The historic Sarasota Opera House

Turn off the ghost light, and switch on the spotlights! After more than a year of closed venues and shuttered stages, the Sarasota arts scene is now coming back to life in an exciting fall season of performances.

The vibrant arts community named in US News & World Report’s “Top Ten Best Places to Live” and designated by Time Magazine as one of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places 2021” is welcoming audiences back to theaters and venues with dynamic programming, world premieres, rarely performed operatic works, and exciting debuts. Sarasota audiences can feel safe returning to venues taking special precautions as the curtains go up, with more than 30 arts organizations signing on to enhanced safety protocols.

Hanna Brammer, Christopher Bozeka, and Alexander Boyd (seen here in Il Signor Bruschino, 2021) return to perform in Rossini’s The Silken Ladder.

Opening October 29, Sarasota Opera presents The Silken Ladder (La scala di seta), an early Rossini work that’s a perfect choice for first-time operagoers or longtime aficionados. Only 90 minutes in length, the spirited one-act comedy begins with a well-known overture and goes on to spin a seductive story of a secret husband and would-be lovers who scale a silken ladder into and out of a lady’s room. All of Sarasota Opera’s works are fully staged, with lavish sets and costumes, and the historic theater features real-time translations above the stage, so audiences can follow along with every twist and turn of the story. Click here for more information.

The Sarasota Opera House, which underwent a $20 million renovation in 2007, has been called “one of America’s finest venues for opera.”

Classical music lovers are thrilled to celebrate Sarasota Orchestra’s new music director–designate—internationally renowned conductor Bramwell Tovey—in his inaugural concert October 30 at the Sarasota Opera House. Dance aficionados can look forward to Sarasota Ballet’s presentation of Sir Peter Wright’s Summertide and Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, to be performed at the Sarasota Opera House November 19–20.

For theater fans, the venerable Asolo Rep will let the sun shine in with the iconic rock musical Hair, opening next month. Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents a crowd-pleasing salute to Broadway pioneer Eubie Blake—the legendary composer, ragtime pianist, and “father of Black Broadway”—with Eubie, running through November 21. Just around the block from the Sarasota Opera House, Florida Studio Theatre, founded in 1973, features a charming village of five theaters presenting a year-round program of diverse performances from their Mainstage, Cabaret, Stage III, Children’s Theatre, FST School, New Play Development, and FST Improv programs.

The historic Sarasota Opera House hosts performances by the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet, and many other arts organizations.

Meanwhile, on stunning Sarasota Bay, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall hosts spectacular Broadway musicals, top national and international performers, popular comedians, world-class symphony orchestras, and a compelling mix of classical, modern, and ethnic dance. Further down the Gulf Coast, the Hermitage—a historic coastal creative refuge—offers explorations in art, music, poetry, film, and dance.

The historic Sarasota Opera House hosts performances by the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet, and many other arts organizations.

While autumn brings colorful leaves to other parts of the country, the fall season of performing arts in Sarasota has a vibrance unmatched by other comparably sized cities. Read more about how Sarasota became a coastal haven for arts and culture here. The plenitude of local offerings and events includes these organizations and more:

Sarasota OperaSarasota OrchestraSarasota BalletAsolo RepWestcoast Black Theatre TroupeFlorida Studio TheatreVan Wezel Performing Arts HallThe HermitageArt Center SarasotaArts AdvocatesArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota CountyArtist Series ConcertsThe Chamber Orchestra of SarasotaChoral Artists of SarasotaCircus Arts ConservatoryCreArte LatinoThe Jazz Club of SarasotaKey ChoraleMarie Selby Botanical GardensMusica Sacra of SarasotaThe Players Centre for Performing ArtsThe Pops OrchestraRing SarasotaRingling College of Art + DesignRingling College Library AssociationThe Ringling MuseumSarasota Concert AssociationSarasota Contemporary DanceSPAACESStrings Con BrioUrbanite TheatreWSLR+Fogartyville

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