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Sarasota Opera Announces Casting for the 2018/2019 Fall and Winter Season

June 6, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2018

 

Contact:               Samuel Lowry, Director of Audience Development

                                (941) 328-1322

                                 slowry@sarasotaopera.org  

 

Images:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/66p7hr8w58nr5xi/AABbBzi_Di_V1RCDTi_ZtDura?dl=0  

 

Sarasota Opera Announces Casting for the 2018/2019 Fall and Winter Season

2018 Fall Season

The Barber of Seville   by Gioachino Rossini

The Little Sweep   by Benjamin Britten

(Sarasota Youth Opera)

2019 Winter Season

Turandot  by Giacomo Puccini

The Magic Flute  by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Nabucco  by Giuseppe Verdi

Comic Double Bill:

Rita  by Gaetano Donizetti

Susanna’s Secret  by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

 

2019 Winter Festival Season marks Sarasota Opera’s 60 th  Anniversary

 

2019 Winter Festival Season to include Sarasota Opera premieres

and exciting artist debuts

 

Sarasota, FL – Victor DeRenzi, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and Richard Russell, Executive Director, are pleased to announce the casting for the 2018/19 season at Sarasota Opera. This year, Sarasota Opera will mark its 60th diamond anniversary season with a program of compelling productions illustrative of why the company has become a destination for opera lovers from around the world.


“We look forward to welcoming new artists to our stage as well as the return of audience favorites,” says Maestro DeRenzi. “This will be a season of celebration for the company and our Sarasota Opera communities as we mark another milestone for the Opera and our city.”

 

“For the past 60 years, Sarasota Opera has become known for both compelling productions and bringing some of the most exciting artists singing today to our stage,” says Richard Russell. “Sarasota Opera would not be celebrating its 60th anniversary without the incredible support of our community. We invite you all to join us in this celebration.” 

2018 Fall Season

The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 26, 28(m), 31

November 6, 8, 11(m)

 

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro! Your favorite barber is back! Sarasota Opera will open its 11th fall season with a re-mount of Gioachino Rossini’s comic opera The Barber of Seville last seen in 2014. Dr. Bartolo plans to marry his ward Rosina, but she has other plans for her future. Figaro, the barber, comes to the rescue and assists Rosina in sneaking, scheming, and plotting to marry her beloved Lindoro. With a comic plot and Rossini’s most recognizable melodies, The Barber of Seville is one of the most performed operas in the world.

 

Singing the role will be Italian baritone Filippo Fontana, who made his United States debut last season to critical acclaim in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Hailed for “her buttery, richly colored mezzo” by Opera News, mezzo-soprano Lisa Chavez (Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites) will return to Sarasota Opera to sing the role of Rosina. Making his Sarasota Opera debut will be Victor Ryan Robertson as the Count Almaviva, a role he has sung around the country at companies such as Toledo Opera and Opera Carolina. Mr. Robertson made his Metropolitan Opera debut last season in The Merry Widow. Returning artists include bass-baritone Stefano de Peppo (A King for a Day, Cosi fan tutte) as Dr. Bartolo and bass Young Bok Kim (Norma, Aida) as Basilio.

 

Maestro DeRenzi will conduct and Stephanie Sundine (Manon Lescaut, La traviata) returns to direct.

 

The Little Sweep  by Benjamin Britten
Sung in English with English supertitles

November 3 and 4

Sarasota Youth Opera will present a revival of our acclaimed production of Britten’s charming opera The Little Sweep. Premiered in 1949, the opera tells the story of a group of children that, with the help of a kind nursery maid, work to free a young chimney sweep apprentice from his cruel master. Last seen in 2013, this work, which was written to introduce young people to opera, will delight children and adults alike.

 

The Opera itself will be preceded by a prologue created especially for Sarasota Youth Opera by stage director Martha Collins ( Rootabaga Country, The Secret World of Og ), and Youth Opera Music Director and conductor Jesse Martins. The children principal roles and chorus will be performed by members of the Sarasota Youth Opera program. The adult roles will be performed by members of the Sarasota Opera Studio and Apprentice Program. 

2019 Winter Season

Turandot  by Giacomo Puccini

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23, 28
March 3(m), 8, 15, 17, 20(m), 22


Turandot will return after making its Sarasota Opera premiere in 2013 to sell-out houses. In exile, Prince Calaf wanders outside the Chinese Imperial Palace where any man seeking the Princess Turandot’s love must answer three riddles. If they succeed, the reward will be the princess’ hand—if they fail, execution! After a glimpse of Turandot’s fabled beauty, Calaf declares his intention of meeting the challenge and melting the ice princess’ heart. Puccini’s last and grandest opera, Turandot, has become one of his most frequently performed operas with rich melodies including the famous aria “Nessun dorma!”


Soprano Kara Shay Thomson, who made her Sarasota Opera debut in 2009 and has returned almost every season since, will sing the title role. Ms. Thomson, whose career has taken her to leading opera houses across the United States, was most recently seen as Marta in last season’s Sarasota Opera production of Eugen d’Albert’s Tiefland. With his “ringing top notes” and “clarion tone,” tenor Jonathan Burton (Aida, Don Carlos) will reprise his role of Prince Calaf from the 2013 production. Additional casting includes soprano Anna Mandina (La traviata, The Love of Three Kings) as Liù, Young Bok Kim (Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly) as King Timur, and baritone Filippo Fontana (Manon Lescaut) as Lord Chancellor Ping.

 

Maestro DeRenzi will conduct and Stephanie Sundine will return to direct.   

 

This production is generously sponsored by Bud and Betty Shapiro in honor of the 60th anniversary season

 

The Magic Flute  by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sung in German with English supertitles

February 16, 19, 21, 24(m), 27
March 1, 16(m), 21, 23

 

Last seen at Sarasota Opera in 2010, The Magic Flute tells the story of Prince Tamino’s heroic quest. After being rescued by the Queen of the Night’s three ladies, Tamino is visited by the Queen herself, who asks him for help saving her daughter from Sarastro’s evil hands. With the gift of a magic flute and the help of a new friend, the bird catcher, Papageno, the prince will find that hero and villain aren’t always who they may seem.

 

Returning to the Sarasota Opera house stage will be tenor Andrew Surrena to sing the Prince Tamino. Mr. Surrena made his principal artist debut when he stepped into the role of Alfredo in last season’s production of Verdi’s La traviata on short notice. The role of Pamina will be sung at all performances except on March 1 by soprano Hanna Brammer whose “gorgeous soprano” was heard last season as both Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen and Nuri d’Albert’s Tiefland. On March 1, Pamina will be sung by Sarasota native Adelaide Boedecker. Ms. Boedecker, a former Sarasota Youth Opera member who last appeared with Sarasota Opera in 2006 as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, has sung with Pittsburgh Opera and Santa Fe Opera. Additional casting includes the return of soprano Alexandra Batsios (The Golden Cockerel, The Barber of Seville) as the Queen of the Night; Matthew Hanscom (Die Fledermaus, Jérusalem) as the bird catcher Papageno; and the Sarasota Opera debut of bass Brian Kontes, whose stage highlights include the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, and Opera Hong Kong, as Sarastro. 

 

Sarasota Youth Opera Music Director Jesse Martins will make his main stage conducting debut and Mark Freiman (Norma, Italian Girl in Algiers) will return to direct. 

 

Nabucco  by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 2, 5, 7, 10(m), 13, 16, 19, 24(m)

 

Nabucco, king of Babylon, conquers the Hebrews, destroying the temple and taking them into captivity. Meanwhile his rebellious daughter, Abigaille, plots to take power and gain the affection of her sister Fenena’s lover, Ismaele. Learning of the coup, the blasphemous Nabucco seizes the crown and declares himself God but is struck mad by a thunderbolt. Will he regain his reason, repent, and return the Jews to their homeland? Nabucco, Verdi’s third opera and the one to help establish Verdi’s success as an opera composer, contains some of the master’s most exciting music, including his most famous chorus “Va, pensiero.” This iconic Verdi opera was last seen in Sarasota as part of the acclaimed Verdi Cycle in 1995.


Baritone Stephen Gaertner, will make his Sarasota Opera debut in the title role. Having made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007, Mr. Gaertner has sung leading roles at major theaters across the United States and Europe. Also making her Sarasota Opera debut will be soprano Rochelle Bard in the role of Abigaille. Described as having a voice that is “rich and engaging” Ms. Bard is quickly establishing herself as a leading soprano at opera houses and concert stages across the United States. Returning artists include mezzo soprano Lisa Chavez (Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites) as Fenena and tenor Ben Gulley (Tiefland) as Ismaele.

 

Maestro DeRenzi will conduct and Martha Collins (Carmen, Dialogues of the Carmelites) will return to direct. 

 

A Comic Double Bill
Rounding out the 2019 Winter Festival Season will be the Sarasota Opera premiere of two rare one-act comedies by Donizetti and Wolf-Ferrari that will make a delightful evening at the opera. This will be the first time these operas have been presented as a double bill. Both operas will feature the same cast of artists.

 

Rita (Two Men and a Woman)  by Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in French with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23(m)
Sarasota Opera Premiere

 

Rita and her husband Peppe own an inn. Peppe, a sweet and timid man, is terrified of his tyrannical wife. When Gaspar, Rita’s first husband whom she believed drowned, comes back, he turns Rita and Peppe’s lives upside down. This entertaining one-act opera, set to a French libretto by Gustave Vaëz, premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1860 having been found among Donizetti’s personal belongings after his death in 1848.

 

Susanna’s Secret  by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23(m)
Beyond Verdi Series/Sarasota Opera Premiere

 

Sarasota Opera continues its “Beyond Verdi” series with the Sarasota Opera debut of the rarely seen Susanna’s Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari which premiered in 1909.


Susanna has a secret she isn’t telling. Having smelled tobacco on his wife’s clothes, her new husband, Count Gil, is convinced that she is having an affair. He searches and searches, but can’t seem to catch her in the act. What could her secret be? Full of lyrical arias, this piece of operatic history is sure to make for an enjoyable night at the opera.


A talented trio of artists will serve as the cast for both of these works. Returning artists include soprano Elizabeth Tredent (La traviata, The Love of Three Kings) who will sing the title roles of Rita and Susanna, and baritone Marco Nisticò (La traviata, Aida) who will sing the roles of Gaspar in Rita and Count Gil in Susanna’s Secret. Rounding out the trio will be tenor William Davenport who will be making his Sarasota Opera debut in the roles of Peppe in Rita and as the mute Sante in Susanna’s Secret.

 

Marcello Cormio (Cosi fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro) returns to conduct. JJ Hudson will make his Sarasota Opera debut as stage director.

 

Ticket Information

Subscriptions for the 2018/2019 Season are available now both online at  www.sarasotaopera.org  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 2018/2019 season go on-sale  exclusively online at  www.sarasotaopera.org August 1st, 2018  and at the Sarasota Opera Box Office on September 4th, 2018. 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 - $139.

 

2018/19 Sarasota Opera Fall and Winter Festival

 

The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
October 26, 28(m), 31

November 6, 8, 11(m)

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


Artists:

Rosina                                   Lisa Chavez

Count Almaviva Victor Ryan Robertson*

Figaro                                    Filippo Fontana

Bartolo                                 Stefano de Peppo
Basilio                                   Young Bok Kim
Berta                                     Anna Mandina

Conductor                           Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director                   Stephanie Sundine

Scenic Designer                Jeffrey W. Dean
Costume Designer           Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

Chorus Master                  Roger Bingaman

 

*Sarasota Opera debut

 

The Little Sweep  by Benjamin Britten

Sung in English with English supertitles

November 3 at 5:30pm and November 4 at 12:30pm
Sarasota Youth Opera production


Artists:                                

Sarasota Youth Opera members
Miss Baggott                      Nicole Woodward

Clem                                      Samuel Schlievert

 

Conductor                           Jesse Martins

Stage Director                   Martha Collins

Costume Designer           B.G. Fitzgerald
Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

 

Turandot  by Giacomo Puccini

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23, 28
March 3(m), 8, 15, 17, 20(m), 22

Opening Night performance begins at 7pm

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

Artists:

Turandot                             Kara Shay Thomson

Liù                                          Anna Mandina

Prince Calaf                        Jonathan Burton
Timur                                    Young Bok Kim
Ping                                       Filippo Fontana

 

Conductor                           Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director                   Stephanie Sundine

Scenic Designer                Michael Schweikardt

Costume Designer           Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

Chorus Master                  Roger Bingaman              

 

The Magic Flute  by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sung in German with English supertitles

February 16, 19, 21, 24(m), 27
March 1, 16(m), 21, 23

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

Artists:

Pamina                                 Hanna Brammer

Adelaide Boedecker (March 1)

Queen of the Night         Alexandra Batsios

Tamino                                 Andrew Surrena

Papageno                            Matthew Hanscom
Sarastro                               Brian Kontes*

 

Conductor                           Jesse Martins

Stage Director                   Mark Freiman                   

Scenic Designer                Troy Hourie

Costume Designer           Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

Chorus Master                  Roger Bingaman

*Sarasota Opera debut


Nabucco
 by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 2, 5, 7, 10(m), 13, 16, 19, 21, 24(m)

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

Artists:

Abigaille                               Rochelle Bard*

Fenena                                 Lisa Chavez

Ismaele                                                Ben Gulley

Nabucco                              Stephen Gaertner

 

Conductor                           Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director                   Martha Collins

Scenic Designer                Jeffrey W. Dean

Costume Coordinator    Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

Chorus Master                  Roger Bingaman

 

*Sarasota Opera debut

 

Rita (Two Men and a Woman)  by Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in French with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23(m)

A Sarasota Opera premiere

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

Artists:

Rita                                        Elizabeth Tredent

Peppe                                   William Davenport*

Gaspar                                  Marco Nisticò


Conductor                           Marcello Cormio

Stage Director                   JJ Hudson*

Scenic Designer                Michael Schweikardt

Costume Designer           Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise


* Sarasota Opera debut

 

Susanna’s Secret  by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

March 9, 12, 14, 17(m), 20, 23(m)
Beyond Verdi Series

Sarasota Opera Premiere

Susanna                               Elizabeth Tredent

Count Gil                             Marco Nisticò

Gaspar                                  William Davenport*


Conductor                           Marcello Cormio

Stage Director                   JJ Hudson*

Scenic Designer                Michael Schweikardt

Costume Designer           Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer             Ken Yunker

Hair & Make-Up               Brittany Rappise

 

* Sarasota Opera debut

 

 

ABOUT SARASOTA OPERA

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