Regional Opera Company of the Week: Sarasota Opera
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by Scott Frost
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre site on the net, continues its expansion into other areas of entertainment with our latest feature -The Regional Opera Company of the Week!
This week's featured Opera Company is Sarasota Opera!
Sarasota Opera has a long history of bringing opera to the people along the Gulf Coast. Starting in 1960 when the group was called Asolo Opera Guild the company presented a touring chamber-sized company, Turnau Opera's productions in the 320 seat Asolo Theater at the Sarasota Ringling Museum of Art. Starting in 1973 the company began producing their own productions when they recognized the need for a theater more conducive to opera. The company bought the former A.B. Edwards Theater and began renovations in 1982. In 1984 the company, now being called Sarasota Opera, opened the Sarasota Opera House which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
With the new space came new international attention with the start of its Masterwork Revivals Series which presents neglected works of artistic merit. This brought along another great program- the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs, recognizing the importance of training. The Sarasota Opera House had a $20 million dollar renovation and restoration in 2008 to restore the historic 1926 theater. This restoration both celebrated the original glory while also updating the venue for the 21st Century.
Sarasota Opera started an American Classics Series in 2011 with The Crucible followed by Vanessa in 2012. This season brings us Of Mice and Men as part of the ambitious season line-up. With help of local arts organization the company has been able to develop several educational events unique to each Classic Series title.
Whether you are new to opera or a seasoned aficionado, Sarasota Opera is the ideal place to experience world-class performances. The space is very intimate with less than 1,200 seats and superb acoustics. Each season brings an interesting mix of opera for opera lovers and first timers alike.
Sarasota is extremely committed to their patrons of all ages and from across the state and around the world. The company provides opportunities for young singers in the chorus, outreach concerts for local civic, social and service clubs, as well as incorporated curriculum for teachers to bring opera into the classrooms.
This season brings four unique titles to its audiences over the next two months
Set in Ancient China, Turandot tells the story of the beautiful ice princess Turandot for whom men travel the world to win the heart of by solving three riddles. Answer correctly and win her eternal love; Answer incorrectly and lose your head.
February 9, 12, 17 (mat.), 20, 23, 28, March 3 (mat.), 10, 15, 19 (mat), 23
Set in legendary Sri Lanka, the story follows two men whose vow of eternal friendship is threatened when the object of their mutual desires suddenly returns igniting a dangerous triangle of forbidden love.
February 16, 19, 21, 24(mat.), 27, March 1, 8(mat.), 16(mat.), 22
In Verdi's comic second opera, the King of Poland hides from his enemies by asking an unknown knight to impersonate him, leading to a series of amorous intrigues.
March 2, 5, 7, 10(mat.), 13, 16, 24 (mat.)
Based on the novel and play by John Steinbeck, Carlisle Floyd's opera stays faithful to the legendary story of two depression-era workers, George and Lennie, as they struggle to achieve their personal American dream.
March 9, 12, 14, 17(mat.), 20, 23(mat.)
For more information about the company or to get tickets to any Sarasota Opera productions visit the website at http://www.sarasotaopera.org/