Sarasota Opera artistic director Victor DeRenzi realized one dream when his company presented the decades-long Verdi Cycle, honoring the music of his favorite composer. Now he’s hit another high point: The Italian government has bestowed upon him the title of Cavaliere dell’ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) in recognition of his vision and leadership in bringing that cycle to fruition this past opera season.
DeRenzi received the distinction from the Italian Consul General in Miami, Dr. Gloria Marina Bellelli, at the Italian National Day Celebration on June 1, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Italian Republic. For DeRenzi, “As a musician, and a citizen of Italy and the United States, it means a great deal to me,” the maestro says of the honor. “I have loved Italy since I was a child, and its arts have been at the center of my life….It is especially meaningful to me to receive this honor that recognizes the promotion of culture beyond Italy’s national boundaries.”
By the way, the completion of the Verdi Cycle makes DeRenzi the only person to have conducted all of the master’s works.