Sarasota Youth Opera receives NEA grant for production


SARASOTA- Sarasota’s Youth Opera program is again getting recognition from the National Endowment of the Arts.

The Program received a $20 thousand dollar grant which help the youth opera put on their annual fall program. Sarasota Youth Opera has been a part of the community for 34 years and allows young people to experience opera first–hand.

“We have the only youth opera program in the country that does a full–scale production every year.,” Director of Education Ben Jewell-Plocher said. “So kids get to learn about opera by doing a production with all the bells and whistles. Seeing how a production starts, is put together, and ends, and this year’s production is special, it’s a remounting of a production we’ve done twice before it’s Benjamin Britten’s the Little Sweep.”

Work is already underway on this year’s performance with auditions for the solo performances being held this week. Performances will be held November 3rd and 4th.

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Samantha Sonner
Multimedia Journalist Samantha Sonner comes to the Suncoast from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a reporter and host for KRWG TV/FM reporting on local politics, immigration, and border issues. Samantha grew up on Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she worked at WAER, the campus NPR station and interned at television stations in Central New York. Samantha is excited for the Florida Sunshine, and to be living so close to fantastic beaches. Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter for story updates and news, or to send her story tips and ideas. You can also email her at