Press Releases

2017 Press Releases

Show All

Sarasota Opera Announces New Series "Classic Movies at the Opera House”

The Circus Arts Conservatory to help re-create circus magic at opening showing of “The Greatest Show on Earth”

July 24, 2017

Sam Lowry, Director of Audience Development

                        (941) 328-1322



Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera announces an expansion of their “HD at the Movie House” series entitled “Classic Moves at the Opera House.” Originally designed as a movie house and vaudeville theater, Sarasota Opera is embracing the history of the building by bringing many of the classic films that once played at the theater when they originally premiered.


 “We look forward to letting our audience take a step back in time by experiencing these classic films in the space they were intended to be seen,” says Executive Director Richard Russell. “We hope to both introduce a new audience to these films as well as bring back wonderful memories for those who hold them close to their hearts.”


This inaugural series will consist of five movies ranging in years from 1935-1972 beginning Friday, August 18th and run through September 22nd. Sarasota Opera will join forces with The Circus Arts Conservatory on August 18th for the opening showing of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” re-creating some of the circus magic that was seen around the theater at the original Sarasota premiere of the film on January 31, 1952. Tickets for this new series are only $10 and all showings will begin at 7:30pm.





Classic Movies at the Opera House

The Greatest Show on Earth  (1952)
Friday, August 18, 2017  7:30pm
Sarasota Opera House


A manager struggling to keep his circus afloat during post-war hard times hires a famous aerialist to attract crowds, meanwhile displacing his starring lady love. The Greatest Show on Earth was filmed largely in Sarasota and had its world premiere at the Florida Theatre (now the Sarasota Opera House) (153 minutes)

Starring: Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, James Stewart, and Dorothy Lamour


Singin’ in the Rain  (1952)
Friday, August 25, 2017  7:30pm

Sarasota Opera House


A 1920s silent-film star falls for a spunky chorus girl, much to the dismay of his diva-ish leading lady, in this lighthearted musical spoof of the early days of Hollywood. (103 minutes)

Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, and Millard Mitchell


Casablanca (1942)

Friday, September 1, 2017  7:30pm

Sarasota Opera House



In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

(102 minutes)

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, and Conrad Veidt


A Night at the Opera (1935)

Friday, September 15, 2017  7:30pm

Sarasota Opera House


The Marx Brothers spoof of the opera world, with a two-bit promoter wooing a wealthy dowager and promising to arrange her entrance into high society if she antes up $200,000 as a patron of the arts.

(92 minutes)

Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, and Kitty Carlisle



The Godfather (1972)

Friday, September 22, 2017  7:30pm

Sarasota Opera House


This Oscar winning Best Picture chronicles the epic tale of a 1940's mobster family in New York City where the father builds an organized-crime empire and his three sons, to varying degrees, follow in his footsteps. (175 minutes)

Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, and Robert Duvall


Tickets are $10 and all seating is general admission. Information and tickets can be found online at  or by calling (941) 328-1300. You can also visit the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.



Subscriptions for the 2017/2018 Season are available now both online at and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office. Become a 4 or 5 opera subscriber to maximize the best savings on tickets and to secure the best seats. 


Single tickets, which start at only $19, for the 2017/2018 season go on-sale exclusively online at August 1st, 2017 and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 1st, 2017. For more information on the 2017/2018 season, contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. Ticket prices range from $19 - $125.



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