Sarasota Opera Festival

March 12 - 17, 2019

With Puccini’s Turandot, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Nabucco and A Comic Double Bill: Donizetti’s Rita (Two Men and a Woman) and Wolf-Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret. With superb meals and deluxe rooms at the new Art Ovation Hotel.

Sarasota Opera House ExteriorWhat better way to escape the winter chill than with a sojourn in Sarasota for one of the most unique and enjoyable opera experiences in North America.

Our days will be spent enjoying the sun and sea air, taking in the views of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and touring the most significant cultural sites in the area. Our nights will be filled with superb performances and will see us retire to our deluxe rooms at the brand new Art Ovation Hotel, walking-distance to the Opera House, just a block off Main St. and the Marina Bayfront.

The 2019 Sarasota Opera season features Puccini’s TurandotMozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Nabucco and a comic double bill: Donizetti’s Rita (Two Men and a Woman) and Wolf-Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret. As always, we include superb meals at some of Sarasota’s finest restaurants, tours at the Ringling Museum and Selby Botanical Gardens, and we enjoy deluxe rooms at the new Art Ovation Hotel.

A detailed daily itinerary will be available in August, but we will take only 16 members on the tour.

To register now, click here.


Tuesday, March 12

Upon arrival at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, you are met and transferred to the new Art Ovation Hotel, where your Deluxe water-view room awaits. In the early evening, we gather for a Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s Overture Restaurant.

Wednesday, March 13

Following breakfast (included each day), we enjoy a sightseeing cruise around Lido and Bird Keys, along with areas past the Ringling Bridge, into north Sarasota Bay. Afterward, we enjoy lunch at the revered Crab & Fin on St. Armand’s Circle. This evening, we attend our first performance of the festival, Nabucco, a Verdi masterwork, under the baton of the most accomplished Verdi conductor on the planet–Sarasota Opera’s Artistic Director, Maestro Victor DeRenzi. Nabucco, king of Babylon, conquers the Hebrews, destroying the temple and taking them into captivity. Meanwhile, his rebellious daughter Abigaille plots to take power and gain the affection of her sister Fenena’s lover, Ismaele. Learning of the coup, the blasphemous Nabucco seizes the crown and declares himself god, but is struck mad by a thunderbolt. Will he regain his reason, repent, and return the Jews to their homeland?

Thursday, March 14

This morning we will tour the Ringling Cà d’Zan Mansion and Museum of Art. The Ringlings’ dazzling palatial mansion is a tribute to the American Dream and reflects the splendour and romance of Italy. Described as “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” to be built in America, Cà d’Zan has 56 incredible rooms filled with art and original furnishings. With its Venetian Gothic architecture, the mansion is a combination of the grandeur of Venice’s Doge’s Palace, combined with the Gothic grace of Cà d’Oro, with Sarasota Bay serving as its Grand Canal. This evening we dine at the superb Selva Grill, where intricately prepared Nuevo Latino dishes have earned rave reviews from our previous tour members. Tonight, we take our seats for a comic double bill: Donizetti’s Rita (Two Men and a Woman) and Wolf-Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret. These two rare one-act comedies will make for a delightful evening at the opera.

Friday, March 15

Today we enjoy a private tour of Selby Gardens, which maintains a collection of more than 20,000 greenhouse plants. This evening we enjoy dinner at the chic Louies Modern before Puccini’s Turandot. In exile, Prince Calaf wanders outside the Chinese Imperial Palace, where any man seeking the love of Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. If they succeed, the reward will be the princess’ hand—if they fail, execution. After a glimpse of Turandot’s fabled beauty, Calaf declares his intention of meeting the challenge and winning the Princess’ heart.

Saturday, March 16

This morning we offer an optional (no additional cost) guided architectural tour of Sarasota, featuring a number of historic buildings and focusing on the Sarasota School of Architecture (1940-1970). Following lunch at leisure, we meet for the final performance of the tour–Mozart’s The Magic Flute, the story of Prince Tamino’s heroic quest. After being rescued by the Queen of the Night’s three ladies, Tamino is visited by the Queen herself, who asks him for help saving her daughter from Sarastro’s evil hands. With the gift of a magic flute and the help of a clumsy new friend, the bird catcher Papageno, the prince will find out that hero and villain aren’t always who they may seem. Afterward, we enjoy a relaxed Farewell Dinner at the perennial favourite—Bijou Café. With its outstanding wine list and award-winning chef Jean-Pierre Knaggs’ famous recipes, this is sure to be a memorable meal. 

Sunday, March 17

Transfers are included to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, and will be arranged on-site.