Press Releases

2017 Press Releases

Show All

Sarasota Opera Announces 2016/2017 Season

March 1, 2016

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


Sarasota Opera Announces 2016/2017 Season

2016 Fall Season
Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti
The Secret World of Og by Dean Burry
(Sarasota Youth Opera/American Premiere)

2017 Winter Season
Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giaochino Rossini
Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc
The Love of Three Kings by Italo Montemezzi

Sarasota Opera launches “Sarasota Firsts”initiative

First season in 28 years to not include an opera by Verdi

Sarasota Opera
– Sarasota Opera enters a new chapter as it announces its 2016/2017 season, the first season in 28 years to not include any operas by Giuseppe Verdi. Starting this fall, Sarasota Opera will launch an exciting new venture entitled “Sarasota Firsts” in which the company will produce operas never before seen on the Sarasota Opera House stage. For the 2016/2017 season, Sarasota Opera will present three operas in association with this new series as well as re-mount operas that have been beloved by Sarasota Opera audiences for years.

“Through the Verdi Cycle we were able to introduce our audience to works by Verdi rarely performed anywhere else in the world,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi. “Through the Sarasota Firsts initiative, we will continue bringing Sarasota Opera audiences significant works never heard on our stage.”

2016 Fall Season

Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 28, 30
November 2, 7, 10, 13
A Sarasota First production

Sarasota Opera will open its 9th consecutive fall season with the Sarasota Opera House premiere of Donizetti’s witty and clever opera Don Pasquale . Being dissatisfied with his only heir, Ernesto, Don Pasquale has resolved to marry and produce another heir. Twists and turns ensue as Pasquale’s friend Malatesta assists Ernesto and his beloved Norina with a plan to make them, and Don Pasquale, one happy family.

The Secret World of Og by Dean Burry
Sung in English with English supertitles
November 12, 1:30pm and 7:30pm
A Sarasota Youth Opera production

This fall, the Sarasota Youth Opera will present the American premiere of The Secret World of Og by Canadian composer Dean Burry. Adapted from the popular children’s book by Canadian author Pierre Berton, the story follows a group of siblings who venture into the dark subterranean world of the Og’s to rescue their baby brother and cat. This story has been a favorite with Canadian children since it was first introduced in the 1960’s. 

The opera was commissioned by the Canadian Children’s Opera Company and given its world premiere in 2010. Dean Burry is also the composer of the The Hobbit, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkein, which received two critically acclaimed, sold-out performances by the Sarasota Youth Opera in 2014.

2017 Winter Festival Season

Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 11, 16, 19, 22, 25
March 5, 7, 10, 17, 21, 25

Sarasota Opera’s 58th season will open on February 11, 2017 with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly . Set in Japan around 1900, the story follows a young geisha Cio Cio San, affectionately known as Madama Butterfly, who is swept off her feet by the American Naval Officer, B.F. Pinkerton. Leaving her with promises of returning one day, Butterfly waits faithfully for his return which comes three years later, but with unexpected disappointments and a tragic end. Filled with Puccini’s most expansive melodies, Madama Butterfly is at the top of a very short list of most performed and best loved operas of all time.

The Italian Girl in Algiers by Gioachino Rossini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 18, 21, 23, 26
March 3, 8, 18, 24
A Sarasota First production

Before The Barber of Seville or La Cenerentola came Rossini’s rollicking comedy The Italian Girl in Algiers which makes its Sarasota Opera debut this coming season. Lindoro’s attempts at escape from Mustafà, the Bey of Algiers, have been thwarted and, to top it all off, he is now faced with a hand-me-down bride as his beloved Isabella has gone missing. But a unique turn of events brings Isabella right where she needs to be to save her lost fiancé. And she knows exactly what to do to get them out of this bind.

Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc
Sung in French with English supertitles
March 4, 9, 12, 15, 18, 25
A Sarasota First production

Based on real events and set during the French Revolution’s infamous “Reign of Terror”, Poulenc’s opera Dialogues of the Carmelites tells the story of Blanche de la Force as she goes against the wishes of her aristocratic family and dedicates her life to God’s service by joining a Carmelite order. The revolution threatens to destroy all that is most sacred to the nuns and Blanche’s faith is put to the ultimate test to choose between life or following her sacred calling through to the end.

The Love of Three Kings by Italo Montemezzi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
March 11, 14, 16, 19, 22, 26

One of opera’s most passionate stories has music to match in this early 20th century masterpiece. Forced to marry Manfredo, the son of the man who conquered her country, Princess Fiora’s heart belongs to Avito. The two lovers have been meeting in secret, but they are playing a dangerous game, as the blind King Archibaldo grows suspicious. Last seen at Sarasota Opera in 2003, the rich orchestral lines and expressive vocalism will make for an exciting night of theater. 

Sarasota Opera Concert Series

Fall Opera Showcase
Sunday, November 6, 2016, 1:30pm
Tickets: from $10

This concert will feature the fall opera season artists performing some of opera’s favorite arias and ensembles.

Artists Choice Concert
Sunday, March 19, 2017, 7:30pm
Tickets: from $10

A Sarasota Opera tradition! Enjoy principal and studio artists as they perform their choice of the best of opera and song.

Spring Opera Spectacular
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 7:30pm
Tickets: from $19

All great things must come to an end so let’s make it unforgettable. This concert will feature favorite 2017 Winter Festival Artists performing arias, scenes, and ensembles with the Sarasota Opera Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of Victor DeRenzi.

Subscriptions for the 2016/2017 Season are now available for renewal both online at and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office, and will be available for purchase on March 10th.  Single tickets go on sale online exclusively online at August 1st, 2016 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 6th, 2016. For more information or to secure your subscription for the 2016/2017 season, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Sarasota Opera is in the midst of its 57th consecutive season which is also the final season of the company’s internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle, the company’s commitment to perform every work of Giuseppe Verdi. Sarasota Opera opened its season on January 30th with the Sarasota Opera premiere of Verdi’s glorious Aida followed by Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Verdi’s The Battle of Legnano which marks the final operatic installment of the Verdi Cycle.

Sarasota Opera launched a new website, , dedicated to the company’s 28-year Verdi Cycle. 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 from, artists who performed in Verdi Cycle productions, as well as audience members who saw Verdi Cycle operas, scholarly resources for Verdi enthusiasts; and even a countdown clock tracking the time left to the completion of the Verdi Cycle.

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. The ceremony began with a brass fanfare from the balcony of the opera house which was followed by the unveiling of the new street sign by Maestro DeRenzi and City of Sarasota officials.

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 and the final season of the company’s internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle.  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 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