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Sarasota Opera Announces Cast Change for Fall Opera

Tenor Andrew Surrena steps in to the role of Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata

October 24, 2017

Contact: Sam Lowry, Director of Audience Development

                   (941) 328-1322




Sarasota, FL – Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi have announced that tenor Andrew Surrena will return to Sarasota Opera this season to sing the role of Alfredo in Sarasota Opera’s fall production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, opening Friday, November 3rd. David Guzman, who was originally scheduled to sing the role, has withdrawn from the production due to illness. 


Mr. Surrena, who last appeared in both Aida and Fidelio during the 2016 Winter Festival Season at Sarasota Opera, recently performed the lead tenor role in the world premiere of Voir Dire by Matthew Peterson and the role of Tonio in La fille du régiment at Opera North. Other recent performances include Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro at Central City Opera and Sam Kaplan in Street Scene at Seagle Music Colony. Additional roles include Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, the title role in Albert Herring, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and Macheath in The Three Penny Opera. This past winter, he was a winner in the Houston division of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.


“We are happy to welcome Andrew back to Sarasota Opera,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi. “We are grateful he is able to step into this role on such short notice.”     


La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
November 3, 5, 8, 14, 16, 19, 21


Sarasota Opera will open its 10th fall season with Verdi’s La traviata,  last seen in 2009. Violetta, a famed Parisian courtesan, has lived a life of lavish parties surrounded by influential friends. She abandons it all to be with her beloved Alfredo. When her past threatens his family’s honor, she must forsake her dream of love to save the honor of the one she loves. 

After enjoying critical success in her mainstage debut last season as Fiora in The Love of Three Kings, soprano Elizabeth Tredent returns to make her role debut as Violetta. Returning this season will be baritone Marco Nisticò (The Love of Three Kings, Aida) as Giorgio Germont, and mezzo-soprano Laurel Smerdjian (Madama Butterfly) as Flora Bervoix.

Victor DeRenzi will conduct and Stephanie Sundine (The Love of Three Kings, Aida) returns to direct.



La traviata  by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

November 3, 5(m) 8, 14, 16, 19m, 21 2017

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


Violetta:                               Elizabeth Tredent

Alfredo:                                               Andrew Surrena

Giorgio:                                                Marco Nisticò

Flora Bervoix:                    Laurel Smerdjian

Conductor:                         Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director:                  Stephanie Sundine

Scenic Designer:               David Gano
Costume Coordinator:   Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer:            Ken Yunker




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 underwent a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation in 2007 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