Sarasota Opera - Madama Butterfly. Photo credit: Rod-Millington

Sarasota Opera's 2016 Winter Festival

Twenty-seven years in the making, the Sarasota Opera brings its unique Verdi Cycle to completion with the 2016 Winter Opera Festival.

The highlight of the 2016 Winter Opera Festival is the grand finale of The Verdi Cycle, an extraordinary project that began in 1989 with Rigoletto. The Sarasota Opera, which calls itself “Verdi’s American Home,” will hold the distinction of being the only company in the world to have offered Giuseppe Verdi buffs not only his entire operatic oeuvre, but also non-operatic music, as well. The Opera Festival concludes the Verdi adventure with new productions of The Battle of Legnano and Aida. In addition, look for two concerts of Verdi delights, talks, panel discussions and more extra features in an ambitious international Verdi Conference.

Highlights of the 2015-16 Opera Season:

La bohème

October 30, November 1, 4, 10, 12, 15 and 17
The season begins with the return of La bohème, Puccini’s most popular, most hauntingly melodic and most adapted story of romance, tragedy and broken dreams in Paris.

Brundibár

November 14
The Sarasota Youth Opera reprises Brundibár, the powerful, symbolic, anti-Hitler fairy tale opera first performed by children imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in World War II.

Aida

Aida  - Concept Sketches
Aida  - Concept Sketches

January 30, February 4, 7, 10, 20, 23 and 28. March 2, 5, 13, 15 and 19.
Witness the debut of the magisterial opera, one of Verdi’s last, that tells the sad tale of a tragic love triangle, enveloping a hero warrior, spiteful princess and a slave. Aida is celebrated for its huge choruses, lavish scenery and costumes, soaring music and exotic staging.

Cosi fan tutte

February 6, 9, 11, 14, 17, 21 and 26. March 4 and 12.
This delightful opera translates as “All women do this.” Two brides are made to demonstrate their faithfulness to their hapless soldier-fiancées in this uplifting comedic tour-de-force perfect for a Mozart-lover’s night of fun and frolic.

Fidelio

February 13, 18, 24 and 28. March 1, 5 and 11.
Beethoven’s only opera is sub-titled The Triumph of Married Love, in which good and true Leonore dresses as the boy Fidelio, in order to keep her husband, Florestan from dying at the hands of evil tyrant Pizarro.

The Battle of Legnano

February 27. March 3, 6, 8, 12, 16 and 18.
The Verdi Cycle comes to a triumphant end as two soldiers fight for their country and battle each other over the love of a woman. Written by Verdi in 1849, this patriotic opera supports Italian unification as the protagonists try to escape Emperor Barbarossa’s tyranny.

2015-2016 Season Concert Performances

Forbidden Music—The Music Banned by the Nazis

November 7
The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg partners with the Sarasota Opera for this concert featuring the compositions of Jewish artists whose work was banned by the Nazis as the Third Reich ascended to power in the 1930s.

Artists Choice Concert

March 9
Sarasota Opera’s popular concert showcases principal and studio artists’ talent in their own selections of opera and song.

The Young Verdi Concert

March 17
Before Giuseppe Verdi reigned as THE opera composer of the 19th century, he was a young unknown. Discover the young Verdi as he lived and wrote before his first opera, Oberto.

The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Concert

March 20
The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Season comes to a close with one of the master’s last works: the Te Deum. Concertgoers will also delight in the presentation of various arias, ensembles and choruses from audience favorite operas.

Note: Sales to the general public begin January 2016.
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