Following the safe and successful completion of the 2021 Winter Opera Festival, the Spring Opera Festival opens on Friday, April 9. Il signor Bruschino is a lighthearted gem composed by a young Gioachino Rossini. This operatic comedy begins with one of Rossini’s most innovative and playful overtures. From there, 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. More information at https://tickets.sarasotaopera.org/5054.
Opening on Sunday, April 11, will be Dido and 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. More information at https://tickets.sarasotaopera.org/5064.
A rare opportunity, designed for extraordinary times
In an effort to maintain a connection with the community throughout the pandemic, Sarasota Opera’s 2021 Winter and Spring repertoire was chosen specifically for the challenges of social distancing, with operas that are short in duration, with smaller casts and orchestra. While Il signor Bruschino is Rossini’s most widely performed one-act opera, this is its Sarasota Opera premiere. Dido and Aeneas was presented by the Asolo Opera Guild in 1961 in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art, but it has not been performed in Sarasota since then. Executive Director Richard Russell says, “These are great works by major composers, and this season gives us the opportunity to explore some new repertoire that we hope audiences will enjoy.”
The artistic ensemble
Sarasota Opera’s 2021 Spring Opera Festival will feature many returning artists familiar to Sarasota audiences, including sopranos Hanna Brammer and Lindsay Ohse, and mezzo sopranos Lisa Chavez, Annie Chester, and Laurel Semerdjian. Tenors include Christopher Bozeka and Andrew Surrena. Baritones Alexander Boyd and Joshua DeVane will be joined by bass Stefano De Peppo. Victor DeRenzi and Jesse Martins will conduct, while Stephanie Sundine and Martha Collins will be the stage directors. Costumes have been designed by longtime resident costume designer Howard Tsvi Kaplan, along with lighting by resident lighting designer Ken Yunker.
Streaming options available
Both operas will be streamed in high definition with multiple cameras and subtitles, and will be available for purchase for $25 each, per household. Streaming is available for a 30-day period. More information at https://www.sarasotaopera.org/2021-spring-streaming.
Health & safety
Sarasota Opera is committed to the highest health and safety standards: Each work runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Seating in the Sarasota Opera House is limited to 20% of capacity. Audience members are 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 https://www.sarasotaopera.org/health-and-safety.
Individual tickets for live and online streaming performances start at $25. 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]. The Box Office is located at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.