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Sarasota Opera reveals its 2019-2020 season

The upcoming season will include a return to several operas the company hasn't performed in more than a decade.

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  • | 6:48 p.m. February 5, 2019
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Sarasota Opera is bringing back the oldies — but goodies — for its 2019-2020 season.

Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director Richard Russell announced the season lineup Feb. 5 at the Sarasota Opera House in front of press, donors and several company artists.

“We always perform both old and new operas, but next season we’re definitely doing several that haven’t been done for many years,” DeRenzi says. “Some will be new for our audience.”

He went on to mention Sarasota Opera last performed “La Wally” by Alfredo Catalani, the production that will close the 2020 Winter Opera Festival, in 1989, and many members of the company’s audience didn’t live in Sarasota then. No other American opera company has performed it since Sarasota Opera’s 1989 run, so Russell says he’s particularly excited to stage such a rare piece that he describes as musically beautiful and immensely powerful.

After each of the three panels detailing next season’s operas were revealed at the event, principal artists Hanna Brammer, Andrew Surrena and Anna Mandina performed selected arias — accompanied by pianist Lindsay Woodward — from the upcoming productions.


The 2019-2020 Season

2019 Fall Season

“Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

Nov. 1, 3, 6, 12, 14 and 17

Stephanie Sundine directs this story, which DeRenzi says might be Verdi’s most famous, of an unattractive jester who’s good at his job of humoring the Duke — until he finds out said Duke has his eyes set on his daughter.


“Brundibár” by Hans Krása

Sung in English with English titles above the stage

Nov. 15 and 16

Sarasota Youth Opera is bringing back the opera that was originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during WWII. The plot follows a father-less brother and sister with an ailing mother who are trying to make money by singing in their local square until the evil organ grinder Brundibár gets in their way. The production will open with an original prologue by youth opera music director Jesse Martins and stage director Martha Collins.


Principal artist Andrew Surrena, tenor, sings
Principal artist Andrew Surrena, tenor, sings "Una furtiva lagrima" from Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love." Photo by Niki Kottmann

2020 Winter Opera Festival

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

Feb. 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 25 and 29

March 3, 6, 11, 14, 19 and 21

Mark Freiman directs this tragic romance based on the novel “Scènes de la vie de bohème” by Henri Murger. Set in Paris’ Latin Quarter, this tale follows the ups and downs of students Mimi and Rodolf’s love affair while giving audiences a look at the French bohemian lifestyle of the end of the 19th century.


“Romeo & Juliet” by Charles Gounod

Principal artist Hanna Brammer, soprano, sings
Principal artist Hanna Brammer, soprano, sings "Juliet's Waltz Song" from Gounod's "Romeo & Juliet." Photo by Niki Kottmann

Sung in French with English translations above the stage

Feb. 15, 18, 20, 23, 28

March 4, 8, 14, 20

Martha Collins directs the world’s most famous love story, told through the melodies of Charles Gounod. This tale of young star-crossed lovers hasn’t been performed on the Sarasota Opera House stage since 1993.


“The Elixir of Love” by Gaetano Donizetti

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

Feb. 22 and 26

March 1, 5, 13, 17 and 21

Marco Nisticò makes his mainstage directing debut in this lighthearted romp about poor mechanic Nemorino’s unwavering but unrequited love for the wealthy Adina. Dulcamara’s magic love potion is his last hope — so will it work?


Principal artist Anna Mandina, soprano, sings
Principal artist Anna Mandina, soprano, sings "Ebben! Ne andrò lontana" from Catalani's "La Wally." Photo by Niki Kottmann


“La Wally” by Alfredo Catalani

Sung in Italian with English translations above the stage

March 7, 10, 12, 15, 18 and 22

Stephanie Sundine directs this rarely heard opera with an aria made popular by the 1981 art house film “Diva.” Set in a village in the German alps, the tale follows Wally, a woman who’s fallen for the the son of her father's relentless enemy, thus making the disastrous choice of love over family. 


Artists Choice Concert

7:30 p.m. March 15

Tickets from $10

Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 season will be available for renewal March 4. Individual tickets go on sale online-only Aug. 1 and through the Sarasota Opera Box Office Sept. 2. For more information, call 328-1300. 


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