November deserves some pity. Crammed between October’s tricks and treats and December’s holiday scene, it is has become primarily a count-down to Christmas.
Oh, Thanksgiving sneaks in for one day, then even before the leftover turkey is gone, the Christmas count resumes and “Jingle Bells” fills the air once again.
Not so at Freedom Plaza. November marks the time each year when melodies even more exciting than “Jingle Bells” ring out. This is the month that artists from Sarasota Opera visit Freedom Plaza bringing along music from opera and operetta, with some Broadway tunes and old favorites tossed in for good measure.
This year is no different. At 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, a group of talented young singers will step on our stage with voices warmed up from singing on the stage of Sarasota Opera House. They will come directly to Freedom Plaza from performing in a matinee production of “Die Fledermaus.” Of course singing operatic style uses lots of energy, so they must stop for a snack en route, hence the later-than-normal curtain time for our community’s residents.
These young singers are launching careers in one of the most competitive of all artistic fields, the world of opera. Having acquired their degrees from music schools and conservatories and with some professional opera experiences, they auditioned for and won the coveted position of a Sarasota Opera Apprentice Artist. For a full season, 24 of them will be fully supported as they work with some of the country’s best language coaches, music conductors and stage directors. Most important, they will gain vital performance experience so necessary to success.
The content of the Freedom Plaza program is announced as it is sung, but it’s a safe bet that this year’s will include a sampling of the charming songs from “Die Fledermaus.” Music of Giuseppe Verdi must also be included as 2013 marks the 200th year of his birth. Celebrations noting that occurrence are being held worldwide and Sarasota Opera joined in with a day-long event on Oct. 10, Verdi’s actual birthday.
The exact number of singers to be involved in our Freedom Plaza musicale varies from year to year, but each new group, whatever the number, affords us yet another enriching musical experience. We invite you to share this one with us. Tickets for the Nov. 3 concert are $10, with all proceeds going toward support of the opera’s apprentice program. Tickets are available at the door or they may be ordered by calling (813) 642-1213 or (813) 642-1215 during business hours.
Peggy Burgess is an associate of Freedom Plaza and columnist for The Sun.