Sarasota Oper plans Virtual Celebration

Event will celebrate Sarasota Opera's community of supporters and raise funds for organization's needs

March 16, 2021
Contact: Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]

Sarasota, FL—Sarasota Opera will hold a virtual event to celebrate the unprecedented support received from the community during a truly challenging year and the successes that community made possible. The event will include an online silent auction featuring travel, jewelry, and local arts experiences. On Friday, April 23rd at 7:30 pm, Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi will be joined by special guests and artists from its current season for Sarasota Opera: A Celebration!. Tickets for the event start at $75 and are on sale now. Visit or call 941-366-8450, ext. 402 for purchasing and event information.

Celebrating community support
During the special broadcast on April 23rd at 7:30pm, Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi will look back at the extraordinary year Sarasota Opera has experienced and highlight how patrons made this year and previous years successful. They will celebrate the joy of music with a look back at some stunning musical memories and will be joined by special guests and artists from this season to celebrate a community that is devoted to world-class opera.

“The past year has presented serious challenges to Sarasota Opera’s mission to entertain, enrich, and educate our larger community. This event honors and celebrates the enthusiastic support our donors and subscribers have provided which allowed us to meet those challenges, while continuing our efforts to make sure Sarasota Opera goes into the 2021-22 Season in a strong position,” said Director of Development Scott Guinn. “Even though we’re apart, we can still come together to celebrate a remarkable achievement by a devoted community, and once again raise our voices in support of all we love about Sarasota Opera.”

Community sponsors
Sarasota Opera is deeply grateful to the following corporate sponsors of Sarasota Opera: A Celebration!, including Celebration Lead Sponsor Williams Parker and Celebration Partners Allegiant Private Advisors and SCENE Magazine.

Ticket information
Tickets are on sale now and begin at $75 per household, with sponsorships available at $250, $500, and $1,000. Sponsor benefits include a special gift, specialty food and wine, and a VIP Zoom Cocktails & Conversations with one of the Celebration Guest Artists prior to the event. Ticket-buyers will receive clear and easy to follow guides on how to participate without being daunted by the technology. Visit or call 941-366-8450, ext. 402 for purchasing and event information.

About Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Opera is entering its 62nd 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.


Sarasota Opera • 61 N. Pineapple Avenue • Sarasota, FL 34236 • (941) 366-8450 #End