Sarasota Opera’s 2019-2020 season summary:
Operas: 2019 Fall Season
“Rigoletto” (Nov. 1-17)
The story of a protective father, a lecherous Duke, and a naive woman who discovers that love isn’t always true, one of Verdi’s greatest works returns to Sarasota Opera. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with Stephanie Sundine directing. Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage. Last seen in winter 2012.
“Brundibár” (Nov. 15-16)
Sarasota Youth Opera will present a revival of their acclaimed production of Brundibár. Originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII, this allegorical tale has three heroes — a sparrow, a cat and a very wise dog — helping Annette and Little Joe raise the money needed to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibár. The opera will be preceded by a moving prologue which features the words of young people, crafted by Sarasota Youth Opera music director Jesse Martins and stage director Martha Collins. Sung in English with English titles above the stage. Last seen in Fall 2015.
Operas: 2020 Winter Festival “La bohème” (Feb. 8-March 21)
Almost two centuries ago in Paris’ Latin Quarter, a love affair flourishes, withers and dies in Puccini’s romantic portrayal of bohemian life. A perfect work for newcomers as well as the most devoted opera fan. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with stage direction by Mark Freiman. Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage. Last seen in Fall 2015.
“Romeo & Juliet” (Feb. 15-March 20)
In this story — immortalized by the genius of William Shakespeare and overflowing with the melodies of Charles Gounod — young lovers pursue their great passion to the grave. Anthony Barrese will conduct, with Martha Collins directing. Sung in French with English translations above the stage. Last seen in 1993.
“The Elixir of Love” (Feb. 22-March 21)
Nemorino’s love is unwavering, but Adina won’t give him a second glance. All is saved by Dulcamara’s magic love potion — or is it? John F. Spencer IV will conduct, with stage direction by Marco Nisticò. Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage. Last seen in Winter 2009.
“La Wally” (March 7-22)
In a village in the alps, Wally chooses love over family. However, with a cruel bet, the man of her dreams breaks her heart, igniting a chain of events that leads to tragedy. La Wally had its last fully staged U.S. production in 1989, when it launched Sarasota Opera’s Masterworks Revival Series. Maestro DeRenzi will conduct, with Stephanie Sundine directing. Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage.
Concerts, Talks and Tours
• Concerts at Noon
These hour-long concerts feature Sarasota Opera’s Apprentice and Studio artists singing arias and ensembles. All concerts take place in the Lee & Bob Peterson Great Room, Sarasota Opera House.
• Apprentice Concert (Nov, 8, March 6, March 20)
• Studio Understudies Concert (March 13, 2020)
• 2020 Artists Choice Concert (March 15)
This Sarasota Opera tradition is back. Hear Principal and Studio artists perform their choice of the best-loved opera arias and songs with piano accompaniment. Sarasota Opera House
2019 Talks — Understanding Opera:
These enjoyable talks take place at the Jonas Kamlet Library at the Sarasota Opera House and focus on different elements of opera — this all-encompassing art form.
• Things Change (Oct. 17)
• Ensembles in Opera (Oct. 24)
• “Walt Whitman at the Opera” (Oct. 31)
• At the Opera with Richard & Greg (Nov. 7)
• Taste of Downtown (Sept. 21)
Now in its sixth year, this established Sarasota tradition will bring you to Sarasota Opera House, where your favorite downtown restaurants will be showcasing their tasty dishes paired with fine wines and assorted beers. Proceeds from this event benefit the Sarasota Youth Opera, who will perform during the event. Come mix & mingle, sample tasty bites, and have a drink with us to celebrate the end of summer in Sarasota. Sarasota Opera House.
Curtain Raiser Dinner (Oct. 20)
Traditionally the start of Sarasota Opera’s social season, this event is where long-time patrons reunite, and new friends are made among fellow opera lovers. The evening will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the terrace, followed by a three-course dinner and an exciting performance by artists from Rigoletto. Michael’s on the Bay.
Opera Gala (Feb. 1)
The annual Opera Gala celebrates the beginning of Sarasota Opera’s Winter Festival. The elegant affair will include a cocktail hour, silent auction, four course dinner, a special performance by our Principal Artists, and live music for dancing. Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.
Salute to the Stars (March 19)
Celebrate the outstanding Sarasota Opera artists who will be honored in 2020, with lunch overlooking Sarasota Bay. Experience a live performance by the award winners and learn more about the studio and apprentice artist programs. Sarasota Yacht Club.