Tickets on Sale Now for Sarasota Opera’s 4th Annual “Taste of Downtown” Food & Wine Festival

August 15, 2017

Samuel Lowry, Director of Audience Development
(941) 328-1322

Sarasota, FL – Saturday, September 9, 2017, Sarasota Opera will open its doors for the 4th annual Taste of Downtown Food & Wine Festival at the Sarasota Opera House. Consistently a sell-out event, the Taste of Downtown Festival is a fundraiser for the Sarasota Youth Opera. In its three-year history, “Taste of Downtown” has raised more than $50,000 to support what is currently the most comprehensive youth opera program in the United States. Tickets are $65 per person and are available now at or by calling (941) 328-1300.

“This annual gathering of our neighbors has become a wonderful tradition of celebrating downtown Sarasota while supporting a very important program in our community,” says Executive Director Richard Russell. “We are grateful for the continued participation of restaurants, sponsors, and patrons that makes this event such a success.”

Attendees will be invited to enjoy culinary treats, fine wines, and craft beers provided by some of Sarasota’s most popular eateries and lounges spread amongst the unique setting of the historic Sarasota Opera House. Each attendee will receive a custom designed wine glass upon check-in.  Guests will also be treated to a live performance by members of the Sarasota Youth Opera.

Participating restaurants include:

Bijou Café
Brick’s Smoked Meats*
Café L’Europe
Red Clásico Sarasota
Currents at Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Duval’s Fresh Local Seafood
El Greco Cafe
Five-O Donut Co.*
H2O Bistro at Hotel Indigo
Jack Dusty at the Ritz Carlton, Sarasota
Kahwa Coffee
Louie’s Modern
Mattison’s City Grille
The Melting Pot*
Michael’s On East
Nancy’s Bar-B-Q
The Rosemary*
Selva Grill
Sift Bakehouse
Social Eatery & Bar
Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill

*First time participants

Tickets are $65 per person and available online at or through the Sarasota Opera Box Office at (941) 328-1300.
Sarasota Opera would like to extend special thanks to our sponsors The Observer Media Group, Serbin Printing Inc., Sarasota Magazine, Cocktails by Spence Consulting, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, and Whole Foods.
For information on this event, contact Jennifer Simms at (941) 366-8450, ext. 402 or by email at

What:                  Taste of Downtown Food & Wine Festival
When:                  Saturday, September 9, 2017, 1pm – 4pm
Where:                 Sarasota Opera House
61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
Tickets:               $65 per person or (941) 328-1300

Since 1984, Sarasota Youth Opera (SYO) has given thousands of young people 8 and older the opportunity to experience opera firsthand through participation in after-school choruses, Sarasota Opera mainstage performances, an annual three-week Opera Summer Camp, and fully-staged Youth Opera productions. As the only program in the United States committed to annually producing operas written specifically for young voices, Youth Opera members are given an experience unlike any other. An established leader in the development of repertoire for young voices, Sarasota Youth Opera will present their sixth world premiere entitled Rootabaga Country by Rachel J. Peters this fall.

Based on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera recently completed its 58th consecutive season and the final season of the company’s internationally acclaimed Verdi Cycle making it the only company in the world to have performed every work of Giuseppe Verdi.
In 1960, the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320-seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979 and first performing in it in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. The theater has just undergone a $20 million renovation and rehabilitation enhancing audience amenities, while updating the technical facilities including increasing the size of the orchestra pit. The theater, which reopened in March 2008, has been called “one of America’s finest venues for opera” by Musical America.

Since 1983, the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi and administrative leadership of Executive Director Richard Russell since 2012. The company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its Invitation to Opera performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.

Sarasota Opera is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Programs are supported in part by an award the Tourist Development Tax through the Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Sarasota County Arts Council. Additional funding is provided by the City of Sarasota and the County of Sarasota.

Sarasota Opera • 61 N. Pineapple Avenue • Sarasota, FL • 34236 • (941) 366-8450