Sarasota is a hot bed for artists of all kinds from on-stage performances to Modern expressionism, but nothing epitomizes the city's status as a bedrock of culture like the Sarasota Opera House, a fixture embodying not only Sarasota's arts scene but also the area's history. 

Originally named the Edwards Theater after A.B. Edwards, the city's first mayor, the Sarasota Opera House opened its doors in 1926. When the opera house was originally constructed, it had an elaborate three-story entrance. There were eight shops on the ground level, 12 shops on the second level, and a dozen apartments on the third floor. Thespians ventured far and wide to perform at this renowned Florida theater, which quickly made it self an emblem of Sarasota's artistic sensibilities. 

Since its 1928 inception, the Sarasota Opera House has undergone a number of changes in renovations. By 1960, it was called the Asolo Opera Guild and put on its own opera productions for a number of decades. After a few more decades of putting on well-known productions, the Sarasota Opera House was renovated in 2008. 

The renovations ran up a $20 million bill, and the Sarasota Opera House transformed into the posh locale we know today. Today, the opera house is more than just a venue to catch a show; it's a local fixture hosting full seasons of shows, but that's not all. If you have children who exhibit a talent for the arts, the theater also has education and outreach programs for Sarasota's youth. 

Visiting the Sarasota Opera House is definitely a must to fully experience the area's arts, history, and culture. Find more things to do in Sarasata by registering on 941area, your free guide to everything in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.


Cover photo courtesy of Flickr