Monday, October 22, 2012

Sarasota Opera opens fall season with return of Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

Maestro Victor DeRenzi, who recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as artistic director of Sarasota Opera, has brought back a favorite story and performer to kick off the fall season.

Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto," based on Victor Hugo's play "Le Roi s'Amuse," was the first opera performed in the newly renovated Sarasota Opera House when it reopened in 2008. "Rigoletto" returns to the same stately venue Friday and will run through Nov. 12.

Italian born baritone Marco Nisticò, a Sarasota favorite since 2008 when he debuted as Figaro in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia," and who was most recently seen as the Consul Sharpless in last fall's "Madama Butterfly," will make his role debut as the titular court jester.

Sarasota audiences will also know Nisticò, who lives near DeRenzi in Manhattan, from his performances in four other Verdi operas: Giacomo in "Giovanna d'Arco" (Winter 2010), Giorgio Germont in "La Traviata" (Fall 2009), Rodrigue in "Don Carlos" (Winter 2009) and Francisco Foscari in "I due Foscari" (Winter 2008).

"Maestro DeRenzi has given wonderful roles throughout the years," Nisticò said while in between rehearsals in Sarasota.

"My first Verdi role was here and it was an incredible experience."

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