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Sarasota Opera Announces Changes to Upcoming Season

Four fully staged operas are still planned, but the titles and circumstances are different.

By Kay Kipling November 11, 2020

Four newly announced short operas will make up a new winter/spring season for the Sarasota Opera.

As area arts groups continue to adjust their schedules in light of Covid-19, the Sarasota Opera has just announced changes to its winter 2021 season.

The opera will now present a redesigned winter/spring opera festival that will include two operas featuring a smaller cast and orchestra in February and March and a second two-opera season in April. Both will be performed before limited, well-spaced audiences in the opera house (275 audience members, approximately 20 percent of the theater’s capacity). Enhanced cleaning, testing and masking procedures will also be in place.

“We are both optimistic and committed to adapting our art to the challenges of today’s world,” executive director Richard Russell said in a press release. He added that the opera’s sold-out fall season performances “show that audiences are eager for live opera to return to the stage of the Sarasota Opera House.”

Virtual performance options, live streaming in high-definition, with also be available.

The revised season will present six performances of each opera, and each is approximately 90 minutes long, with no intermission.

First up is Rossini’s The Happy Deception (L’inganno felice), an opera in one act that premiered in 1812. In it, a duchess disappears and then washes up on a beach in a small mining town, where a kind miner takes her in and cares for her. Sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage; performances Feb. 12-25.

Following that production will be a short opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Maid To Mistress (La serva padrona), opening Feb. 19 to run through March 4. The plot involves a wealthy older bachelor who grows impatient with his saucy young maid and resolves to find a wife to care for him. The maid has other ideas, though. Sung in Italian, with English translations.

Coming up in April be another Rossini opera, this one the light-hearted comedy Il signor Bruschino, April 9-24. Anxious young lovers navigate their way through meddling parents, an arranged marriage and a case of mistaken identity. Sung in Italian, with English translations.

And rounding out the revised season will be Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. Based on Virgil’s Aeneid, this Baroque work tells the tragic story of the Queen of Carthage and her doomed love for the Trojan warrior Aeneas. Sung in the original English, with titles above the stage, April 11-25.

All casting and production teams will be announced later.

Current opera season subscribers will be contacted to discuss their options; remaining four-opera subscriptions and single tickets will be available for purchase beginning Jan. 4, 2021. For more information, call (941) 328-1300 or visit


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