Scott Guinn named Director of Development for Sarasota Opera

Former Director of Development Stacy Ridenour to continue in part-time capacity
as Donor Relations Officer

June 30, 2020
Contact: Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]

Sarasota, FL – Executive Director Richard Russell and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi announced that Scott Guinn will become the new Director of Development beginning July 1, 2020. 

A former singer, Scott first joined Sarasota Opera in 2006 as a studio artist, singing the role of Schaunard in La bohème and performing as an outreach singer in the fall of 2007. Scott joined the company in an administrative capacity as assistant to the Executive Director between 2011-2014. He returned during the 2020 Winter Opera Festival as Senior Individual Giving Officer. 

During the Texas native’s singing career he performed both leading and supporting baritone roles with New York City Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Knoxville Opera, and others. He transitioned his career into arts administration in 2011. In addition to his previous roles with Sarasota Opera, he also worked as Major Gifts Associate and Interim Development Director for the Asolo Repertory Theatre and as Development Director with Knoxville Opera. 

About his recent return to Sarasota Opera, Scott states, “Opera is my passion and I’m thrilled to be back at Sarasota Opera. I look forward to continuing to work with our remarkable supporters and the fantastic team Stacy has put together so that the joy of music and power of live performance continues to resonate in our unique and wonderful community.”

Stacy Ridenour, who has been Director of Development for Sarasota Opera since 2013, will continue with the company in a part time capacity. She will be overseeing the Company’s Kretzmer Legacy Society planned giving program and continue stewardship and cultivation of major donors.

Sarasota Opera’s Executive Director Richard Russell commented “I’m very happy that Scott will be moving into this leadership position with Sarasota Opera. I’ve worked closely with him and am confident that he will do a wonderful job in continuing our successful development program. I’m also extremely grateful to have Stacy Ridenour continue working with us. She has led our fundraising program to extraordinary growth over the last eight years.”

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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