Sarasota Opera 2019-20 Season Brings Back Some Favorites

The season also marks the return of the Artists Choice Concert.

By Kay Kipling May 23, 2019

The Sarasota Opera's 2012 production of Rigoletto.

The Sarasota Opera’s 2018-19 season may be over, but the company is already preparing for the 2019-20 schedule, announced recently.

The fall season kicks off in November, with Verdi’s classic about a protective father, a lecherous duke, and a naïve young woman, Rigoletto, taking the opera house stage Nov. 1, 3, 6, 12, 14 and 17. Maestro Victor DeRenzi will conduct, with Stephanie Sundine directing.

The Sarasota Youth Opera presents a revival of its production of Hans Krasa’s Brundibar, originally performed by children at the Theresienstadt concentration campus during World War II. The allegorical tale has three heroes—a sparrow, a cat and a dog—helping two children raise money to save their ailing mother, despite the evil organ grinder Brundibar. Youth opera music director Jesse Martins and stage director Martha Collins have created a prologue featuring the words of young people for these performances, which take place Nov. 15 and 16.

The Sarasota Youth Opera's 2015 production of Brundibar.

The 2020 Winter Opera Festival commences in February with Puccini’s La bohème, set in Paris’ Latin Quarter and telling the tale of the tragic love of Mimi and Rodolfo, along with their bohemian friends. Again conducted by DeRenzi, with stage direction by Mark Freiman, La bohème will be performed Feb. 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 25 and 29, and March 3, 6, 11, 14, 19 and 21.

Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet brings the story of Shakespeare’s doomed young lovers to operatic life Feb. 15, 18, 20, 23 and 28 and March 4, 8, 14 and 20. Last presented by the Sarasota Opera in 1993, Romeo and Juliet will be conducted by Anthony Barrese, with Martha Collins directing.

Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto comedy, The Elixir of Love, is next up, Feb 22 and 26 and March 1, 5, 13, 17 and 21—the tale of a magic love potion the hopeful Nemorino seeks to use to win his resistant Adina. Baritone Marco Nistico, a frequent Sarasota Opera performer, will make his mainstage directing debut with this one.

Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally, set in a village in the German Alps, had its last fully staged U.S. production in 1989, when it launched Sarasota Opera’s Masterworks Revival Series. Now it’s back, with the brave but vulnerable Wally facing heartbreak after the man of her dreams makes a cruel bet that leads to tragedy. DeRenzi and Sundine will again team for this production, onstage March 7, 10, 12, 15, 18 and 22.

The opera will bring back its Artists Choice Concert, featuring principal and studio artists performing their favorite selections of opera and song, on March 15. It was absent from last season’s schedule to make room for celebrations of the 60th anniversary season.

Renewal subscriptions are already available; single tickets will go on sale online only Aug. 1 and at the box office Sept. 2. For more information, call 328-1300 or go to

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