Sarasota Opera House
Posted by See Sarasota Live on
The Sarasota Opera House has been the home of Sarasota Opera since 1984.
Originally the "Edwards Theater," it opened in 1926 and quickly became a popular vaudeville and film venue. Will Rogers and Elvis Presley performed there. Cecil B. DeMille chose the Edwards for the world premiere of The Greatest Show on Earth (shot in Sarasota) in 1952; Charlton Heston and Dorothy Lamour attended. Slowly, however, the Edwards fell into disrepair, losing its allure. It closed in 1979, the same year a group of Sarasota artists were seeking a permanent venue.
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The Asolo Opera Guild was organized in 1960 to offer opera in the historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum of Art. The Guild started producing their own performances in the early 1970s and desired a venue more favorable to opera. They purchased the old Edwards in 1979. The Guild changed its own name to Sarasota Opera, and the old Edwards was renamed the Sarasota Opera House. The venue was thoroughly remodeled in 2007 to include additional seating, an enlarged orchestra pit, and an Opera Club on the second level. In March 2008, the Sarasota Opera House reopened with Verdi's Rigoletto. In fact, one of Sarasota Opera's oldest projects is the "Verdi Cycle," an effort started in 1989 to perform all of the works of Giuseppe Verdi. With the Verdi Cycle near completion, Sarasota Opera has launched an "American Classics Series." Sarasota Opera also offers a Studio Artists Program and an Apprentice Program, providing aspiring opera vocalists with training and performance opportunities.
The Sarasota Opera House is family-friendly, handicapped-accessible, and there's always free parking. No pets are allowed except companion guide animals. For schedule details call 941-366-8450 or visit http://www.sarasotaopera.org/. Sarasota Opera House is one of many reasons Sarasota is Florida's leading cultural community.
Location Of The Sarasota Opera House