A Weekend at the Opera

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Giuseppe Verdis La Traviata. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Opera.

This Friday night, kick off your weekend with a screening of Fiddler on the Roof at the Sarasota Opera - and then come back on Sunday for an HD screening of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. These dual screenings, of a classic movie on Friday’s and a modern, HD taped performance of an opera, started in mid-July and will run through late September, just in time to kick off Sarasota Opera’s Fall Season.

“The classic films are $12 dollars and HD are $22 for non-subscribers. People really enjoy seeing these movies and operas on the big screen with a really high quality sound system - the acoustics are great, which makes for a very luxurious and satisfying experience,” says Stephen Baker, Director of Marketing at the Opera.

The practice of summertime screenings is actually just the continuation of a long history of showing movies at the Opera. “It was originally built as a moviehouse and showed silent films in 1926. We even hosted the world premiere of Cecil B. Demile’s The Greatest Show on Earth in 1952,” says Baker.

While Friday night’s screening features a classic in Fiddler on the Roof - an adaptation of the 1964 musical and winner of three Academy Awards - the real gem of the weekend may indeed be Verdi’s La Traviata. The 19th century opera, which has a run time of three hours and 40 minutes, is a recording of a live production by The Royal Opera in 2021. “It’s one of Verdi’s most popular operas. “The way these productions are filmed too, allows viewers to experience different angles which in turn grants them the ability to fully appreciate the drama and impact of the story and accompanying music,” says Baker. Directed by Richard Eyre, La Traviata was sung in Italian but is overlaid with English subtitles - making it accessible to opera aficionados and newcomers alike. “It’s a really fun experience for people of all ages and can be a great introduction to the opera,” attests Baker.

Sarasota Opera, 61 N Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-328-1300.

Pictured: Giuseppe Verdis La Traviata. Photo courtesy of Sarasota Opera.

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