Sarasota Opera Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi Honored by Sister Cities Association of Sarasota

By Logan Martell

On November 7, 2021, Sarasota Opera and Artistic Director Victor DeRenzi was honored with the One World Award from the Sister Cities Association of Sarasota at a gala event.

Maestro DeRenzi was recognized for “enhancing peace, understanding, and respect among citizens of the world through his extraordinary achievements.” He is the only conductor to have performed all the works of Giuseppe Verdi, with his 28-season Verdi Cycle being the catalyst for great artistic and cultural partnership in the Sarasota region. This even led to a ratified Friendship City Agreement between Sarasota and Verdi’s birthplace of Busetto, signed by Busetto Mayor Giancarlo Contini on the 119th anniversary of the composer’s death. The Italian Government also knighted DeRenzi in 2016 for his dedication to Italian culture, granting him the title of Cavaliere dell’ordine della Stella d’Italia, or Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy.

The gala was chaired by former mayor of Sarasota, Liz Alpert, as well as Isabelle Eidet, Katherine Benoit, Kenney DeCamp, and Jana Stanley, among others. Performing works from Verdi were Sarasota Opera artists Hanna Brammer, Samuel Schlievert, and Alexander Boyd, accompanied by Curtis Serafin.

General Director Richard Russell accepted the One World Organizational Award on behalf of the company in recognition for the historic completion of their Verdi cycle. Russell and DeRenzi were also presented with a proclamation from Sarasota City Commissioner Alpert for their achievements.