In 1960 the group, then called Asolo Opera Guild was formed to present the touring Turnau Opera in chamber-sized productions in the historic 320 seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art. In 1973 the company began mounting its own productions. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979. Renovations began in 1982 and the theater, now on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House, the company it housed now being called Sarasota Opera.
Pearl FishersSince 1983 the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi. Since then the company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.
The Sarasota Opera House completed a $20 million dollar historic renovation and restoration in 2008. The project was designed to restore the historic 1926 theater to its original glory, while creating a venue for opera for the 21st century. Decorative details have been restored, seating has been replaced, and the orchestra pit almost doubled in size to accommodate operas that require larger orchestras. Backstage systems have been updated and public areas and amenities expanded and enhanced.
The Sarasota Opera is an internationally respected producer of the highest quality professional opera. It fosters artistic excellence, diversity, and vitality in the Sarasota area by:
Producing opera as a living art form through performances and composition
Offering a stage for American-trained principal artists
Producing high-caliber Apprentice and Studio Artist programs
Owning, maintaining, and operating the Opera House as a year-round facility
Promoting and increasing public knowledge and appreciation of opera
In addition to striving for artistic excellence, Sarasota Opera directs itself toward becoming accessible to all segments of the greater community. Coordinated artistic, educational, informational, and social outreach programs will accomplish this accessibility.
Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time
Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 3:00pm Eastern Time
Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern Time
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