Opening the 2021 Winter Opera Festival on Friday, February 12, will be The Happy Deception (L’inganno felice), an opera in one act by Gioachino Rossini. The opera was an instant success when it premiered in Venice in 1812. A duchess disappears and then washes up on a beach in a small mining town. A kind miner takes her in and cares for her, until 10 years later when her grieving husband and his entourage pay a visit. Abduction, menace, passion, and comedy all swirl toward a happy conclusion. Sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage, there will be six performances through February 25. Click here for more information.
Opening on Friday, February 19, will be Maid to Mistress (La serva padrona), a short opera by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. The plot involves a wealthy bachelor who grows impatient with his saucy young maid and resolves to find a wife to care for him properly. The maid has other ideas, though, and schemes to get the promotion she desires—to bride and mistress of the home. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage. There will be six performances through March 4. Click here for more information.
Opening the Spring Opera Festival on Friday, April 9, is Il signor Bruschino, another sparkling gem by Gioacchino Rossini. This lighthearted operatic comedy opens with one of Rossini’s most innovative and playful overtures. Anxious young lovers navigate their way through meddling parents, an arranged marriage, and a case of mistaken identity, with sparkling arias and ensembles soaring toward happily-ever-after. The opera will be sung in Italian, with English translations above the stage. There will be six performances through April 24. Click here for more information.
Opening on Sunday, April 11, will be Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell. In this Baroque treasure based on the Aeneid of Virgil, Dido the Queen of Carthage falls in love with the Trojan warrior Aeneas, yet scheming sorcery and fateful spells doom their great passion. Hear the abandoned and heartbroken queen conclude the epic tale with one of opera’s most memorable laments. The opera will be sung in the original English, with titles above the stage, for six performances through April 25. Click here for more information.
The Artistic Ensemble
Sarasota Opera’s 2021 Winter/Spring Opera Festival will feature many returning artists familiar to Sarasota audiences, including sopranos Hanna Brammer, Anna Mandina, and Lindsay Ohse; and mezzo sopranos Lisa Chavez, Annie Chester, and Laurel Semerdjian. Tenors include Andrew Surrena and Christopher Bozecka, making his Sarasota Opera debut. Baritones Alexander Charles Boyd, Joshua DeVane, and Joseph Beutel will be joined by bass Stefano De Peppo. Returning conductors include Victor DeRenzi, Marcello Cormio, and Jesse Martins, with stage directors Martha Collins, Stephanie Sundine, and Mark Freiman. Costumes will be assembled by longtime resident costume designer Howard Tsvi Kaplan, along with lighting by resident lighting designer Ken Yunker.
Streaming Options Available
All four operas will be streamed in high definition with multiple cameras, premium audio, and subtitles, and will be available for purchase as a virtual season for $100 or as a single opera for $25. Click here for more information.
Health & Safety
Sarasota Opera is committed to the highest health and safety standards: Each work will run between 60 and 90 minutes with no intermission. Seating in the Sarasota Opera House will be limited to 20 percent of capacity. Audience members will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines. Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented within the theater, and the air conditioning system has been upgraded with a bipolar ionization system to neutralize germs and viruses. More details on health and safety are available at sarasotaopera.org/health-and-safety.
Individual tickets for live and online streaming performances start at $25, along with four-opera subscriptions for both live and streaming performances. For more information, visit SarasotaOpera.org; call the Box Office at (941) 328-1300, Monday–Friday, 10 am–5 pm; or email anytime at [email protected]. Please note that the Box Office, located at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, is currently closed to walk-ins.