Franz Lehár’s classic operetta has long delighted audiences with its effervescent tale of suitors seeking the coveted hand of a wealthy young widow in fin-de-siècle Paris.
May 10 and 11 § Historic Asolo Theater
(Sarasota, Florida) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents excerpts from Franz Lehár’s romantic operetta, “The Merry Widow,” Saturday, May 10, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 11, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $25 to $45 and can be purchased online at www.artistseriesconcerts.org or by calling 941-360-7399.
Franz Lehár’s charming operetta, which premiered in Vienna in 1905, has long charmed audiences with its light-hearted tale of suitors seeking the hand of a wealthy young widow in fin-de-siècle Paris. Set in a whirl of dazzling parties, well-heeled ladies, dashing bachelors, and ever-flowing bubbly, “The Merry Widow” follows the story of Ambassador Baron Zeta, sung by John Fiorito, bass-baritone, who is desperate to save his country from bankruptcy. His plan? To prevent the rich and beautiful heiress Hanna Glawari, sung by soprano Susana Diaz, from marrying a foreigner—thus keeping her fortune in place. Danilo, the handsome playboy, is sung by baritone Andrew Garland. Valencienne, the ambassador’s wife, is sung by soprano Lindsay Russell, and the Count de Rosillon by tenor Gregory Schmidt. Favorite songs from the score include “Vilia,” “You’ll Find Me at Maxim’s,” and the “Merry Widow Waltz.” Pianist Joseph Holt and the Gloria Musicae Singers accompany the singers.
“For well over a century, this beloved opera has been an audience favorite,” says Joy McIntyre, a music educator, former leading soprano, and director of this production. “The high spirits and melodies are infectious—a delight for eye and ear.”
Since 1996, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and celebrated emerging artists. The 2013-2014 season runs through June and included six concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” four concerts in its “Pop Series,” one concert in its “Soiree Series” and five special concerts. Three “Lunch, Look and Listen” events were also scheduled. For more information about the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2013-2014 season, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202. For information about group and student discounts, call 941-306-1202.
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota
Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as the Artist Series of Sarasota. The group is a non-profit corporation based in Sarasota, FL, that prides itself on presenting several major national and international varieties of concert, opera, orchestral, Broadway and film performances throughout their season. The majority of the performances are staged at the restored Historic Asolo Theater at The Ringling.