Sarasota Opera Opens 57th Season on January 30th; Sarasota Opera to complete 28 year Verdi Cycle in 2016 Season

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Sarasota Opera Opens 57th Season on January 30th

Sarasota Opera to complete 28 year Verdi Cycle in 2016 Season

 

2016 Winter Opera Festival

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere)

Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven

The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi (Sarasota Opera Premiere)

 

 

Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera will open the 2016 Winter Festival Season, the largest and most climactic in the company’s 57 year history, on January 30th. The season will feature the final two installments of the 28 year Verdi Cycle – The Battle of Legnano and Aida– in a grand spectacle of music, vocal prowess, awe-inspiring choruses, sumptuous scenery, and luxurious costumes. In addition, the company will present Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, and Mozart’s comedic Così fan tutte.

 

“Through the Verdi Cycle, our audience has discovered that Verdi is a composer worth knowing at almost every level of his development,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi, artistic director and principal conductor. “All of his works deserve to be performed and they all work best when they are experienced live in a theater. We are proud to be the only company in the world to have performed all his works.”

 

Executive Director Richard Russell echoes Maestro DeRenzi’s thoughts on the upcoming season. “This is a landmark year for Sarasota Opera,” says Mr. Russell. “The Verdi Cycle has been the most important artistic initiative for the company in the past 28 years and its completion is something we could not have accomplished without the support of our patrons.”

 

At the close of the Verdi Cycle on March 20, 2016, Sarasota Opera will be the only company in the world to have performed every note of Giuseppe Verdi intended for performance. The season will culminate with a “Verdi Festival Week” March 15 – 20. The Festival will include continued performances of both Verdi operas, two concerts dedicated to the music of Verdi, an international Verdi Conference, a 28 year retrospective exhibit on the Verdi Cycle, and many more commemorative events. More details forthcoming.

 

2016 Winter Opera Festival

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

January 30

February 4, 7m, 10, 20, 23, 28

March 2, 5, 13m, 15, 19

A Sarasota Opera premiere/Verdi Cycle Production

 

One of opera’s most beloved tales of the tragic love triangle between a stunning slave, a vengeful princess, and a great warrior will make its Sarasota Opera debut in a new production opening the season on January 30th. Soprano Michelle Johnson (Élisabeth in Don Carlos) will return to Sarasota Opera in the title role having previously won praise for her performances of the Ethiopian princess at Glimmerglass Opera and Opera Santa Barbara. Mezzo-soprano Leann Sandel-Pantaleo, whose career has taken her to La Scala, Houston Grand Opera, and the Berlin Staatsoper, will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Amneris. Tenor Jonathan Burton (Don Carlos, Turandot) will make his role debut as Radamès, Marco Nisticò (Don Carlos, Rigoletto) will sing Amonasro, the King of Ethiopia, Young Bok Kim (Don Carlos, Jérusalem) will sing  the High Priest Ramfis, and Jeffrey Beruan (Jérusalem, Il trovatore) will sing the King of Egypt. This new production will be the largest in Sarasota Opera’s history.

 

Stage Director Stephanie Sundine returns to direct and Victor DeRenzi will conduct.

 

 

Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 6, 9, 11, 14m, 17, 21m, 26

March 4, 12

A Sarasota Opera production

 

Così fan tutte literally means “All women do this.” Two naïve young soldiers are compelled to pull a prank on their brides-to-be, and put their faithfulness to the test. Following her appearance this fall as Musetta in La bohème, Angela Mortellaro will return to sing the role of the scheming maid Despina and native Italian bass Stefano de Peppo (A King for a Day, La Cenerentola) will sing Don Alfonso. The four lovers in the story will be sung by Jennifer Townshend (Don Carlos) as Fiordiligi, Shirin Eskandani (Sarasota Opera debut) as Dorabella, Heath Huberg (Jérusalem, The Pearl Fishers) as Ferrando, and Corey Crider (A King  for a Day) as Guglielmo.  Italian conductor Marcello Cormio (The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro) returns to conduct and Kathleen Smith Belcher, who has served as stage director at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera, makes her company directorial debut.

 

Mozart’s enthralling comedy and masterful score will lighten your heart and make for an evening of great fun.

 

Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven

Sung in German with English supertitles

February 13, 18, 24, 28m

March 1, 5, 11

A new Sarasota Opera production

 

Sub-titled “The Triumph of Married Love,” Beethoven’s only opera tells the story of Leonore who disguises herself as the young man, Fidelio, to save her beloved husband, Florestan, from prison. Her undying love and perseverance ultimately saves him from certain death.

 

This opera, last performed at Sarasota Opera in 1995, will have many artists well-known to Sarasota Opera audiences. Kara Shay Thomson (Tosca, Vanessa) returns to sing the role of Leonore and Michael Robert Hendrick (Pagliacci, Of Mice and Men) will sing the role of her in justly imprisoned husband Florestan.  The cast also includes Sean Anderson (The Marriage of Figaro, Of Mice and Men) as Don Pizarro, Harold Wilson (The Flying Dutchman) as Rocco, and Jeffrey Beruan (Jérusalem, Il trovatore) as Don Fernando. Returning to the podium after a triumphant debut of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel last season will be maestro Ekhart Wycik and stage director Tom Diamond (The Flying Dutchman, The Golden Cockerel) will return to direct.

 

The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 27

March 3, 6m, 8, 12m, 16, 18

Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera

 

Opening on February 27, 2016, Verdi’s The Battle of Legnano will be the final opera presented as part of Sarasota Opera’s Verdi Cycle. As a nation struggles to break away from foreign oppression, love for the same woman tests the friendship of two warriors as honor calls them into battle. Described as possessing a soprano that is both “gleaming and glorious” soprano Jennifer Black will make her Sarasota Opera debut as Lida, the source of conflict between the two warriors. Arrigo, Lida’s former lover thought dead, will be sung by Martín Nusspaumer (La bohème), and Rolando, Lida’s husband, will be sung by Todd Thomas (Tosca, Attila). Together with Verdi’s monumental Aida, this tale of love, broken friendship, and war will help close the Verdi Cycle.

 

A new production, The Battle of Legnano will be directed by Martha Collins (Tosca, Jérusalem) and conducted by Victor DeRenzi.

 

Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2016 Winter Festival Season are available.  For more information or to secure your single tickets or subscription for the 2016 season, visit www.sarasotaopera.org or contact the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 and can be reached at (941) 328-1300.

 

 

2016 Winter Festival Season

 

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

January 30, February 4, 7m, 10, 20m, 23, 28,

March 2, 5, 13m, 15, 19, 2016

A Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera

Opening Night performance begins at 7pm

Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

 

Artists:

The King of Egypt:            Jeffrey Beruan

Amneris:                              Leann Sandel-Pantaleo*

Aida:                                      Michelle Johnson

Radames:                            Jonathan Burton

Ramfis:                                 Young Bok Kim

Amonasro:                          Marco Nisticò

High Priestess:                  Mary-Hollis Hundley•

The Messenger:                               Matthew Vickers•

 

Conductor:                         Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director:                  Stephanie Sundine

Scenic Designer:               David P. Gordon

Costume Coordinator:   Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer:            Ken Yunker

 

* Sarasota Opera debut

  • Sarasota Opera Studio Artist

 

Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 6, 9, 11, 14m, 17, 21m, 26,

March 4, 12, 2016

A Sarasota Opera production

Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

The March 12th performance will begin at 8pm

 

Artists:

Fiordiligi:                              Jennifer Townshend

Dorabella:                           Shirin Eskandani*

Guglielmo:                          Corey Crider

Ferrando:                            Heath Huberg

Despina:                              Angela Mortellaro

Don Alfonso:                      Stefano de Peppo

 

Conductor:                         Marcello Cormio

Stage Director:                  Kathleen Smith Belcher*

Scenic Designer:               David P. Gordon

Costume Designer:         Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer:            Ken Yunker

 

* Sarasota Opera debut

 

Fidelio by Ludwig von Beethoven

Sung in German with English supertitles

February 13, 18, 24, 28m,

March 1, 5m, 11, 2016

A Sarasota Opera production

Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

 

Artists:

Don Fernando:                  Jeffrey Beruan

Don Pizarro:                       Sean Anderson

Florestan:                            Michael Robert Hendrick

Leonore:                              Kara Shay Thomson

Rocco:                                   Harold Wilson

Marzelline:                         Vanessa Isiguen•

Jaquino:                               Christopher Trapani•

 

Conductor:                         Eckhart Wycik

Stage Director:                  Tom Diamond

Scenic Designer:               Michael Schweikardt

Costume Designer:         Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer:            Ken Yunker

 

  • Sarasota Opera Studio Artist

 

The Battle of Legnano by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

February 27 March 3, 6m, 8, 12m, 16, 18, 2016

Sarasota Opera Premiere/Verdi Cycle Opera

Evening performances begin at 7:30pm and matinee performances begin at 1:30pm

 

Artists:

Federico Barbarossa:      Young Bok Kim

Rolando:                              Todd Thomas

Lida:                                       Jennifer Black*

Arrigo:                                  Martìn Nusspaumer

Marcovaldo:                       Harold Wilson

Imelda:                                 Tara Curtis•

 

Conductor:                         Victor DeRenzi

Stage Director:                  Matha Collins

Scenic Designer:               Jeffrey W. Dean

Costume Coordinator:   Howard Tsvi Kaplan

Lighting Designer:            Ken Yunker

 

*Sarasota Opera debut

  • Sarasota Opera Studio Artist

 

 

 

ABOUT SARASOTA OPERA

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is in the midst of its 57th consecutive season.  In 1960, the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater has just undergone a $20-million renovation and rehabilitation 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. 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 Invitation to Opera performances for local schools and the unique 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 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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