Gounod's romantic Romeo & Juliet opens on February 15th

The world's most celebrated love story comes to the stage of the historic
Sarasota Opera House Valentine's weekend

January 28, 2020
Contact: Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]

Sarasota, FL – Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo & Juliet will open on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm. Set in 14th-century Verona, the deep love between Romeo and Juliet rivals the longstanding feud between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets. In this story — overflowing with lush melodies — the young lovers pursue their great passion to the grave. Romeo & Juliet will have nine performances through March 20, 2020. Tickets start at $19. For more information, visit SarasotaOpera.org, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Romeo & Juliet artistic ensemble
Portraying the world’s most famous lovers will reunite soprano Hanna Brammer and tenor Andrew Surrena, who played Pamina and Tamino in last season’s The Magic Flute. Juliet’s nurse Gertrude will be played by mezzo soprano Lisa Chavez, who made national headlines this summer as the lead character Maggie in New York City Opera’s world premiere of Stonewall. Romeo’s friend Mercutio will be played by baritone Matthew Hanscom, returning from his recent role as Papageno in The Magic Flute. Metropolitan Opera mainstay bass Ricardo Lugo will be portraying Friar Laurent. Anthony Barrese — current artistic director and principal conductor of Opera Southwest in New Mexico — will be back at Sarasota Opera to conduct, with Martha Collins directing.

Romeo & Juliet through the ages
Few tales have been as enduring throughout the centuries as William Shakespeare’s story of the iconic lovers. It has been the inspiration for theater, symphonic works, ballets, musicals, films, and no fewer than seven operas. Charles Gounod’s opera — distinguished by a series of duets throughout the work — follows Shakespeare’s story closely until the very end. Gounod’s librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carré have Juliet briefly awaken in her tomb before Romeo dies, with the opportunity for yet one final passionate duet. The opera is sung in French with real-time English translations projected above the stage.

Ticket information
Individual tickets start at only $19 and are available at SarasotaOpera.org and the Sarasota Opera Box Office. For more information on Romeo & Juliet as well as the rest of the 2020 Winter Festival season—Puccini’s La bohème (opening February 8), Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love (opening February 22), and Catalani’s La Wally, (opening March 7)—contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300 or visit in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

About Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Opera is entering its 61st Season of bringing world-class opera to Florida’s Gulf Coast. The company was launched in 1960, when a touring chamber opera company came to the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. The following year the Asolo Opera Guild was formed to present the season. By 1974 the Asolo Opera was mounting its own productions at the theater. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to full-scale opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater which in 1984 (as the Sarasota Opera House) became home to the newly renamed Sarasota Opera. The building 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. Sarasota Opera has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle, completed in 2016, that made Sarasota Opera the only opera company in the world to present all of Verdi’s works. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice and Studio Artists programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Explorations in Opera performances for local schools and the industry-leading 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 from 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.


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