Sarasota Opera celebrates Verdi

Free events mark the composer's 200th birthday

October 10, 2013 

ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED

If you love opera, or even if you're just a little opera-curious and want to get a feel for the art form, Sarasota Opera has a fun free evening planned for you.

Today, the company will celebrate Giuseppe Verdi's 200th birthday with a program of music, talks and tours.

Verdi, of course, is one of opera's greatest composers, writer of innumerable melodies and titles even non-opera-lovers recognize, including "Aida," "La traviata" and "Rigoletto." He's a special favorite of Sarasota Opera, which has devoted itself to performing every note Verdi ever wrote.

The festivities begin at 4 p.m. at the Selby Public Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota, with special exhibits and performances by Sarasota Opera artists.

The celebration at the Sarasota Opera House starts at 5 p.m.

Here's a schedule:

• 5-5:30 p.m.: Learn the music and poetry of the chorus from Verdi's Nabucco, "Va, pensiero," in preparation for the community sing later;

• 5-6 p.m.: Backstage tours of the William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre;

• 5:35-6:05 p.m.: Sarasota Opera Studio and Apprentice Artists perform;

• 6:15-6:55 p.m.: Victor DeRenzi, artistic director/ Sarasota Opera principal and Studio Artists and Youth Opera Chorus perform music by Giuseppe Verdi; and

• 6:55-7 p.m.: Community sing of Verdi's chorus from Nabucco, "Va, pensiero."

Details: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, Tickets: Free: Information: 941-366-8450, sarasotaopera.org.

-- Marty Clear

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