Monday, December 12, 2011

Sarasota Youth Opera Packs the House at Annual Holiday Concert!

On Sunday, December 11, 2011, the Sarasota Youth Opera Preparatory Chorus and Full Chorus packed the house for their annual Holiday Concert at the Whitfield Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, Florida.

Dave Braun, Music Director of Whitfield Presbyterian Church, welcomed the audience made up of Sarasota Youth Opera Supporters, family, friends and fans. Under the direction of Maestro Jesse Martins, Youth Opera Music Director, Ben Plocher, Youth Opera and Outreach Coordinator, the Full Chorus and Preparatory Chorus presented an hour long program of opera choruses, folk songs and holiday favorites. As a special treat, Youth Opera parents were invited to join the choruses for a singing of Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer" as well as the Christmas classic "Why can't we have Christmas the whole year around?". Maestro Kristen Kemp expertly accompanied both groups on the piano.

Dave Braun, Music Director of Whitfield Presbyterian Church, welcomed the audience as well as offered a special thanks to Executive Director, Susan Danis.

The Full Chorus opened the concert with choruses from Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci and Weber's opera Oberon.

The Preparatory Chorus followed with charming folk songs performed from memory

Sarasota Opera Individual Giving Officer, Andrea Gartner, joined the Preparatory Chorus on the oboe

Here are a few more pictures from yesterday's wonderful concert:

The applause was abundant for these young performers and the audience left with smiles on their faces and a holiday song in their heart. Bravi to Maestro Martins, Ben Plocher, Maestro Kemp and especially to each and every member of the Sarasota Youth Opera for all of their hard work!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Below is an article from the Chicago Tribune regarding the significant drop in theater subscriptions across the country!

Big national drop in theater subscriptions
November 28, 2011|Chris Jones|Chicago Tribune

Theater criticFor those in the theater industry who long have followed the late Danny Newman's "Subscribe Now!" mantra to build loyal subscribers rather than fickle single ticket buyers, the latest research from the Theatre Communications Group should make sobering reading.

At least where non-profit American theaters are concerned, it is not working so well anymore.

According to Theatre Facts 2010, the annual research snapshot released by the TCG lobbying and support organization, subscription income is dropping at American theaters at an alarming rate.

Between 2006 and 2010, the report (released Monday) says, national subscription income dropped by an eye-catching 15.1%. Some 14% fewer subscripion tickets were sold and the closely watched subscriber base dropped by 15%.

Overall attendance also fell, slightly. The decline was 3.6%, although the study notes that attendance went up for workshops, skeletal productions and the like. Theaters, the study notes, have cut costs by an average of 2.6%, no doubt in response to these numbers and also to the decline in philanthropic giving (contributed income fell during the period of the study by 5.2 percent).

Interestingly, single-ticket income rose modestly during each of the years in the study. And between 2006 and 2010, the number of single-ticket buyers rose by 3%. Most theaters report a positive change in unrestricted net assets, growth that the study attributes to the rising price of a single ticket.

Sarasota Opera Hosts Friend-Raising Event in Pinellas County

Sarasota Opera hosted two friend-raising events for the Florida Suncoast Opera League, the Pinellas Opera League and patrons of Sarasota Opera on Saturday, November 19th in St. Petersburg, FL and Sunday, November 20th in Dunedin, FL. Tampa Bay Magazine publisher Aaron Fodiman, and his wife Margaret Wood Burnside, generously donated their homes for the events. The events were chaired by Sarasota Opera Trustee Don Worthington and his wife Rachael Worthington, and were generously underwritten by PNC Bank.

Executive Director Susan Danis, Aaron Fodiman and his wife, Margaret Wood Burnside at Ovation.

Sarasota Opera Trustee member Don Worthington welcomes the guests at Ovation.

The events were two hours each and attendees enjoyed cocktails, light hors d’oeuvres and a 30 minute concert presented by Sarasota Opera Artists Youna Jang, soprano and tenor Heath Huberg. “The purpose of these two events was to bring Sarasota Opera to our friends and supporters in Pinellas County”, says Greg Parry, Director of Marketing at Sarasota Opera. “This was a wonderful opportunity to say hello to new and existing patrons, let them know what we have coming up for our 2012 Winter Festival Season and, most importantly, enjoy some wonderful singing by our artists. We are grateful to Mr. Fodiman and Ms. Burnside for opening their homes, Don and Rachael Worthington for chairing the events and PNC Bank for their generous underwriting.”

Guests included Sarasota Opera Executive Director Susan T. Danis, Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers, Aaron Fodiman and his wife Margaret Wood Burnside, Ambassador Mel Sembler and his wife Betty Sembler, the Honorable Pamela Campbell and her husband George Campbell, Sarasota Opera Board Chairman Joe Stephan and his wife Nora Stephan, and Kathleen Monahan, Director of Cultural & Civic Services for the City of Tarpon Springs.

Below are some photos from the event at Ovation:

Tenor Heath Huberg sings for the crowd

Soprano Youna Jang entertains the crowd with a selection of arias

Richard and Marita Rotella (left) and Lilo and Jeffrey Barnes (right)

Jay Kaminsky and Aaron Fodiman at Ovation

George Campbell, Sarasota Opera Board Chairman Joe Stephan, Nora Stephan and Ambassador Mel Sembler

The Honorable Pamela Campbell, Rachael Worthington, and George Campbell

And here are some photos from the next day's event at the home of Aaron Fodiman and Margaret Wood Burnside in Dunedin, FL:

Fazal Fazlin and Fay Lazaris

The Honorable and Mrs. William Castagna, John Prevas, Mavis Gibson, and Margaret Carrington

Pat Benjamin, Elena Cifuentes, Patti Italiano, Judy Dato

Joe and Michelle Menasce, Bonny Heet, Martin Martel, and John Rinde