|Teatro La Fenice|
The Sarasota group traveled from Parma to Venice by bus and then transferred by water taxi to the Bauer’s Hotel, near the Piazza San Marco. The afternoon was taken up with touring the Ca’ Rezzonico, a palazzo which once included Robert Browning and Cole Porter as its tenants and is now one of the finest museums of art in Venice.
|Members of the group at dinner at Cipriani overlooking St. Mark's Basilica|
Despite the rain, the following morning a few hardy souls toured the Basilica of St. Marks, the Rialto Market, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a building for which Tintoretto provided all of the artwork, including some of his greatest masterpieces.
|The group in front of the Teatro La Fenice|
The artistic director of the Teatro La Fenice, Fortunato Ortombina, gave some insight into the theater and the production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly that we were about to see. Coincidentally, Mo. DeRenzi recognized Mr. Ortombina from his earlier work with the Institute of Verdi Studies in Parma.
|Maestro DeRenzi, Teatro La Fenice Artistic Director Fortunato Ortombina, and Executive Director Richard Russell |
inside Teatro La Fenice
|The interior of Venice's Teatro La Fenice with Mariko Mori's set for Act I of Madama Butterfly on stage|
It was an experience that no one will soon forget and a fitting start to the season that will bring the Grand Finale to Sarasota Opera’s 28-season long “Verdi Cycle.”