Meet the Music Directors for the Sarasota Summer Opera

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Sarasota Summer Opera is excited to announce the music directors for our upcoming season! Get to know Maestro Victor DeRenzi and Maestro Joseph Colaneri, and learn about their impressive careers in opera.


Sarasota Summer Opera is pleased to introduce the Music Directors for our upcoming season! We sat down with all four of them to learn a little more about their musical backgrounds and what they’re looking forward to in Sarasota.

Maestro Victor DeRenzi

Now in his 32nd season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Sarasota Opera, Maestro DeRenzi has lead over 260 mainstage operatic productions in Sarasota. He has also served as Music Director for the Opera Orchestra of New York, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Spoleto Festival USA, and the New Jersey State Opera.

Maestro Anthony Barrese

As the Principal Conductor of the Sarasota Opera, Maestro Anthony Barrese has become an integral part of the company’s success. In addition to his conducting duties, he also serves as the Artistic Director of the Sarasota Opera’s Young Artist Program.

Maestro Barrese was born in Wilmington, Delaware and received his musical training at The Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute of Music. He made his conducting debut with The Juilliard Orchestra in a performance of Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella. He has since gone on to conduct orchestras all over the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 2006, Maestro Barrese made his Sarasota Opera debut conducting Verdi’s La traviata. He has since led several more productions for the company, including Verdi’s Rigoletto, Puccini’s La bohème, and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. He also conducted the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s opera The Passage of Winter.

Maestro Barrese is a passionate advocate for music education and has given master classes and lectures at colleges and universities all over the United States. In 2011, he was named “Artist-in-Residence” at Florida State University College of Music. He currently resides in Sarasota with his wife and two children.


The Sarasota Summer Opera is a highly respected institution that has been delighting audiences for over 50 years. Each season, the Opera’s music directors are responsible for choosing the repertoire, casting the singers, and conducting the orchestra.

We had the privilege of speaking with two of the music directors for the upcoming season, Maestro Stefano Sarzani and Maestro Christopher Larkin. They shared their passion for opera and gave us a glimpse into what it takes to produce a successful show. We hope you enjoy getting to know these talented artists!

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