Three groups will announce seasons on New Year's Eve
The DPO, Ballet and Opera will offer a look ahead
By Meredith Moss, Staff Writer, Dayton Daily News
New Year’s Eve at the Schuster Center will be especially exciting this year.
All three of the Miami Valley’s major performing arts organizations will announce their upcoming seasons at the same time.
On their way into “Viennafest” on Monday patrons will be handed a brochure unveiling the 2013-14 seasons for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Ballet and the Dayton Opera. All three artistic directors will take the stage for shared remarks and the two-hour concert will incorporate the talents of all three groups.
“We are calling the 2013-2014 season The Signature Season, as it symbolizes all three art forms coming together, signing on the dotted line, and agreeing on a single mission and focus — but preserving and expanding the best of ballet, opera and philharmonic,” says David Bukvic, director of marketing and communications for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.
Among the highlights of the new season are “Signature Events” which will showcase all three groups.
“Our Season Opening Spectacular will meld the talents of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera Chorus and soloists, and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus into one incredible evening highlighted by some of the greatest works of America’s greatest musician, Leonard Bernstein,” says Paul Helfrich, president and chief executive officer of the Alliance. “Our New Year’s Eve concert will ring in another year with performances by all three art forms interwoven throughout the program. Finally, there will be a spectacular production of the grandest of grand operas, Verdi’s Aida, to close the opera season. This will mark the first time in the history of Dayton Opera that the full Dayton Ballet company will take part in a performance, and of course the Dayton Philharmonic and Neal Gittleman will be in the pit for a truly complete experience.”
The opera season, says artistic director Thomas Bankston, will also include Puccini’s Tosca and Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, featuring the Zoot Puppet Theatre. One of the Philharmonic’s four Classical Connections programs will focus on Tosca and connect to the Opera’s performance of Puccini’s most popular work.
Karen Russo Burke, artistic director for the Dayton Ballet, says the upcoming ballet season will be filled with cutting-edge, new choreography. “I have chosen a selection of new works, company premieres and audience favorites to showcase the diversity of talent by our wonderfully athletic dancers,” says Burke, who is also planning to create a totally new version of “The Nutcracker” with original choreography, costumes and stage sets.
Neal Gittleman, DPO music director, says the most exciting thing about the upcoming season is that it’s the first in history planned from the ground-up as a unified Ballet-Opera-Philharmonic undertaking. He says many of the scheduled concerts can be traced back to the earliest merger-planning talks including the “three-way” season-opening spectacular and the “three-way” Aida.
As for the DPO season, Gittleman is looking forward to Strauss’ Don Quixote (“one of my all-time faves”), Michael Gandolfi’s The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (“a wonderful recent piece that blends music, science and landscape architecture!”) and Beethoven’s Ninth. (“It doesn’t get any better then that!”)
“And since I’ll be conducting the Stones show on the Rockin’ Orchestra series,” he says, ” I guess that means this longtime Stones fan will get to conduct Gimme Shelter, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. ”
Both the DPO’s Classical and Family Series welcome well-known Daytonian Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, to narrate a whimsical story-with-orchestra called The Dot and the Line. The Rockin’ Orchestra Series has been expanded to five programs and will highlight the music of Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Journey and Women of Rock.
The new Alliance will give patrons eight subscription options plus a new “create your own subscription” package.
“You’ll select the performances you wish to attend (a minimum of four different performances from the entire Alliance lineup) and Ticket Center Stage will create your subscription package for you,” Bukvic said. “Once again, packages for those who subscibe to the Philharmonic’s Classical Nine or Family Four will include a wild card for the other arts.”
Those attending the New Year’s Eve concert will have the opportunity to purchase season subscriptions that evening; others can buy them online or at the box office beginning Wednesday.
Although single tickets will not go on sale until the summer, subscribers of any of the series can buy single tickets immediately. Subscribers for all three art forms will be mailed their renewal packets during the first week of January.
Concludes Gittleman: “If I had to sum up 2013-2014 season in five words, it’d be ‘You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!’”
HOW TO GO
What: “Viennafest: A New Year’s Eve Celebration,” features light classics, Philharmonic soloists, opera arias, Dayton Ballet dancers. Complimentary champagne will be served at intermission and a balloon drop will close the evening.
When: 8 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31
Where: The Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton
Cost: $8-$65. Tickets available at the door. Senior/teacher discounts are $2 off. Student prices are $4.50-$20. (IDs required.)
Box office: Call (888) 228-3630. Order online at daytonperformingarts.org. Phone and Internet orders carry a $4 Ticket Center Stage surcharge.
Also: Dinner-by-the-Bites will be served in the Wintergarden from 7 p.m. to start of concert.