Sarasota Opera Celebrating 57 Seasons
Posted by See Sarasota Live on
The richness and vibrancy of Sarasota’s cultural offerings is alive and well. With excitement in the air, Sarasota Opera is entering its 2015-16 season. Named as “One of the Finest Venues for Opera in America” by MusicalAmerica.com, Sarasota Opera House delivers a remarkable quality of performance in a grand, yet intimate, venue.
Sarasota Opera has long been thriving in Sarasota, finding its roots in 1960 performing as the Asolo Opera Guild in the historic Asolo Theater on the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art. In 1979 the company purchased the former A. B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota and after renovations were completed in 1984, the Sarasota Opera debuted in what is now known as the Sarasota Opera House. After a massive renovation in 2008, the historic venue was transformed back to its former glory but with modern upgrades and improvements in seating and orchestra size to accommodate larger productions. Special attention was paid to restoring the ornate features of the 1926 theater and the Sarasota Opera House is listed on the National Historic Registry.
Sarasota Opera House offers not only the highest caliber of opera but also world-class symphony and ballet productions, film festivals, concerts and comedic performances. With a 370-seat banquet facility, it is the perfect venue for receptions and banquets. Sarasota Opera is highly immersed in the community, providing educational and internship programs to students and bringing performances to groups who may never have the experience to visit the Sarasota Opera House in person. One such initiative is the Studio Artists Program which provides participants the opportunity to stand-in for a principal artist should they not be able to perform. Another objective of the program is for the artists to introduce opera to school groups, retirement homes and community centers, bringing inspiring performances to onsite locations. Sarasota Opera is also active with local students and schools offering engaging educational opportunities like summer camps and the Sarasota Youth Opera, which accepts all children over the age of eight, regardless of their skill level or ability to pay.
With several highlights topping this year’s season, one of the stand-outs will be the completion of the Verdi Cycle. Since 1989 Sarasota Opera has been performing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi and will culminate in 2016 with new productions of The Battle of Legnano and Aida. This nearly 30-year endeavor is something that has never been done in the history of opera and is just one of the many accomplishments under the watch of Victor DeRenzi. Maestro DeRenzi has been the distinguished Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Sarasota Opera for the past 34 seasons. Be a part of the enchantment and include an evening at Sarasota Opera House in your plans, for what will surely be a memorable event.