Yes, it's February; and, yes, that means it's time to get out the opera glasses and make sure you're booked for the Sarasota Opera season. It begins Feb. 8 with Verdi's Macbeth, conducted by maestro Victor DeRenzi and directed by Stephanie Sundine (performances also Feb. 11, 16, 22 and 27, with more in March and April) and continues with Strauss' Die Fledermaus, directed by Darko Tresnjak with John DiCostanzo wielding the baton (Feb. 15, 18, 20 and 23, with more in March). If you haven't already gotten your tickets, call 366-8450, and quick.
The fourth annual Children First Celebration (of which SARASOTA Magazine is a proud sponsor) takes place this month and offers six separate events. First up, a Leather & Denim kickoff party for the motorcycle weekend, Feb. 15, followed by the Hearts of Steel Run itself Feb. 16, where bikers "run for the money." Get hypnotized Feb. 17 at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, play golf at Pelican Pointe Country Club or mini golf at Smuggler's Cove Feb. 21, and look back over it all fondly with a celebration dinner Feb. 22 at the Chelsea Center. Proceeds help Children First to provide learning opportunities, nutritious meals and more for kids in our community. Call 953-3877, ext. 119, for ticket information.
Sonnet Gallery. Continuing through Feb. 6: Abundance, featuring the paintings of Margarita Deleuze. Opening Feb. 7 (to run through March 6): a show of paintings and sculpture by Ivan Rojas. Information: 955-6443.
L'Attitude Gallery. Continuing through Feb. 6: Abstract Spirit, offering the paintings of Marilyn Gross. Opening Feb. 7 to run through March 7: Two Men and a Bench II: the ceramic furniture of Russ Vogt and John Turula. Information: 373-0767.
ArtCenter Sarasota. Continuing through Feb. 9: La Selva (The Jungle), paintings by Sarasota artist Nancy Hall, and photography of the male nude by J.D. Dragan. Opening Feb. 14 to continue through March 8: mixed media by Peter Paul, paintings by Larry Forgard, and works from the National League of American Pen Women. Information: 365-2032.
Galleria Silecchia. Continuing through Feb. 28: an exhibition of works by glass artist Hiroshi Yamano. Opening Feb. 7: a preview of new works in bronze from the Irish Memorial by Glenna Goodacre, to run through March 31. Information: 365-7414.
Miracle's Fine Art Studio Gallery. Featured this month: works by artist Ed Miracle, along with photographs by Werner Branz and bronze sculpture by local and international artists. Information: 388-1976.
Ringling Museum of Art. Continuing through April 27 in the West Galleries: Chinese Ceramic Masterpieces from the museum's Koger Collection, with works ranging from 2,500 B.C. up to the 18th century. Information: 359-5700.
Museum of Fine Arts. Continuing through April 27: Little Luxuries: Baby Rattles and Teethers from the 18th to the 20th Century. On view through March 9: Robert Doisneau's Paris, photographs by the Frenchman. Through March 23, Drawn Toward the Avant-Garde: Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century French Drawings from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, including artists such as Gauguin, Manet, Picasso and Cézanne; and Steuben and Beyond: Contemporary Glass Sculpture from the Penny and Elton Yasuna Collection (of Sarasota). Information: (727) 896-2667.
Sarasota Season of Sculpture. Large-scale sculptures on view through May 31 along Sarasota's downtown bayfront. Information: 331-2008.
Apple & Carpenter Galleries. American and European paintings from 1850-1950 are on view all this month. Information: 951-2314.
Missing Link Gallery. On view are pre-Columbian and Mayan ceramics, objects from Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and photographs by artists including Mario Algaze, Javier Silva Meinel, Jerry Uelsmann, Patty Prince and Maggie Taylor. Information: 366-6600.
Selby Gardens. The gardens present the art of Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher, Feb. 1-13, followed by Fakahatchee Natural and Cultural Landscapes by fellow lensman Jeff Ripple, Feb. 15-March 28. Information: 366-5731.
Palm Avenue Gallery. Oils by Key West artist Denny Arant are featured this month, Feb. 1-28. Also on view: sculptures, glass bowls and vases, ceramics, prints and more. Information: 953-5757.
Sarasota County History Center. Legacy, an exhibition of black-and-white infrared photographs by Arnold Berns, features images of architectural landmarks in Sarasota, Feb. 1-May 17. Information: 924-5224 or 861-1180.
Englewood Bank Invitational Art Show. More than 70 artists display fine arts and crafts, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 1 and 2 at the bank on McCall Road. Information: 475-6914.
Salvador Dali Museum. The Shape of Color: Joan Miro's Painted Sculpture is filling the St. Petersburg museum's Morse Galleries Feb. 1-May 4. Information: (727) 823-3767.
Tampa Museum of Art. Magna Grecia: The Greeks in Italy presents a vivid picture of the Greeks who colonized southern Italy dating back to the eighth century B.C. On view Feb. 2-April 20. Information: (813) 274-8130.
Palm Avenue First Friday Walk. A Taste of Palm Avenue is offered, from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7. Information: 951-2314.
Burns Square First Friday Walk. In downtown's quaint Burns Square area, from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7. Information: 954-0533.
Hodgell Gallery. Cape Coral wood sculptor Dennis Elliott presents new works in a show here, Feb. 7-28. Information: 366-1146.
Galleries Des Artes. The abstract landscapes of Joanne Miller Rafferty are on view this month; she'll attend a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7. Information: 954-5475.
Longboat Key Center for the Arts. The Shannon (Longboat Key Club) exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and continues through March 14. You can also see works by Anne Abgott (through Feb. 16) and Nell Rude (Feb. 22-March 14, with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 22). Also this month: jazz concerts in the park, at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 and 23, and more jazz at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Information: 383-2345.
Santa Fe Trails Gallery. Watercolorist John A. White comes to the gallery Feb. 15 and 16; his works are on view all month. Information: 954-1972.
Venice Art Center. An exhibition of baskets and fiber art is on view Feb. 17-March 5. Information: 485-7136.
Towles Court Third Friday Walk. From 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 21 in the downtown artists' colony. Information: 955-4546.
Selby Gallery. Sarasotans Collect II offers a peek at paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures from local collections. Opening with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and continuing through March 29. Information: 359-7563.
The Little Engine That Could. The familiar "I think I can" story, told by the ArtsPower theater company at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 8 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Bill Cosby. The Cos returns to entertain, at 6 and 9 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Tim Conway & Harvey Korman Together Again. Conway and Korman keep the laughs coming, at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Sarasota Ballet of Florida. The premiere of James Buckley's Anne Frank, based on the famous diary, at 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 1, 2 and 3 at the FSU/Asolo Center for the Performing Arts. Also this month, the company hosts the Juilliard Dance Ensemble in new works by Doug Varone, Charlotte Griffin and Adam Hougland, at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and also 2 and 8 p.m. March 1 and 2 at the FSU/Asolo Center. Information: 351-8000.
Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. Performing at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The tutu-clad Trocks bring their mix of dance and comedy skills to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. Feb. 26. Information: 953-3368.
Sarasota Film Festival. The festival wraps up its 10-day feast of films, parties, discussions and more, Feb. 1 and 2. Information: 364-9514.
ASID Showhouse. Continuing through Feb. 16 on St. Armands: your opportunity to wander through rooms designed with the latest in trends and styles. Information: 926-7794.
Circus Sarasota. The Art of Circus continues through March 2 on the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Information: 355-9805.
Scottish Highland Games. Celebrate Sarasota's Scottish heritage once more, Feb. 1 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Information: 365-0818.
Venice Area Orchid Society Show. Exotic displays and more, Feb. 1 and 2 at the Venice Community Center. Information: 497-7901.
Florida West Coast Symphony Designer Showcase. This year's showcase is a home at Hawk's Harbor, and you can see what designers have wrought there Feb. 2-March 2. Seminars on cooking, home design and accessories; also decorated violins for bid and designed chairs for raffle winners. Information: 953-4252.
Sarasota Italian Cultural Events. SICE is back for the second year, with a variety of programs, including presentations on Titian, Caruso, and St. Thomas Aquinas; a wine tasting; cooking demonstrations; and film screenings related to the Italian heritage. Starts Feb. 3; for a complete lineup, call 308-0377 or go to www.sicedautore.com.
Greek Glendi. Greek food, crafts and traditions, Feb. 6-9 at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church on Lockwood Ridge Road. Information: 355-2616.
St. Armands Sunset Stroll on the Circle. Live entertainment, food and wine tastings, and more, from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 on the circle. Information: 388-1554.
2003 Parade of Homes.? The Home Builders Associations of Sarasota and Manatee counties offer their latest on display, Feb. 15-March 2. Information: 379-3306.
Ringling Museum Saturday Family Festival. Experience the heritage and color of China, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22 on the grounds. Information: 359-5700.
Peking Acrobats. Marvel at the athletic and artistic skills of the Chinese troupe, at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Florida West Coast Symphony Masterworks. On the program for performances at 2:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Van Wezel and 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at the North Port Performing Arts Center: Glinka's Russlan and Ludmilla, Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. Information: 953-3434.
Flanzer Jewish Community Center. The center offers two musical events this month: A Night of Sultry Jazz, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2; and klezmer-rock band Golem at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Information: 378-5568.
Alisa Weilerstein. Young cellist Weilerstein performs in a Sarasota Concert Association offering, at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Van Wezel. A subscription event, but tickets are usually available the night of the performance. Information: 955-0040.
Cotton Club Revue. A concert highlighting the sounds of Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald and others, Feb. 2 at Neel Auditorium. Information: 752-5252.
Russian State Opera: Tosca. Performed in Italian with English supertitles, backed by an orchestra of 50. At 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Casual Classics/Concert Lite/Enchanted Evening. Conductor Leif Bjaland leads the audience in Flyin' Down to Rio, concerts celebrating stage and screen entertainers of the 1930s, including Fred and Ginger, Hope and Crosby, and others. At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 7, and 8 p.m. Feb. 8, all at Holley Hall. Information: 953-3434.
An Evening with Dave Brubeck. Jazz legend Brubeck takes five at the Van Wezel with his quartet, at 8 p.m. Feb. 7. Information: 953-3368.
Sarasota Folk Club. The club offers several get-togethers this month. First, a concert featuring Sparky and Rhonda Rucker at 9771 Knightsbridge Circle, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7; next, an Old Time Folk Jam, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at 1625 Vereda Verde; and last the monthly Sailing Squadron concert, at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 24, featuring Rachel Bissex. Information: 377-9256 or 918-8333.
Macbeth. Onstage at the Sarasota Opera Feb. 8, 11, 16, 22 and 27. Information: 366-8450.
Sarasota Pops. The orchestra features Barbara Harvey narrating Aaron Copland's Lincoln's Portrait and Nate Jacobs crooning Duke Ellington tunes, along with the Payne Chapel A.M.E.'s gospel choir Voices of Inspiration, in a salute to Black History Month. At 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Information: 795-7677.
Vienna Choir Boys. The choir returns to the Van Wezel with its repertoire spanning five centuries of music, at 2 p.m. Feb. 10. Information: 953-3368.
Italian-American Music Festival. Singer-actor James Darren, comedian Pete Barbutti and tenor Michael Amante hold up the Italian tradition, at 8 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Salon Series. The News Artists Piano Quartet and the Chamber Players collaborate to present Mozart's Serenade in C and Schumann's Piano Quartet in Eb, Op. 47, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Holley Hall. Information: 953-3434.
Venice Symphony. The symphony presents classical concerts at 8 p.m. Feb. 14 and 4 and 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Venice's Church of the Nazarene. Information: 488-1010.
Die Fledermaus. At the Sarasota Opera, Feb. 15, 18, 20 and 23. Information: 366-8450.
Valentine Pops. Christopher Confessore conducts the Florida West Coast Symphony in a pop concert saluting The Golden Era of Love, at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Manatee Civic Center and 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at the North Port Performing Arts Center. Information: 953-3434.
Gloria Musicae Singers. In concert at 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Information: 954-4223.
The King's Singers. The English male vocal sextet brings their harmonies to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 in a Sarasota Concert Association performance. Again, a subscription event, but return tickets may be available. Information: 955-0040.
Engelbert Humperdinck. Still crooning to the crowds, at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Ringling Museum Concerts. The Sarasota Woodwind Quintet entertains at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Ruben Gallery; opera duo Carol Sparrow and Randolph Locke at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the museum's courtyard. Information: 359-5700.
Hollywood Festival Orchestra: A Night at the Oscars. Enjoy some classic film scores, at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Florida West Coast Symphony Masterworks. Guest conductor Christopher Wilkins wields the baton for Barber's School for Scandal Overture, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and more, at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and 2:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 22, and also 8 p.m. Feb. 21 at Neel Auditorium. Information: 953-3434.
The Artists Series of Sarasota. Soprano Kristine Winkler and pianist Lee Dougherty Ross perform, at 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at Holley Hall. Information: 388-1188 or 388-4099.
Sun Coast Chamber Concerts/Concertino International Chamber Ensemble. In performance Feb. 22 at Venice Little Theatre. Information: 955-6229.
Sarasota Concert Band. Listen for Romantic Favorites at this month's concert, set for 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at Neel Auditorium. Information: 364-2263.
Jazz Club Members' Concert. The Freddy Cole Quartet headlines, at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Van Vezel. Information: 366-1552.
The Sounds of Harry James and the Andrews Sisters. Relive those big band days with this concert, at 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at Venice Little Theatre. Information: 488-1115.
Teatro Lirico D'Europa: Madama Butterfly. Pinkerton woos, weds and abandons poor Butterfly once again in this touring production, at 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Van Wezel. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. Information: 953-3368.
Smooth Jazz on St. Armands. The fourth Friday celebration on the circle, from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 28 and featuring jazz artist Allon Sams. Information: 388-1554.
Sarasota Ski-A-Rees. Free water skiing shows at 2 p.m. each Sunday starting Feb. 9 (through April 13) near Ken Thompson Park on City Island. Information: 388-1666.
Ringling Museum ViewPoints Lecture. Speakers and subjects TBA, at 10 a.m. Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 in the museum's Asolo Theater. Information: 358-3180.
Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL). A host of interesting topics this month, including Music Appreciation (My Country's Music, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at Holley Hall); Contemporary Public Issues (from homeland security to the "real" West Wing, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the Players), Arts and Humanities (Adventures in Literature: Winning the Nobel Prize, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, also at the Players); and International Challenges (10:30 a.m. Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 at the Players). Also a special seminar series Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 18 at G. WIZ; and programs in Venice on international and critical issues, at the Venice Community Center. For complete info, call 365-6404.
Education Center for Longboat Key Lecture Series. Up this month: Dr. Mary Nickles on a modern Greek masterpiece (Feb. 4), Famous People I Have Photographed with Heinz Lechner (Feb. 11), David Eddleman on Amadeus: True or False? (Feb. 18), and The Toulouse-Lautrec Nobody Knows with Jean Renoux (Feb. 25). All are at 3 p.m.; call 383-8811. The center also offers a performing arts series on Fridays at 3 p.m., with A Coward Collage Feb. 7, singer Kari Howard Feb. 14, a flute and bassoon duo Feb. 21, and playwright Bruce Rodgers Feb. 28.
Selby Library Books & Coffee. Dr. Mary Nickles revisits the world's greatest love story, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at the library. Information: 365-5228.
Tuesday in the Tropics Feder Science Lecture Series. Ghost of Evolution author Connie Barlow shares Botanical Ghost Stories from the Ice Age, at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Selby Gardens Activities Center. Information: 366-5731.
Ringling School Library Association Art Lecture. Dr. Elton Yasuna discusses A Revolution in American Art: The 1913 Armory Show, at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 17 at the campus' Selby Gallery and Lecture Hall. Information: 925-1343.
Ringling School Library Association Town Hall Series. Find out what ace investigative reporter Carl Bernstein is uncovering these days, at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 19 at the Van Wezel. Information: 925-1343.
Palm Literary Society. Astronaut-author Scott Carpenter talks about his space experiences-and his childhood-Feb. 19 at Michael's On East. Information: 957-3660.
SmARTalk. What's This Thing About Opera? is the topic for this Arts Council luncheon event, starting at 11 a.m. Feb. 25 at Michael's On East. Speakers include Karl Hesser and Rosemarie Freni Mollinari. Information: 365-5118.
Lettuce & Lectures. Joe Glazer (author of Labor's Troubadour) and Steve Schlossberg (Organizing and the Law) speak of Labor-Songs and History, at noon Feb. 26 at Selby Library. Information: 365-5228.
Proof. The Pulitzer Prize winner about a young woman haunted by her brilliant father's legacy runs through Feb. 8 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.
Dames at Sea. They're singing and tapping their way through this affectionate spoof through Feb. 9 at Theatre Works. Information: 952-9170.
Inherit the Wind. A large Asolo cast brings to life the courtroom battle over teaching evolution in the 1920s-or freedom of thought in any era. Through Feb. 22. Information: 351-8000.
I Do! I Do! Married couples can fall in love all over again at this musical celebration of the institution, running through Feb. 23 at the Venice Golden Apple. Information: 484-7711.
You Never Can Tell. Early George Bernard Shaw-a comedy about a long-separated family reunited, a struggling young dentist in love, and a waiter who can make anything happen. Through Feb. 23 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.
The Importance of Being Earnest. Gwendolyn and Jack, Cecily and Algernon, and lots of Wilde witticisms, through March 2 at American Stage in St. Pete. Information: (727) 823-7529.
Damn Yankees. The Sarasota Golden Apple revives the perennial about the ardent baseball fan who makes a deal with the devil, through March 9. Information: 366-5454.
Guitar Girls. Celebrating the music of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon and others, through March 22 on Florida Studio Theatre's cabaret stage. Information: 366-9000.
Brighton Beach Memoirs. A look back at the Jerome family, circa 1937, through April 5 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.
The Corn Is Green. Emlyn Williams' play about a small Welsh town and a determined schoolteacher (Carolyn Michel in this production) continues through May 24 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.
Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding. If you haven't yet taken part in this interactive wedding/dinner reception/play, you have another chance, Feb. 1--27 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. For showtimes and ticket info, call 377-0781.
Rent. The theater hit inspired by La Boheme, at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 and 4 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
The Vast Difference. Flight attendant George, the father of five, needs a vasectomy. From that starting point, Jeff Daniels delivers what one critic called "a minefield of a play." Feb. 6-20 at Venice Little Theatre's Stage II. Information: 488-1115.
TBA. A comedy co-production of the Players and the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Information: 365-2494.
Pirates of Penzance. The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players return to the Van Wezel with lots of swash in their buckle, at 8 p.m. Feb. 9. Information: 953-3368.
Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance. Just try counting the taps, I dare you. At 8 p.m. Feb. 14 and 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
The Lion in Winter. The play about Henry II, his wife Eleanor, and their unhappy gaggle of would-be kings, in a Banyan Theater Company production on the stage of Theatre Works. Information: 952-9170.
Dirty Blonde. Last year, FST had a hit with Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life; now they offer the playwright's piece about two loners drawn together by their obsession with Mae West. Onstage Feb. 18 through April 12. Information: 366-9000.
The Wizard of Oz. He's the guy we're all off to see, Feb. 18-March 16 at Venice Little Theatre. Hope we each get our wish. Information: 488-1115.
The Full Monty. Get ready for the musical version of the film about some down-on-their-luck guys who naturally decide the solution to their problems is to.strip. Feb. 18-23 at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Information: (800) 955-1045.
Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show. Comedienne Lawrence teams up with her alter ego, Thelma Harper, in performance at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.
Guys & Dolls. "I got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere". The Frank Loesser hit from the Damon Runyon stories, onstage Feb. 27-March 9 at the Players of Sarasota (with possible extension of the run). Information: 365-2494.
No Sex, Please, We're British. Door slamming and other farcical hijinks, at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre, Feb. 27-March 16. Information: 748-5875.
Some Like It Hot. Tony Curtis sings and dances as the philandering Osgood Fielding III in this new musical version of the Billy Wilder film comedy, at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, 2 and 8 p.m. March 1 and 2. At the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.