Richard Russell Returns To The Stage

Arts & Culture

Going out with a bang, Sarasota Opera concludes the Verdi Cycle this Sunday at the Sarasota Opera House with the Verdi Grand Finale Concert. Not only will audiences be given the chance to hear some of Verdi’s final works, such as the Te Deum and a duet from Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio, which was last performed in the 1840s, but audiences will relive some of their favorite moments from the 28-year cycle as a curated selection of highlights from Verdi’s many works, including arias, ensembles and choruses, is performed under the direction of Maestro Victor DeRenzi. Marking this special occasion, Sarasota Opera Executive Director Richard Russell, who helped kick off the Verdi Cycle years ago as a performer, will return to the stage and lend his voice yet again for some of the final notes.

“In 1989, when we started the Verdi Cycle, I was an apprentice artist and sang in the chorus of Rigoletto. Although I don’t really sing much these days, I thought it would be appropriate to close the circle by joining the chorus for the last piece in the cycle, the Te Deum,” said Russell. “I’m really looking forward to raising my voice with our talented singers—apprentice, studio, principal, and orchestra—and to once more sing under Maestro DeRenzi’s baton. It promises to be a very emotional evening for many of us.”

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