Friday, October 11, 2013

Sarasota Opera Celebrates Verdi's 200th Birthday in Style!

On October 10, 2013, members from the Sarasota Opera community and the Sarasota community in general gathered to celebrate the 200th birthday of the legendary Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.  The celebration began at the Selby Public Library with the unveiling of several Verdi themed exhibits followed by a musical presentation.  Immediately following the library presentation, guests were directed to follow a red carpet across the street to the Sarasota Opera House to continue the celebration.  

At the Opera house, guests enjoyed an "All Access Pass" to Sarasota Opera which included backstage tours, costume and make-up demonstrations, conversations with our stage directors, and several musical programs in the courtyard, atrium and on the mainstage.  The event rounded out with a community sing of Verdi's famous chorus "Va, pensiero" from his opera Nabucco in the opera house.  

Here are some photos from the day:

Red carpets were rolled out to greet our guests and guide them from the Selby Public Library to the Sarasota Opera House. Special thanks to the Sarasota Film Festival for loaning us the carpets.

Bass-baritone William Roberts performing before a captive audience at the Selby Public Library 

We had over 300 people in attendance who were the first to see the
Verdi exhibit and enjoy the musical performances.

Tenor Marvin Kehler and soprano Jennifer Townshend offered the famous Brindisi from Verdi's La traviata

This was the crowd waiting to get into the Opera House to begin the birthday celebration

Guests enjoyed backstage tours with Director of Production Chris Van Alstyne...
and music rehearsal for the community sing of Verdi's famous chorus "Va, Pensiero" from Nabucco

Audrey Bernardin, from our wigs and make-up team, offered demonstrations on applying stage make-up.

Beverly Hogan Fleck, from our wardrobe staff, telling guests about costumes at Sarasota Opera.

Linda Carson of ABC 7 Sarasota - WWSB reported live from the Opera House.

Tenor Jon Jurgens, mezzo soprano Samantha Weppelman, soprano Jennifer Townshend and
baritone Jesse Malgieri performing the famous Act IV quartet from Rigoletto.

Their captive audience.
Soprano Alexandra Batsios singing "Sempre Libera" from Verdi's La Traviata to a captive audience.

Mezzo-soprano Briana Elyse Hunter singing "Una voce poco fa" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville.

The courtyard audience.

Sarasota Youth Opera, artists, musical staff, and audience all joined together to sing Verdi's famous chorus "Va, pensiero". Maestro DeRenzi conducted from the pit.
The cupcakes that greeted guests on their way out of the theater.

Verdi's 200th birthday cake.  

Tickets for the 2013-2014 Sarasota Opera Season are available by calling (941) 328-1300 or on our website at  Don't miss a note of this spectacular season of opera!

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