Verdi’s popular Rigoletto opens Sarasota Opera Fall Season on November 1st

Gripping drama features some of opera’s most powerful and familiar melodies

October 15, 2019
Contact: Lana Mullen, Communications Coordinator
(941) 328-1322
[email protected]

Sarasota, FL – On Friday, November 1, 2019 at 7:30pm, Sarasota Opera opens the 2019 Fall Season with Verdi’s Rigoletto, one of the composer’s greatest works. The riveting story follows the hunchback jester Rigoletto as he tries to shield his beautiful daughter Gilda from the evils of the world. When the licentious Duke of Mantua seduces her, Rigoletto is driven to plot a revenge which ends in tragedy. Rigoletto will have six performances through November 17, 2019. Tickets start at $19. For more information, visit, call (941) 328-1300, or visit the box office in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Favorite artists return to Sarasota Opera
Baritone Marco Nisticò will reprise the title role of the vengeful court jester, which he sang with the company in 2012. The lustful Duke of Mantua will be portrayed by tenor William Davenport, returning after his critically hailed appearance in last season’s comic double bill Rita and Susanna’s Secret. Rigoletto’s naive daughter Gilda will be performed by Hanna Brammer — the “captivating” (Herald Tribune) Pamina in 2019’s production of The Magic Flute. Longtime Sarasota audience favorite Young Bok Kim returns to play the sinister assassin Sparafucile, whose sister Maddalena will be played by returning artist Annie Chester.

An authentic step back in time
Sarasota Opera’s traditionally staged Rigoletto is presented just as the great composer Verdi envisioned it, with Maestro DeRenzi — the only conductor in the world to have led every opera that Verdi ever wrote — at the podium. Stephanie Sundine will provide stage direction. Opera goers can gain fascinating insight by attending a pre-show introduction hosted by a member of the Sarasota Opera music staff. The talks will take place 45 minutes before curtain times for both evening and matinee performances. Each session is approximately 25 minutes and free to ticket holders.

You’ve heard this song before
When Rigoletto premiered in Venice in 1851 to a full house, the aria “La donna è mobile” was so popular that people were heard singing it in the streets the next morning. The melody is familiar throughout popular culture, from Super Bowl commercials to “Dancing with the Stars.” And, there is perhaps no more famous operatic ensemble than the third act quartet “Bella figlia dell’amore.”

Ticket information
Individual tickets are available online and in-person at the Sarasota Opera box office. Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 Season are still available. Become a 4 or 5-opera subscriber for the best savings on tickets and to secure the best seats. For more information, visit, call (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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