It’s the 55th season of Sarasota Opera, as well as the birthdays of composers Wagner, Britten and Verdi.
“This will be a season of celebration,” Richard Russell, executive director, says in a prepared statement.
The season opens November 1, with Johann Strauss, Jr.’s “Die Fledermaus,” which was last performed by Sarasota Opera in 2006. Baritone Sean Anderson will sing the role of Einstein and Danielle Walker will sing Rosalinda. Stephanie Sundine will direct and Maestro DeRenzi will conduct.
Benjamin Britten’s opera “The Little Sweep” will be performed by Sarasota Youth Opera November 9 and 10.
The exciting 2014 Winter Festival kicks off February 8, with Verdi’s “Il Travatore,” which hasn’t been performed in Sarasota since 1993. Two singers will make their Sarasota Opera debut in this performance: Baritone David Pershall and Mezzo-soprano Margaret Mezzacappa. Stephanie Sound will direct and Maestro DeRenzi will conduct.
On February 15, comedic opera by Giachino Rossini, “The Barber of Seville,” will open. Rigoletto in “Rigoletto” last season, aka Marco Nisticó will return for the title role of Figaro. Young Bok Kim will also return and reprise the role of Basilio. William Gustafson will return to Sarasota Opera to direct the opera.
March 1 brings Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” which hasn’t been performed at Sarasota Opera since 2000. Tenor Michael Hendrick and tenor Jon Jurgens (aka Lennie and Curley from last season’s “Of Mice and Men”) will return under the conducting of Maestro David Neely.
The last opera of the season opens March 8, the debut of Verdi’s “Jérusalem.” It’s a tale of warriors, family rivalry, jealousy and forgiveness. Bass Kevin Short, soprano Danielle Walker, bass Jeffrey Beruan and baritone Matthew Hanscom will return to Sarasota Opera to sing roles in this production. Martha Collins will direct and Mestro DeRenzi will conduct. The winter festival closes March 23.
Three concerts in addition to the full-length operas will take place Nov. 12, March 5 and March 18.
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The Tabernacle Christian School middle school student Lauren Medred, an East County resident, earned top vocal honors, taking first place in vocal solo female category of the Florida League of Christian School’s Festival of the Academics and Arts Feb. 28 and March 1 at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Manatee County schools dominated a state technology competition with five of six top-three finishes earned by Manatee County schools during the 35th annual Technology Student Association State Competition late February.