Sarasota Opera to launch American opera series in 2011

March 08, 2010

In an economically straitened time when most opera companies seem to be running away from offbeat repertory in general—and American opera in particular—at least one company is fighting against the regressive tide.

Starting in 2011, Sarasota Opera will present one American opera every season as part of a new “American Classics,” series recently announced by the company.

Victor DeRenzi

“It’s something I always wanted to do,”  said Sarasota’s artistic director and chief conductor Victor DeRenzi. “A lot of companies are pulling back and not doing this repertoire, and just doing Puccini, Verdi, and Rossini. 

“Obviously we’ll continue to do those composers as well,”  he said. “But with our Verdi cycle winding down, I thought it’s about time that someone does something like this for American opera, and it might as well be us.”

The “American Classics” series will launch with Robert Ward’s The Crucible in 2011. Future seasons will bring Barber’s Vanessa and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men.

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