DAYTON, OH (August 23, 2018) – On Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) proudly presents the 2018–2019 Season Opening Spectacular, Beethoven’s Ninth. This original, once-in-a-lifetime event is a brilliant collaboration of Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic, showcasing all three art forms, along with the Philharmonic and Opera choruses. Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston, Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, and Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke together present a moving evening of vocal and orchestral music and dance.
This program officially opens the season for Dayton Opera and for Dayton Ballet, and this presentation is the first concert in the Premier Health 2018-2019 Masterworks Series of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. DPAA’s Innovation Partner for the 2018-2019 Vistas Season is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.
The DPAA is thrilled to launch the 2018–2019 Vistas Season with a Season Opening Spectacular program celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s monumental contribution to the art of music. Audiences will experience multiple expressions of the great master’s genius: orchestral, solo vocal, and choral, climaxing with a unique realization of his landmark Symphony No. 9 in D minor, a work that many regard as the very apotheosis of Western music. The DPAA is uniquely suited to present a program of expanded scope and concept, drawing as it does from the advantages of all three art forms and presented in a mode that can only be accomplished by the collaboration of orchestra, opera and ballet under a single guiding vision.
When the program opens, the live image of the Dayton Philharmonic bursts forth on a supersized screen with the sounds of one of Beethoven’s most dramatic overtures, Egmont. Originally conceived as the opener of a musical suite written for a theatrical presentation of Goethe’s play Egmont, the overture will serve much the same purpose here, as it portends the drama to follow in our Season Opening Spectacular program.
Next, soprano soloist Kasia Borowiec joins the orchestra for the central role in the heart-wrenching “Ah, perfido” (“Ah, deceiver”), a concert aria that lays our heroine’s emotions bare as she implores her lover not to depart forever. The first half then concludes with a powerful choral work from Beethoven’s oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives. The finale of that work is a hymn of praise and thanks to the son of God, performed by the Dayton Opera and Philharmonic Choruses with the dancers of the Dayton Ballet.
Last season’s Season Opening Spectacular, Verdi’s Requiem, gave audiences a feel of what will come next in this production. This is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as never seen or heard before. The four incredible movements of this masterwork will be performed with precision and artistry by the talented musicians of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Conductor Neal Gittleman. Both the Dayton Opera Chorus and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus will assemble together on stage to sing this magnificent work, including the famed “Ode to Joy” finale. The Dayton Opera Chorus is directed by Chorus Master Jeffrey Powell, and Hank Dahlman, University Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Wright State University, directs the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus.
Four gifted Dayton Opera soloists will join this full stage of instrumentalists and vocalists to bring this exciting celebration of Beethoven to life. Soprano Kasia Borowiec returns to Dayton for this opening production, having last performed with Dayton Opera in the role of Kate Pinkerton in the beautiful 2016 production of Madame Butterfly. Dayton Opera also welcomes back mezzo-soprano Noragh Devlin from last year’s The Barber of Seville, in which she played the role of Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housemaid. Both Kasia and Noragh are former Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence, and Dayton Opera is so pleased to welcome them back to the Mead Theatre Stage. Joining these two outstanding vocalists are tenor John Pickle, who graces the Mead Theatre Stage for his seventh appearance, including last season’s lead tenor in the Season Opening Spectacular Verdi’s Requiem, and newcomer bass-baritone Justin Hopkins, who has appeared in recent Dayton Philharmonic performances of Britten’s War Requiem and Mozart’s Requiem and who makes his Dayton Opera debut with this performance.
Dayton Opera vocalists will share the stage with the Dayton Ballet as Beethoven’s Ninth is uniquely imagined with the addition of the universal medium of dance. Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke and the full company of nineteen dancers will deliver the magic of dance that will visually enhance the full emotion of Beethoven’s masterpiece. These forces all come together for an explosion of sounds, motion and imagery, propelling Beethoven’s vision to a new sphere.
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance invites all of Dayton to this magnificent demonstration of the power of three art forms under one roof and the continuing development of what has almost become an entirely new art form, in and of itself.
Tickets for Beethoven’s Ninth: Season Opening Spectacular range from $28 to $95 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types for the full 2018-2019 Vistas Season for Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, or Dayton Philharmonic, please visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.