The coming months will bring the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner and the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten. To celebrate, Sarasota Opera will offer works by those three giants of opera in its recently announced 2013-14 season.
Verdi's "Il trovatore" and "Jerusalem," Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" and Britten's "The Little Sweep" are among the highlights of the company's 55th season.
The season also includes classic work by Rossini and Johann Strauss Jr.
The opera's fall season starts Nov. 1 with a Strauss work, "Die Fledermaus" and Britten's "The Little Sweep" on Nov. 9-10.
"Die Fledermaus" features baritone Sean Anderson, whom audiences will remember from "Of Mice and Men" at Sarasota Opera, as Eisenstein, and soprano Danielle Walker ("King for a Day") as Rosalinda.
Britten wrote "The Little Sweep" to introduce young people to opera, and it will be performed by the Sarasota Youth Opera.
The 2014 Winter Festival season gets going Feb. 8 with "Il trovatore." It's been 20 years since the Sarasota Opera last produced the Verdi classic that features the sev
eral popular pieces, including "The Anvil Chorus."
Also on tap for the winter festival are Rossini's comic opera "The Barber of Seville," opening Feb. 15, Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" (March 1) and Verdi's "Jerusalem" (March 8), which is presented as part of the opera's ongoing Verdi cycle.
"The Barber of Seville" features baritone Marco Nestico, who sang the lead in "Rigoletto" last season, as Figaro, and bass Young Bok Kim, who was in both "Rigoletto" and "Turnadot" last season, as Basilio.
"The Flying Dutchman" is a remount of the Sarasota Opera's 2000 production directed by David P. Gordon. Featured performers include tenors Michael Hendrick and Jon Jurgens. They were both part of last season's "Of Mice and Men" (as Lennie and Curley, respectively) as was conductor David Neely.
The cast of the Verdi's spirited dramatic opera "Jerusalem" again features soprano Walker, as well as bass Kevin Short, who was Pagano in "I Lombardo" in 2011.
Also on tap for the upcoming season are four concerts: An operetta concert featuring cast members from "Die Fledermaus" (Nov. 12), a concert of American opera music performed by the Sarasota Opera's apprentice and studio artists (March 5), and artists's choice concert from the opera's principal and studio artists and a Verdi concert (March 23).
For information and tickets, call 941-366-8450 or visit www.sarasotaopera.org.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411. ext. 7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.