota Opera’s completion of the Verdi Cycle during the 2016 Winter Festival Season.
Saturday, January 30th at 5:30pm, Sarasota Opera will commemorate the opening of the 2016 Winter Festival Season with the playing of a Verdi Trumpet Fanfare from the Opera House balcony. Immediately following the fanfare, there will be an unveiling ceremony for the honorary street re-naming just before Sarasota Opera opens its doors for the opening night of Verdi’s Aida.  

“The cultural arts are a significant part of the Sarasota community and one of the reasons why people want to live here and visit our city,” said City Manager Tom Barwin.  “To complete the “Verdi Cycle” by performing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi since 1989 is a notable achievement.  And, the City is proud to help celebrate the Opera’s accomplishment by temporarily dedicating a portion of Pineapple Avenue as “Verdi Place”.”

“We are grateful to the City of Sarasota for the support and enthusiasm they have shown Sarasota Opera over the years as we have worked to complete the Verdi Cycle,” says Executive Director Richard Russell. “This special honor only reinforces that fact that Sarasota is truly Verdi’s American home.”

What:  Pineapple Avenue to be named “Verdi Place”
Date:  Saturday, January 30, 2016
Time:  5:30pm
Location: Sarasota Opera House
              61 N. Pineapple Avenue
              Sarasota, FL 34236

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 note of Giuseppe Verdi intended for performance. 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. More details forthcoming.

Sarasota Opera, fondly known as "Verdi's American Home", enters its 57th consecutive season of bringing world class opera to the southwest gulf coast.  Consistently garnering international attention as one of the few places to experience rarely performed operatic works, Sarasota Opera continues to distinguish itself as one of the premiere opera companies in the United States by finding innovation through tradition. The 2015-2016 festival season includes Puccini’s La bohème, Verdi’s Aida, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, and Verdi’s The Battle of Legnano completing Sarasota Opera's Verdi Cycle, the company's commitment to performing all the works of Verdi by 2016.

Sarasota Opera makes its home in the historic Sarasota Opera House which has been referred to as “one of America’s finest venues for opera” by the prestigious Musical America.  Originally built in 1926 as the A.B. Edwards Theater, the building was purchased by the opera company in 1979 and officially raised its curtain as the Sarasota Opera House in 1984.  From 2007-2008, the building underwent a $20-million top-to-bottom renovation and restoration.  The intimate scale of the theater (with 1,119 seats) and its excellent acoustics make it the perfect place to experience the magic of opera.

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