Sarasota Opera to Host “Homage to Verdi” Exhibit from Rome Opera House; Exhibit to include sketches and costumes from 100 years of Verdi operas at Rome Opera House, March 8 – March 25, 2014

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February 6, 2014








Contact:              Sam Lowry, Director of Audience Development


                                (941) 328-1322


                                [email protected]




Sarasota Opera to Host “Homage to Verdi” Exhibit from Rome Opera House




Exhibit to include sketches and costumes from 100 years of Verdi operas at Rome Opera House




Special guests include:


Francesco Reggiani, Director of Historical Archives at Rome Opera


Adolfo Barattolo, Italian Consul General in Miami


Dr. Francesco Izzo, Director of the American Institute for Verdi Studies




Sarasota, FL – Sarasota Opera is thrilled to announce it will be host to an exhibition from the Rome Opera House entitled “Homage to Giuseppe Verdi; Celebrating the Bicentennial of his Birth” March 8 – March 25, 2014.  The exhibition, underwritten by Piero and Rachele Rivolta, tells the story of the most famous performances of Verdi’s operas, and of the great performers, singers, set designers, and costume designers who have kept the legend of Giuseppe Verdi alive. 


On display will be selected scenic and costume sketches from productions designed by some of the greatest opera names of the 20th century including Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Pierluigi Pizzi, Danilo Donati, Nicola Benois, and others.  The exhibit also includes 18 actual costumes dating back to 1916 worn by artists such as Beniamino Gigli, Renata Scotto, and Angela Gheorghiu , and a video collage of Verdi operas performed at the Rome Opera House.


“Sarasota Opera patrons have become passionate about Verdi’s music and we are glad to be able to bring a piece of Italy’s rich operatic history to Sarasota,” says Maestro Victor DeRenzi.  “I want to thank the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the Italian Foreign Ministry for allowing this exhibit to come to Sarasota as well as Piero and Rachele Rivolta for their help in making this possible. We are happy to join the many cities in Italy and around the world that can claim a close connection with Verdi.”     


The exhibition originated as a joint effort between the Rome Opera House and the Italian Foreign Ministry to promote Italian music and Opera around the world.  Since its debut in 2011, the exhibit has been seen in locations such as Korea, New York City, Brazil, Russia, and Lebanon among many others.   


The exhibition will be housed in the Jonas Kamlet Library in the pavilion building of the Sarasota Opera House.  The exhibit will be free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 12pm to 4pm and will be open until 8pm on performance evenings.  There is no ticket required for the exhibit.


“Legacy of Verdi” Panel Discussion
The official opening of the exhibition on Saturday, March 8  will be preceded by a panel discussion in the opera house at 11am on the legacy of Verdi as illustrated through this exhibit and the Sarasota Opera Verdi Cycle.  The panel will include Victor DeRenzi, Artistic Director of Sarasota Opera; Dr. Francesco Izzo, Director of the American Institute for Verdi Studies; Martha Collins, stage director of Verdi’s Jérusalem; and Francesco Reggiani, Director of Historical Archives at the Rome Opera House.  Executive Director Richard Russell will moderate.  In attendance to help us officially open the exhibit will be Adolfo Barattolo, Italian Consul General in Miami


This event will be free and open to the public but a reservation is required.  To reserve your complimentary ticket to the panel discussion, please call the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.




Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is celebrating its 55th 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.




The 2013 Fall Season featured Johann Strauss, Jr,’s Die Fledermaus and was followed by the Sarasota Youth Opera production of Britten’s The Little Sweep.  The 2014 Winter Festival, February 8 – March 23, will include Verdi’s Il trovatore, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, and Verdi’s Jérusalem.  Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2014 Winter Season are now on sale at  You can also purchase tickets by calling (941) 328-1300 or visiting the Sarasota Opera Box Office. 




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.






Sarasota Opera


61 N. Pineapple Avenue


Sarasota, FL 34236


(941) 366-8450






Samuel Lowry


Director of Audience Development


Sarasota Opera

Direct Line:  (941) 328-1322

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