Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sarasota Opera Ushering: Spring/Summer Rental Events

The sign-up email for the Spring/Summer rental events has gone out.  To view and sign-up, click here.

Please call or email Scott if you have any questions/difficulties.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Updated Usher Schedules Now Posted

Updated usher schedules for the Winter 2014 season have been posted and can be found on the Sarasota Opera Usher Information and Schedules page.

At recent performances we have explained that TROVATORE and BARBER OF SEVILLE performances have been selling very well.  Because of that, extra seats for ushers have been limited.  Due to the new team scheduling system, ushers are currently scheduled to work only one performance of each opera.  There are, however, other opportunities for you to work those two operas and increase your chances of seeing a full performance.

Please take a look at Team Handel and Team Beethoven for those opportunities.  I am staffing those teams performance by performance now.  Those of you who are scheduled for those teams already will see your name in the left-hand column under "Team Roster".  Those of you who have already signed up specific performances will see your name shaded in yellow in the performance column where call-times are usually listed.

To sign up for extra performances, please call or email me (Scott Guinn).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sarasota Opera Dress Rehearsals - Volunteer Tickets

Each season, Volunteers are given the opportunity to attend selected final dress rehearsals.  These tickets—1 for the volunteer and 1 for a guest—are available in the lobby of the Opera House an hour before the rehearsal begins and are given out on a first-come-first-served basis; there are around 190 balcony seats available for Volunteers. 

Please note that we do not take reservations for these rehearsals.  Tickets are given out the day of the rehearsal beginning one hour before the rehearsal begins.

The Barber of Seville   Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:30pm
The Flying Dutchman  Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 12:30pm
J√©rusalem                    Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:30pm

If you require accessible seating, please contact Scott Guinn prior to the rehearsal to arrange it.  These dress rehearsals are also attended by schools, donors, and special guests.  Each group has its own section of the theater and is asked to stay in that assigned section.  Like all performances, accessible seating is limited and should be arranged prior to the rehearsal.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Volunteer Orientation and Social


WHO: All Volunteers
WHAT: Sarasota Opera Volunteer Orientation and Social
WHEN: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
WHERE: Opera Club and Selby Lobby; 2nd Floor of the Opera House
Maestro Victor DeRenzi and Executive Director Richard Russell invite you to join us as we start the festivities for our 55th Winter Opera Festival!  New volunteers will convene at 5:30pm in the Opera Club for a brief orientation while veteran volunteers mix and mingle in the Selby Lobby.
Following the orientation, everyone can enjoy light hors-d'oeuvres, beer, wine, and soft-drinks.  We will also be entertained with a brief concert by members of the Apprentice and Studio program.
This invitation is for all volunteers and is being sent out by email ONLY.  If you know volunteers who do not use email, spread the word!  We will too!
Come meet your new colleagues and staff from the Opera!
Please RSVP to Scott Guinn by replying to this email or calling (941) 366-8450, ext. 228 by Friday, January 17.
This event is for all  of our volunteers!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Usher Handbook

The new usher handbook for the 2013-2014 season is now available!  To view a copy online, click the "Sarasota Opera Usher Information & Schedules" link on the left side of the page.  A link to a PDF copy of the handbook can be found on that page.

Hard copies of the handbook can be obtained by calling Scott Guinn or at the box office during regular box office hours (10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday).

Friday, August 9, 2013

2013-14 Season Usher Schedules

Thank you for your help in making this new scheduling process a success!  The schedules for the 2013-14 season are now posted here on the blog and are being mailed and emailed out on Monday, August 12.

There are still some coverage needs for certain teams, primarily Team Handel and Team Beethoven.  If you are willing to work on one of these teams, please take a look at the schedule of performances and see if this might be an option for you.  Remember, an upside to doubling up is that it gives you more opportunities to see an opera if one of the performances you’re already scheduled for sells out.

Your schedule sheet lists the team roster down the left side of the page.  Across the top are the performances each team will work.  If you follow the row for your name across the page, you will see call times for each performance.  If you told me that you are not available for a performance, you will see “Excused” in a shaded box for that show.  Please note that if you are on Team Bizet (Sunday matinees) you do not work all Sunday matinees, only the ones listed.  Also, if you are on Team Rossini (Weekend matinees), you do not work all matinees that fall on a weekend; you work only what’s listed on your sheet.

This year ushers will not have to submit time sheets.  Each usher will be credited with four hours for each performance they work.  House Managers will keep track of those who are dismissed early or do not show up and will check in with me periodically throughout the season so that we are all up to date with hours.  If you are dismissed early from a performance, you will be credited with at least two hours for that shift.

If you are a new usher, please note the usher training dates on the Volunteer Events Page.  Ushers perform an essential safety and customer service function at the opera and must attend training prior to their first shift.  If you are not able to attend the dates listed, please contact me to set up another time.  If you are a veteran usher, you may also attend these training sessions if you feel you need a refresher course!

If you have any questions at all about any of the schedules or events, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’m looking forward to a fantastic season and to seeing you all again!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

REMINDER: The Sign-up Period for 2013-14 Users ends FRIDAY


This is your friendly reminder that the sign-up period for the 2013-14 opera performances ends on Friday.  All forms received after that date will not be processed until forms received between July 15 and July 29 have been processed.

If you have any questions or have not received the information, please call Scott!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

USHERS: Sign-up NOW for the 2013-14 opera season

By now you should have received your sign-up packet via regular post or by email.  If you have not received your packet and you were an usher last year or the year before, please contact Scott Guinn to make sure your contact information is up to date.  You may download the packets here as well.  Simply click the link below and a PDF of the documents you need will pop up.

2013-14 Usher Sign-up Packet

Thank you for all that you do for Sarasota Opera. We are so appreciative of your time and energy in performing this very important job. Because we value your contribution so highly, we want to make sure that your experience is positive and enjoyable.

In an effort to simplify the scheduling process, beginning this season we will be using a system based on ushering teams.  Our hope is that this will be more efficient, allow us to give you more advanced notice of when you’ll be working, and cut down on the number of no-shows.

The sign-up packet has three documents:
  •         Information about the new team system, and what you can expect from it.
  •         A list of the usher teams and which performances each team will work.
  •         A new, simpler sign-up form which allows you to indicate your “team” preference.

The new handbook, which includes some changes, can be found on the Volunteer Blog at after September 1. A hard copy can be picked up at the box office. The new information includes a clear statement of the seating policy, a new no-show policy, and an end-of-season review policy.

It is important that everyone who ushers at Sarasota Opera should be able to work all posts as assigned by the House Managers.  As stated in the job description for Ushers:

“Physically, ushers must have the ability to move quickly, climb stairs, tolerate heights, read in low light conditions, lift/move/carry 10 lbs., walk aisles at an incline, stand and walk for extended periods.”

While we try to accommodate those who have difficulty with some of the tasks listed above, we do need to make sure that we are able to staff all positions.  In addition to providing assistance to our patrons, ushers serve an essential safety function.  For both of those reasons, we need flexibility from the ushering corps in filling these coverage needs.

We cannot do what we do without your help and appreciate all that you do for Sarasota Opera. We are looking forward to seeing you again and to another great season of opera!  If you have any questions about anything in this packet, please don’t hesitate to call or email.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Usher Sign-Up Forms for 2013-14

This is just a note to let you know that we are on schedule for you to receive the sign-up packets on July 15.

We will be mailing them out on Thursday morning and they should start hitting your mailboxes Friday or Saturday.  You will also be receiving the packet via email and they will be available here as well.

If you have not ushered with Sarasota Opera in the past couple of years and would like to do so, you may download the packets from here and send in the form.

We're looking forward to a great season!