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Nothing moves us like the performing arts and nothing in Dayton moves like our performing artists.

Soul-Stirring Highlights Include:

Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Puccini’s Tosca, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Pictures at an Exhibition, Canadian Brass, Celtic Tenors, Tchaikovsky X. Drake, Will Liverman, Star Wars, New World Symphony, The Planets, and more!

DAYTON, OH (March 30, 2023) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) announces its 2023-2024 Art That Moves season. The 2023-2024 season opens September 16 and 17 with a Season Opening Celebration: Prince Orlofsky’s Grand Masquerade, a collaboration showcasing DPAA’s three art forms, Opera, Ballet, and Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Schuster Center. 

Prince Orlofsky’s Grand Masquerade kicks off a season full of soul-stirring performances, heart-wrenching operas, and gravity-defying ballet. The heart of the evening includes a performance of Act II of Strauss’s comic opera, Die Fledermaus (The Revenge of the Bat). The scene is Prince Orlofsky’s masquerade, where disguises and deception abound! 

“This season displays all our art forms in all their glory and diversity,” says Patrick Nugent, DPAA President and CEO. “Our audiences will find themselves transported to other worlds, wrapped in beauty, immersed in adventure, and captivated by stories of all kinds. They’ll find sanctuary and serenity, thrill and suspense, the whole range of human emotion—the artistic beauty will sweep you away, heart and soul.”

New and renewal subscriptions are on sale now. Composed Packages include Ballet, Opera, Masterworks (6 or 8 concerts), Rockin’ Orchestra, SuperPops, and Family series. Composed Package subscribers receive 20% off single tickets. Other series packages are Create Your Own (three or more select performances) and FlexPass (packages of four, six, eight, ten, or twelve tickets). Create Your Own and FlexPass purchases can combine performances from any series into one package. 

Single tickets for all DPAA performances go on sale to the public Aug. 10. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 937-228-3630 or by visiting daytonperformingarts.org.

2023-2024 Opera Series

“Live opera—when the singing, music, dance, scenery, and costumes come together to tell a compelling story—is intoxicating! There’s nothing else like it on earth. The experience of sharing a live performance is electric … unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. No two performances are alike, and we experience a special moment in time together. That connection between performer and audience is what keeps us coming back for more. We are moved, we laugh, we cry, we gasp, and we seem to breathe as one. In a world with so much divisiveness, I like to imagine that if we can laugh and cry together in the theatre, we can find other ways to connect.”- Kathleen Clawson, Dayton Opera Artistic Director and Dr. Ron Anderson and Robb Sloan-Anderson Chair.

All three DPAA art forms—Opera, Ballet, and Philharmonic Orchestra—take the stage in an evening of extravagant celebration in DPAA’s 2023-2024 season opening performance: Prince Orlofsky’s Grand Masquerade (Sept.16 and 17)! The heart of the evening includes a performance of Act II of Strauss’s comic opera, Die Fledermaus (The Revenge of the Bat). 

The Opera series continues November 4 and 5 with Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Kathleen Clawson directs the grisly, dark comedic story of a murderous barber and his deranged sidekick. Accompanied by Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Sweeney Todd is a Tony Award-winning modern musical masterpiece with a brilliant score and razor-sharp wit!

Spring 2024 brings the thrilling roller coaster ride of political intrigue, passion, and betrayal with Puccini’s Tosca. Neal Gittleman leads the Opera and Philharmonic in an operatic tale of love, murder, and tragedy set to lush scenery and beautiful costumes, staged by Kathleen Clawson. Filled with some of opera’s most ravishing music, lavish sets, and gorgeous costumes, Tosca is a treasured masterpiece perfect for opera lovers, new and old (April 20 and 21).

DPAA’s Opera season concludes on June 2 with an intimate Opera Star Recital with Grammy Award-winning baritone Will Liverman. Celebrated as “one of the most versatile singing artists performing today” (Bachtrack), Liverman comes to Dayton fresh from his Metropolitan Opera premiere of Anthony Davis’s X: The Live and Times of Malcolm X.

2023-2024 Ballet Series

“Dayton Ballet is moving into our 86th season with the artistry and athleticism Dayton audiences have come to expect. The diversity of the season, from Dracula: Bloodlines to Swan Lake, is an example of just that. Of course, we cannot forget the ballet’s wonderful tradition, The Nutcracker at the Schuster with the Dayton Philharmonic and mixed repertory performances featuring new works that complete our season.” – Karen Russo Burke, Dayton Ballet Artistic Director.

It isn’t Halloween in Dayton until you attend Dayton Ballet’s hauntingly stirring Dracula: Bloodlines (Oct. 27-29) at the historic Victoria Theatre. Dayton Ballet lures you into 15th-century Transylvania, where you’ll see how the noble Prince Vlad became the infamous vampire Dracula. With an original score by local composer Austin Jacquith and performed live by the Philharmonic, paired with thrilling choreography by Karen Russo Burke, Dracula: Bloodlines is the perfect experience for Halloween weekend.

Create a lifetime of memories with family and friends at Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Performed with live orchestra, the beloved holiday tradition returns to the Schuster Center with Clara and her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer, who sweeps her away to a dreamy Land of Sweets (Dec. 8-10 and 15-17). 

The Ballet series continues in February (Feb. 15-17) with Swan Lake. Set to Tchaikovsky’s romantic score (and performed live by the Philharmonic), internationally acclaimed choreographer Septime Webre’s Swan Lake is a beloved story ballet featuring beautiful costumes, dramatic choreography (that includes one of the most famous scenes in ballet!), and gorgeous sets. This mesmerizing ballet tells the love story of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette in a captivating tale of magic, deception, and heartbreak.

The final ballet performance of the season, New Beginnings, offers a glimpse of the exciting new era that lies before Dayton Ballet. The Ballet’s soon-to-be-announced Artistic Director will handpick the repertoire for this performance, sharing a sampling of their vision for the next generation of the historic company (April 12-14).

2023-2024 Masterworks Series

“I’ve always been amazed at the many ways orchestral music moves us—performers and listeners alike. Music can inspire, it can energize, can make us think, make us dream, make us grow, make us cry, make us soar. I’m proud that our 2023-2024 season does all that—no matter who you are, no matter what kind of music is your cup of tea.”- Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The first Masterworks performance is teeming with orchestra showpieces! Aleksandra Kasman returns to celebrate the Rachmaninoff Sesquicentennial with his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Another rhapsody opens the evening, Banner (based on “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other national anthems), from composer Jessie Montgomery, who has sky-rocketed to fame for her fresh approach to classical music. The evening closes with an audience favorite the world over, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (Sept. 29 and 30).

On November 10 and 11, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture concentrates the drama of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, into a potent masterwork for orchestra. Strauss’ Second Horn Concerto, featuring Dayton Philharmonic Principal Horn Aaron Brant, is a classical-style fantasy written during the dark days of World War II. Schubert’s charming incidental music for Rosamunde outshined and outlasted the play for which it was written. Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony is last on this program of orchestral heavyweights and is widely lauded as the pinnacle of his instrumental music.

Amid appearances with the world’s top ensembles, emerging conductor Kensho Watanabe leads the Philharmonic in a tribute to Rachmaninoff’s Sesquicentennial with one of the composer’s most beloved works, Symphony No. 2 (Jan. 12 and 13). Watanabe takes the audience on a journey starting with Wagner’s heavenly harmonics and rich textures in Lohengrin to Debussy’s Spanish-infused Ibéria.

The March Masterworks concerts (Mar. 8 and 9) feature Brahms’s inspiring and moving A German Requiem, a pinnacle work written after the heart-wrenching loss of his mother. Another kind of memorial opens the concert: Scurria’s tender and dramatic Beyond All Walking, inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Going Blind.” Adding to the dramatic evening, Acting Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea performs Mozart’s iconic Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major.

On April 5 and 6, Neal Gittleman leads this celestial celebration honoring the April 8, 2024, Total Solar Eclipse. The evening begins with Nielsen’s Helios Overture, a day in the life of the sun. Later, Holst’s cosmic tour de force, The Planets, takes center stage. From powerful and commanding to eerie and ethereal, the work has served as a source of inspiration for composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Finally, midway through the concert Richard Dowling, hailed by The New York Times as “an especially impressive fine pianist,” performs Mozart’s exuberant Piano Concerto No. 16.

DPAA honors Black Music Month by celebrating African American musical traditions. Florence Price, the first Black woman to receive national attention as a symphonic composer, blends Joplin-esque ballroom and ragtime idioms into her Dances. Dvořák’s New World Symphony embraces Black folk music, fusing it with the composer’s Bohemian heritage. In the program’s second half, a community choir joins the orchestra to recognize and recount the African American experience in song (June 7 and 8).

2023-2024 SuperPops Series

On October 14 and 15, DPAA presents Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, a film with orchestra. In this intergalactic evening of fun, the Philharmonic performs John Williams’ Oscar Award-winning score live, accompanying the film on the big screen.

The SuperPops season continues December 2 with the world’s most famous brass quintet in a special holiday concert with the philharmonic: Canadian Brass! Renowned for genre-bending versatility and joyous performances, Canadian Brass has performed in virtually every major concert hall in the world and has contributed over 600 new works and arrangements to the brass quintet repertoire.

January 6 is Huddle Up: Music of Sports! Conductor—and our sportscaster for the evening— Neal Gittleman leads the Philharmonic in a concert that offers fun for the whole family. From football fight songs to figure skating waltzes, the Philharmonic covers the soundtrack for those moments of triumph, heartache, extraordinary athleticism, and bad calls. It’s an evening full of fun, celebrity guests, and one surprise after another!

Three tenors, one voice! The charismatic, globe-trotting trio, The Celtic Tenors, is the most successful classical crossover acts to emerge from Ireland. For the tenors, it’s all about a love for the music, the harmonies, and the fun. Expect a sparkling, good-humored concert as they join the Philharmonic to perform classical arias, hauntingly beautiful Celtic harmonies, and popular contemporary songs (Mar. 23). 

Finish the SuperPops season on June 22 by celebrating great movie music! Featuring familiar songs from movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jurassic Park, and The Lord of the Rings, this concert shines the spotlight on blockbuster film scores.

Rockin’ Orchestra Series

The Rockin’ Orchestra series begins on September 23 with Steve Hackman’s Tchaikovsky X. Drake. Experience a one-of-a-kind fusion, blending music from two composer-romanticists separated by a century. R&B/hip-hop artist Drake’s melodies weave throughout Tchaikovsky’s epic Fifth Symphony, pushing musical bounds and new sounds. Three singers, a rapper, a drummer, a bassist, and a pianist join the Philharmonic to create a performance that seamlessly blends a 19th-century symphony with 21st-century hip-hop.

On October 7, we will rock you! Jeans ’n Classics joins the Philharmonic for a fantastic musical night paying homage to the legacy of Queen and frontman Freddie Mercury. Jeans ’n Classics faithfully interprets the music of legendary rock albums and artists, adding their signature symphonic flair. Break free as you hear hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions.”

On April 27, it’s Arrival from Sweden, the best ABBA tribute band performing the band’s greatest hits! Unleash your inner dancing queen—or king—and join us for “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and more!

Then, dance the night away in May! Broadway sensation Rashidra Scott joins Windborne and the Philharmonic to celebrate Whitney Houston’s extraordinary talent with an evening of her biggest hits, “Saving All My Love,” “How Will I Know,” and “I Will Always Love You” (May 18).

To close the Rockin’ Orchestra season (Jun. 1), rock out to a full symphonic production featuring music from five-time Grammy Award-winning punk rock band Green Day! You’ll hear the band’s iconic hits like “Basket Case” and “Good Riddance,” performed by professional rock musicians and singers, plus your Rockin’ Orchestra.

2023-2024 Family and Learning Programs

On October 11, Lemony Snicket’s murder-mystery picture book “The Composer is Dead” comes to life in Nathaniel Stookey’s imaginative composition for orchestra. It’s a fun, lively “whodunit” designed to introduce children to the instruments in an orchestra as the musicians—and even the conductor —are interrogated by the Inspector. Who killed the composer? Help us solve the mystery!

Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is filled with talented students from throughout the Miami Valley. They take the Schuster stage three times in the 2023-2024 season for a holiday showcase on December 3, a Broadway-themed concert on March 10, and a spring event on May 19. University of Dayton faculty member and DPYO Conductor Patrick Reynolds leads the students in all three performances. 

In tandem with its other performances, DPAA presents a special sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker on December 15. Created specifically for those with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning, or cognitive atypicality, this performance features recorded music and omits or reduces loud sounds and jarring effects for an easier, less formal afternoon.

DPAA’s family-favorite Magic Carpet Concerts return for a fairy tale-themed performance, February 27-29. DBII, the Ballet’s pre-professional dance company, Opera Artists-in-Residence, and the Philharmonic come together to tell the story of Peter and the Wolf.

On March 20, we pay homage to teachers—and the students they nurture—by highlighting some famous student-teacher composer duos in Young People’s Concert: A Salute to Teachers.

Finally, on May 4, the students of Dayton Ballet School travel Down the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy and other familiar friends to the Emerald City! This full-length ballet features a colorful cast of characters.  

2023-2024 Special Events

On December 13, DPAA presents Handel’s Messiah. Escape from the holiday hustle and bustle with the Philharmonic and Chamber Chorus and immerse yourself in one of the most glorious oratorios of all time! With powerful and, at times, heartbreakingly beautiful music, Messiah and its famous “Hallelujah Chorus” has become a beloved holiday tradition.

And on May 26, join the Philharmonic at Carillon Park for an exciting concert to celebrate Memorial Day! Enjoy patriotic tunes such as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Liberty for All.” This family-friendly festival includes special activities, costumed interpreters, and more!

DPAA’s 2023-2024 Art That Moves Season promises to entertain and excite audiences from start to finish! To purchase or renew a Composed Package, Create Your Own, or FlexPass subscription, call the Box Office at (937) 228-3630 or visit daytonperformingarts.org.