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Acclaimed Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart Comes to Dayton to Present Britten’s War Requiem with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Vocalists, and Choirs

Concert Is Unique Collaboration between Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Wright State University’s CELIA Center of Excellence



CONTACT: ANGELA WHITEHEAD
Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x 1138
awhitehead@daytonperformingarts.org

DAYTON, OH (February 23, 2015) – On Friday, March 13, 2015 and Saturday, March 14, 2015 at 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Guest Conductor Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops Orchestra will present Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the sixth concert in the Premier Health 2014-2015 Classical Series.  Leadership Sponsors for this performance are Dr. and Mrs. Gil Templeton, and Military Appreciation Program Presenting Sponsor is Booz Allen Hamilton. 

On each concert evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Mead Theatre, a Take Note discussion will be given by Wright State University Professor of History Dr. Paul Lockhart, who earned the recent distinction of 2014-2015 Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research.  As a point of interest, Dr. Paul Lockhart is the brother of Guest Conductor Keith Lockhart.

This presentation of Britten’s War Requiem is a unique collaborative effort between the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and CELIA, an Ohio Center of Excellence based in the College of Liberal Arts at Wright State University. CELIA – Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts – is a multidisciplinary center formed to further enhance and promote WSU’s outstanding programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  Two of CELIA’s focuses include sponsoring innovative collaborations between WSU arts programs and external partners and bringing nationally and internationally renowned artists on campus for guest lectures, exhibits and performances. 

Dayton Philharmonic Chorus Director Hank Dahlman is the Director of CELIA, and through his efforts and those of a CELIA team of faculty fellows led by Paul Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart will be coming to Dayton for a week-long residency at Wright State University College of Liberal Arts, culminating in this performance of Britten’s masterpiece.  This concert represents the capstone event of CELIA’s year-long commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the start of World War I, entitled, "A Long, Long Way: Echoes of the Great War."

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem: Historical Perspective
On November 14, 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed the city of Coventry, England, hitting the 14th-century Coventry Cathedral with incendiary bombs and virtually destroying it. The very next morning, those in charge decided to rebuild the cathedral, not to defy the enemy, “…but rather (as) a sign of faith, trust, and hope for the future of the world.”

In 1962 English composer Benjamin Britten, a pacifist, had been given carte blanche to compose a work to commemorate the rebuilt cathedral’s consecration. Using the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, Britten interspersed nine poems about war by English poet Wilfred Owen, who was killed in World War One, a scant week before the signing of the Armistice. The influence of other composers’ Requiems on Britten’s work is evident; he himself cited Giuseppe Verdi as one of his many sources of inspiration.

Britten dedicated his musical memorial to the ultimate futility of war to several of his friends who died during or because of World War II. His friends Roger Burney and Michael Halliday died in the war. Ironically, another close friend—Piers Dunkerley—who had taken part in the D-Day landings and had survived the war, committed suicide in 1959, a few months before he was to be married.

Britten scored the work for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists, a chorus, a boys' choir, organ, a full orchestra, and a chamber orchestra. Joining Dayton Philharmonic for this riveting performance will be guest vocalists soprano Ellie Dehn, tenor Matthew DiBattista, and baritone Justin Hopkins.  Under the leadership of DPO Chorus Director Hank Dahlman, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus will combine with Wright State University’s Collegiate, Men’s and Women’s Chorales to provide a rich vocal accompaniment to the talented soloists on stage.  The Kettering Children’s Choir will also give at times haunting and at times angelic sound to Britten’s stunning work.

Pre-Performance Events
This March, the following pre-performance events, offered by Wright State University’s CELIA project, are set to highlight Dayton Philharmonic’s presentation of Britten’s War Requiem.  For more information, visit http://www.wright.edu/celia.

- Master Class:  WSU Percussion Ensemble – March 9, 2015, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon – Wright State University, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton – Maestro Keith Lockhart presents this master class.  This event is free and open to the public.

- Master Class:  WSU Students & Faculty Piano Trios – March 10, 2015, 10:00 a.m.-12:00noon – Wright State University, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton – Maestro Keith Lockhart presents this master class.  This event is free and open to the public.

- Master Class:  WSU Voice Students – March 11, 2015, 10:00 a.m.-11:30a.m. – Wright State University, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton – Maestro Keith Lockhart and guest soloists present this master class.  This event is free and open to the public.

- Voices of World War I: Maestro Keith Lockhart & Dr. Paul Lockhart – March 12, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. – Wright State University, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton – Maestro Keith Lockhart and Wright State University Professor of History Dr. Paul Lockhart together present this engaging program of dramatic readings from World War I.  This event is free and open to the public.

- Open Forum and Q&A with Maestro Keith Lockhart & Dr. Paul Lockhart – March 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. – Wright State University, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton – Maestro Keith Lockhart and Wright State University Professor of History Dr. Paul Lockhart together present an Open Forum for questions and dialogue.  This event is free and open to the public.

- Take Note Pre-Performance Lecture, Britten’s War Requiem – March 13 and 14, 2015, 7:00pm, Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, One West Second Street, Dayton - On each concert evening, a Take Note discussion will be given by Wright State University Professor of History Dr. Paul Lockhart, who earned the recent distinction of 2014-2015 Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research. 

Tickets for Britten’s War Requiem range from $11 to $61 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org.  Senior, teacher, student, and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information on this concert or on other upcoming performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.
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