Sarasota Opera's "Beyond Verdi: Italian Masters Series" presents Alfredo Catalani's La Wally, opening March 7th

Rare opera has been fully staged only eight times in the U.S. since its successful premiere in 1892

February 27, 2020
Contact: Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]

Sarasota, FL – The final opera of the 2020 Winter Opera Festival is a new production of La Wally (pronounced “lah vahLEE”) by Alfredo Catalani, a work not seen in the U.S. for more than 30 years. In a village in the Tyrolean Alps, the strong-willed Wally resists her father’s wishes, choosing to pursue an unrequited love. When the man of her dreams breaks her heart, a chain of events leads to tragedy. The work’s lush and melodic music features one of opera’s most captivating arias, “Ebben! Ne andrò lontana,” (“Well, then! I’ll go far away”), a sad and haunting song that was featured in Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 1981 French thriller film, Diva. La Wally will have six performances through March 22, 2020. Tickets start at $19. For more information, visit, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Artistic ensemble
Soprano Caitlin Crabill will be performing the title role of Wally. Ms. Crabill covered and performed the title role in Turandot during the 2019 Winter Opera Festival. She will sing the role of Dona Elvira in the company’s 2020 fall season production of Don Giovanni. The huntsman Hagenbach, Wally’s love interest, will be played by tenor Rafael Davila. A longtime favorite of Sarasota Opera audiences, Davila has performed leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Washington National Opera, Teatro San Carlo and other international companies. Wally’s suitor Gellner will be played by returning baritone Sean Anderson (The Marriage of Figaro, Die Fledermaus). Wally’s father Stromminger will be played by another Sarasota audience favorite — Young Bok Kim. Lisa Chavez will play Hagenbach’s fiancee Afra. Stephanie Sundine — who played Wally in Sarasota Opera’s 1989 production — will be the stage director, with Maestro DeRenzi conducting.

Ticket information
Individual tickets start at only $19 and are available at and in the Sarasota Opera Box Office. For more information on La Wally as well as the rest of the 2020 Winter Opera Festival season—Puccini’s La bohème, Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet, and Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love—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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