Da Capo Society Unites Young Opera Patrons



Sarasota’s youthful opera enthusiasts are banding together with the launch of the Da Capo Society, a young patrons organization dedicated to promoting opera in Sarasota and welcoming the younger generation into the audience. Launched in late October by Sarasota Opera Director of Audience Development Sam Lowry as the first group of its kind in Sarasota and open to all current and potential opera fans ages 21–45, the group has already reached its pilot year goal of 25 members comprising business owners, lawyers, financial professionals and artists but eyes continued expansion.

With an aim to increase opera audience turnout amongst the 20s and 30s crowd, Lowry found inspiration for the Da Capo Society in the Sarasota Culture Collective—an organization encouraging participation from that particular age group through discounted rates and special events, but that also places a three-year limit on membership with no obvious avenue for continuing the communal artistic experience. “Those people need to have somewhere to go,” says Lowry. “I don’t want to lose that energy and that enthusiasm that had built up as a result of their positive experience with the Culture Collective.” Though Da Capo focuses exclusively on opera, he hopes to tap into the general passion.

Members’ dues comprise a $75 donation to the Sarasota Opera and a three-performance subscription for $99, and Lowry is looking at possibilities for special Da Capo Society experiences for members, such as pre- or post-performance conversations with artists. In addition, members receive all the benefits comparable donors enjoy. But more than any of that, Da Capo seems to be about the community and camaraderie. Unprompted by Lowry, members already organized their first pre-performance get-together—a happy hour celebration at Selva Grill before last week’s performance of Don Pasquale—and Lowry suspects it will become something of a regular occurrence.

Taking its name from the musical term meaning “returning to the beginning” (or in the literal Italian, “To the head.”), Lowry embraces the hint at new beginnings in the name. “We’re going in so many different directions that it’s a rare occasion to feel like you’re starting a new path,” he says. “This is a nice way of welcoming [the younger generation] and letting them experience the community of Sarasota Opera.”

Individuals interested in the Da Capo Society can contact Sam Lowry at slowry@sarasotaopera.org.

Pictured: Inaugural members of the Da Capo Society meet at the Sarasota Opera House. Photo by Sam Lowry.

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