Why I Was Wrong About the Opera and You Might Be Too — With Richard Russell of The Sarasota Opera | Episode 017

People often have misconceptions about the Opera— it is too stuffy, too expensive, you have to get dressed up AND you can’t even understand the words because it’s all in Italian…or certainly not English.

None of these are true as I found out. Attending the opera is affordable — a little more than the local movies — plus, you can come as you are. So if you were ever curious about what the opera is really like, you won’t want to miss today’s episode.

Today my guest is Richard Russell, General Director of the Sarasota Opera.

After a very successful career as Citigroup’s Vice-President and Global Webmaster for eCommerce serving 30 emerging markets countries in Latin America, Asia, Central, and Eastern Europe, and Africa, Richard eventually came back to his first love — Opera.

Since 2012 Richard has led the Sarasota Opera and increased individual giving by over 50%, more than doubled its endowment and completed its world-renowned Verdi Cycle

Mr. Russell managed the construction and fundraising for the new Steinwachs Artist Residences for Sarasota Opera, which encompasses 30 units housing up to 70 artists.

He also negotiated and managed the purchase of stock of over 30,000 opera costumes, representing 135 separate productions to increase Sarasota Opera’s inventory of costumes available for its own use and for rentals to other opera, theater, and film companies.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Where Richard’s love for Opera originally came from.
  • Why people still hold several misconceptions about attending Opera.
  • Why Opera is the most demanding stage art form.
  • Performance milestones that set the Sarasota Opera apart.
  • The first performance you should see if you are new to the Opera.

… and much, much more.

I’m so glad you joined us today and as always it is my hope that you will listen, learn and connect!

Sarasota Opera