With Luisa Miller, Carmen, Lucia di Lammermoor, and the first U.S. staging of Haydn's Deceit Outwitted in over 50 years. Sarasota Orchestra concert, Dalí Museum, superb tours/cuisine/wine. Art Ovation Hotel.
Our favourite winter opera festival always has an excellent and varied programme, and it's just a wonderful, warm (in every way) and unpretentious opera experience. What Maestro Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director Richard Russell and their team have done here is truly remarkable. We can't wait to get back to Sarasota.
The 2024 Sarasota Opera season features Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Bizet's Carmen, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, and the first U.S. staging of Haydn's Deceit Outwitted in over 50 years. We will also include the always-popular noontime Apprentice Concert and a performance by the Sarasota Orchestra. Something new to last year's tour that we will repeat in 2024 is a daytrip to St. Petersburg to visit the Dalí Museum, home to one of the most acclaimed collections of a single modern artist in the world, with over 2,000 works representing every moment and medium of Salvador Dalí’s creative life. The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating, has been deemed “one of the top buildings to see in your lifetime” by AOL Travel News, and was named one of the 10 most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest. 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 Art Ovation Hotel, walking distance from the Opera House.
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MONDAY, MARCH 11
19.00 Once settled in our rooms, we gather in the hotel lobby and walk to nearby Café Amici for a Welcome Dinner.
TUESDAY, MARCH 12
11.15 Following breakfast (included each day), we make the short walk to board the Marina Jack for a sightseeing lunch cruise around Lido and Bird Keys and Sarasota Bay.
13.00 Afterward, the afternoon is at leisure.
19.00 Gather and depart for our first performance of the festival,
Verdi’s Luisa Miller. 19.30 curtain. One of Giuseppe Verdi's lesser performed but passionately romantic dramas, Luisa Miller returns to Sarasota Opera after 25 years. Luisa, the daughter of an old soldier, is in love with Carlo, who is really, Rodolfo, the son of the ruthless Count Walter. The count's opposition to the couple's love leads to tragedy, in an opera filled with memorable arias and thrilling ensembles.
22.30 Gather in front of the opera house, walk back to the hotel.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13
09.45 Depart by coach for St. Petersburg and the Dalí Museum. 13.30 Lunch is included at Birch & Vine, then back to the hotel by 16.00.
19.00 Walk to Sarasota Opera for Bizet’s Carmen. 19.30 curtain. Carmen, the seductive and enigmatic heroine of Bizet's opera, has enticed Corporal Don José who upends is life to be with her. When her interest turns to the charismatic bullfighter Escamillo, José's enraged jealousy leads to catastrophe. Opera-lovers and newcomers alike will bask in some of opera's most recognizable music!
22.30 Walk back to the hotel following the performance.
THURSDAY, MARCH 14
09.45 Depart by coach to the Ringling Ca`d’Zan Mansion and Museum of Art, with a strong and varied collection.
13.00 Lunch is included in the Ringling Grill Room, then back to the hotel by 15.00.
18.45 Coach transfer to the Neel Performing Arts Center at the State College of Florida for a concert (TBA; 19.30 start) by the Sarasota Orchestra.
21.30 Return transfer following the performance.
FRIDAY, MARCH 15
10.15 Walk to the Opera House for a special backstage tour. 11.45 Take our seats for an hour-long concert featuring Sarasota Opera’s Apprentice and Studio artists. Noon start.
13.00 Afterward, Sarasota Opera’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Victor DeRenzi and Managing Director Richard Russell will join our group in the courtyard to discuss all things related to Sarasota Opera.
15.00 After lunch at leisure, Studio Artists (understudies for principal roles) will sing excerpts from the season’s operas in the Peterson Great Room.
17.00 Walk to Element for dinner. Superb cuisine and ambiance. 19.15 Make our way to the Opera House for opening night of Haydn’s Deceit Outwitted. 19.30 curtain. Joseph Haydn is one of classical music's most famous composers, but his substantial body of opera is virtually unknown. In the delightful comedy, Deceit Outwitted (L'infedeltà delusa), the peasant, Filippo hopes his daughter Sandrina will marry the rich farmer Nencio. She is in love, however, with a poor peasant, whose sister is in love with Nencio. Through a series of comic complications (including a parade of disguises), all is happily resolved, accompanied by Haydn's inventive score and brilliant singing. This will be a Sarasota Opera premiere and the first fully-staged professional production in the U.S. in over 50 years.
SATURDAY, MARCH 16
11.15 This morning we offer a guided tour of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Back to the hotel by 13.30.
17.00 We enjoy a relaxed Farewell Dinner at perennial favourite, the Bijou Garden Café.
19.15 We then take our seats for the final performance of the tour—Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. 19.30 curtain. Deceit leads to murder and madness, in Donizetti's masterpiece, based on Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor. To save his family's fortunes, Enrico Ashton has promised his sister Lucia's hand to a Scottish nobleman, instead of Edgardo, the man she loves, and a member of a rival family. The ensuing drama is excitingly captured in Donizetti's beautifully romantic music, with many well-known operatic highlights including Lucia's famous mad scene.
SUNDAY, MARCH 17
Transfers (included) to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Details re-confirmed a few days prior.
Top Category seats for 4 operas and 2 additional performances
6 nights Deluxe accommodations at the Art Ovation Hotel
Full breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
Private tours as listed
On-site Tour Direction
Comprehensive Tour Guidebook
Flights are not included in tour pricing. Return flights should be booked to Sarasota (SRQ) for arrival on March 11, departure on March 17.
We provide airport/rail station—hotel transfers for arrivals and on departure, within within 3 days of the start/end of our tour from the cities listed above. We also provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
There is minimal walking with some stairs and cobblestones during the guided tours. As for all of our tours, we are happy to accommodate you regardless of your mobility level. Please make clear your mobility concerns at the time of registration. We provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
We strongly recommend that all tour members purchase cancellation insurance upon registration. We can assist you with this, though you are welcome to purchase a policy at your own discretion. For more information about our travel insurance, click here.
Your Tour Director
Peter is a professional guide with 35 + years experience who has provided engaging cultural, historical, and educational tours on all seven continents. Calling Santa Fe home since 1998, Peter was drawn here by the deep richness of people, cultures, traditions, history, art, architecture, and cuisine. It is through this passion that Peter shares and showcases Santa Fe – weaving a true understanding of Santa Fe today from the past we have journeyed.