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Sarasota Opera Announces 12th Performance of "Madama Butterfly"

February 28, 2017

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

From the first downbeat, Giacomo Puccini’s lush, unforgettable score for ‘Madama Butterfly’ held my rapt attention. – Gayle Williams, Herald Tribune

Sarasota Opera opened its 2017 winter season Saturday night with a scenically and vocally beautiful production of Giacomo Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly.’ – June LeBell, The Observer

Sarasota, FL – Due to overwhelming demand, Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce a 12th performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly has been added for Sunday, March 12th at 7:30pm. Since the opera opened on February 11th, every performance has been a sell-out with limited ticket availability for upcoming performances.

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.

Sarasota Opera added a 13th performance of Verdi’s Aida last season. Prior to 2016, the last time the company added a performance to their calendar was the debut of their production of Puccini’s La bohème in 2006.     

Sarasota Opera opened its second production of the season, Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers, on February 18th to wonderful acclaim. Richard Storm of the Herald Tribune wrote, “’Italian Girl’ is cause to laugh out loud at Sarasota Opera” and June LeBell of The Observer said, “Sarasota Opera delivers hilarity in true Rossini fashion.” Sarasota Opera will open its third production, Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, on Saturday, March 4th and Italo Montemezzi’s The Love of Three Kings on Saturday, March 11th.

Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
February 11, 16, 19m, 22, 25, 28
March 5m, 10, 12, 17, 21, 25
A Sarasota Opera production
Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

Cio-Cio San:  Joanna Parisi*
Suzuki:   Laurel Semerdjian
B.F. Pinkerton:  Antonio Corianò*
Conductor:  Victor DeRenzi
Stage Director:  John Basil
Scenic Designer: David P. Gordon
Costume Coordinator: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
*Sarasota Opera debut 


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 recently completed its internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle making it the only company in the world to have performed every work of Giuseppe Verdi. 

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