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Three art forms. One frequency. Are you tuned in?

Highlights include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Coppélia, Elf in Concert, Verdi’s Aida, The Music of Tony Bennett, Twist and Shout: The Music of the Beatles, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Saint Saëns’s Organ Symphony, Anne Hampton Callaway, and Cinderella. Plus, a new production of The Nutcracker, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Elf in Concert, and more!

DAYTON, OH (February 15, 2024) – The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) announced its 2024-25 season at a launch event held in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center. Subscribers and friends of DPAA enjoyed refreshments as the DPAA Artistic Leadership Team—Kathleen Clawson (Opera), Neal Gittleman (Philharmonic), and Brandon Ragland (Ballet)—revealed insights behind their programming choices for next season. Full of spectacular performances, the 2024-25 season showcases the classic Broadway musical South Pacific; the opera powerhouse Aida; a brand-new production of The Nutcracker; intriguing Rockin’ Orchestra and SuperPops concerts featuring the music of Tony Bennett and The Beatles; Elf in Concert; and a Masterworks Series program with orchestral masterpieces to celebrate Neal Gittleman’s 30th year as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic. Subscriptions are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the Schuster Center Box Office, by calling (937) 228-3630, or online at daytonperformingarts.org.

“It’s been a joy to observe our three Artistic Directors work together to build the 2024-25 season,” says Patrick Nugent, DPAA President and CEO. “They have carefully selected programming that will not only delight our audiences but showcase the vast talents of our musicians, singers, and dancers. The grandeur of Aida, a newly imagined Nutcracker, and orchestral masterpieces by Dvořák, Saint-Saëns, and Beethoven provide a sweet escape into a synergy of sound, scenery, and dance.”

New and renewal subscriptions are on sale now. Composed packages include Ballet, Opera, Masterworks, Rockin’ Orchestra, SuperPops, and the Family series. Composed subscribers receive 20% off when purchasing tickets to other events if they renew before March 15, 2024. Other package options include Create Your Own (three or more select performances) and FlexPass (packages of four, six, eight, ten, or twelve vouchers that can be redeemed for any performance). 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 July 17, 2024. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (937) 228-3630 or by visiting daytonperformingarts.org.

2024-2025 Opera Series

“This season, we have four productions that explore different types of love. We start with a crossover piece, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic South Pacific, featuring Dayton Opera artists alongside Wright State’s acclaimed Musical Theatre program and the Philharmonic. Then, we have Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, followed by Three Tenors, Encore!, which pays homage to the famous Three Tenors concerts. Finally, we end the season with Verdi’s Aida, featuring Dayton Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company dancers.”- Kathleen Clawson, Artistic Director and Dr. Ron Anderson and Robb Sloan-Anderson Chair, Dayton Opera.

The Opera series begins with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific and is presented in collaboration with Wright State University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. A favorite among opera and musical theatre fans alike, South Pacific features Dayton Opera artists alongside an ensemble from Wright State, with Neal Gittleman conducting the Philharmonic performing the musical’s glorious score. South Pacific is a fantastic way to kick off the Dayton Opera Season. (Sept. 21 and 22, 2024; Schuster Center).

The Opera series continues in December with Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, a heartwarming tale of kindness and generosity. The show will be directed by Kathleen Clawson with Neal Gittleman conducting the Dayton Philharmonic. The opera follows the story of three mysterious kings who follow a star to bring gifts to a wonderful child, only to encounter a poor shepherd boy and his mother along the way. The Dayton Opera Chorus and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company join in this perfect beginner’s opera, which is a joyous way to usher in the holiday season for the entire family. (Dec. 6 and 8, 2024; Schuster Center).

In 1990 three great operatic tenors gave a legendary concert of the best arias in the canon. More than 800 million viewers tuned in, and the recording of this concert became the best-selling classical album of all time! Dayton Opera pays homage to this historic event with Three Tenors, Encore! as three rising stars on the operatic stage perform much of the same repertoire of the original concert, led by Dayton’s own, Howard Watkins, as musical director and pianist. (February 2, 2025; Schuster Center).

DPAA’s Opera season concludes with Verdi’s grand opera, Aida, on the Schuster Center stage. Kathleen Clawson directs this intimate story of forbidden and unrequited love enmeshed in a struggle for imperial power between Egypt and Ethiopia. Full of large, lush, musical moments, Aida is a beautiful collaboration of Dayton talent with Neal Gittleman conducting the Philharmonic and Opera Chorus and dancers from Dayton Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. (April 4 and 6, 2025; Schuster Center).

2024-2025 Ballet Series

“The 87th season of the Dayton Ballet promises to impress with its fresh perspective on classical story ballets like Coppélia and Cinderella. The company dancers will showcase their artistry and athleticism, delivering thrilling performances. Moreover, the season includes a magical new rendition of The Nutcracker, complete with live orchestra, and exciting new works in Pointes of View, our ballet series that caters to diverse audiences. There is something for everyone to enjoy!” –Brandon Ragland, Artistic Director, Dayton Ballet.

Described as “visually stunning” and “magnificent,” Robert Curran’s Coppélia reimagines a classic ballet. Set in a small Midwestern town, Coppélia tells the tale of a lifelike doll in a windowfront. Mistaken by the townspeople as a young, mysterious woman, she provides an escape for a community preoccupied with the realities of war. With beautiful choreography and comical toy characters, Coppélia is the perfect way to start the Ballet season! (Oct. 18-20, 2024; Victoria Theatre).

Don’t miss the world premiere of the much-anticipated new production of Dayton’s most beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. From the creative minds of Artistic Director and choreographer Brandon Ragland, costume designer Lyn Baudendistel, and scenic designer Ray Zupp, the timeless story of Clara’s magical Christmastime journey returns to the stage, set to Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous score performed live by the Dayton Philharmonic. (Dec. 13-15 19-22, 2024; Schuster Center).

The Ballet series continues in February with the classic retelling of Cinderella, choreographed by Artistic Director Brandon Ragland to Prokofiev’s sparkling score. Cinderella yearns to escape from her life as a scullery maid to her mean stepsisters. Enter her Fairy Godmother, a handsome prince, a little help, and a lot of magic, and Cinderella gets a glimpse of living happily ever after! (Feb. 14-16, 2025; Schuster Center).

The Ballet Series concludes with Pointes of View, a night of classical and contemporary ballet showcasing the astounding talent of Dayton ballet’s dancers. Pointes of View presents choreography from one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century, from George Balanchine (“Allegro Brillante”) to up-and-coming choreographers Andrea Schermoly (“Klien Perspectives”), Sanjay Saverimuttu (“Angagpesis”), and a world premiere from DCDC’s Qarrianne Blayr. (May 9-11, 2025; Victoria Theatre).

2024-2025 Masterworks Series

“Every year, I’m excited when we announce our next season of performances. But I’m REALLY excited this year as we launch our 2024-2025 season and my 30th year as conductor of our wonderful Dayton Philharmonic. The DPAA Artistic Directors have created a season designed to inspire, move, and entertain you from opening weekend in September through our last performance in June. And our singers, dancers, and players will dazzle you repeatedly with fabulous performances of great works from centuries past and from our own times.”- Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The first Masterworks performance kicks off Neal Gittleman’s 30th anniversary season with orchestra heavyweights Dvořák, Stravinsky, and Brahms. Acclaimed worldwide for his exceptional talent and magnificent tone, Chad Hoopes has wowed DPO audiences since he was 15. He returns to perform Stravinsky’s joyful Violin Concerto in D. Dvořák’s bold and brilliant Carnival Overture opens the concert while Brahms’s energetic Symphony No. 4 adds passion to the evening. (Sept. 13 and 14, 2024; Schuster Center).

In November, Beethoven, London, and a World Premiere takes audiences on a melodious trip to London courtesy of British composers Malcolm Singer and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Singer’s world premiere “London Landscape” takes a contemporary look at the city, bustling with commerce, culture, and politics, while Vaughan Williams shares a more historical and romantic account in his Symphony No. 2, “A London Symphony.” Pianist Emile Naumoff add a bit of German flair to this London journey as he performs Beethoven’s bold and beautiful Piano Concert No. 1 in C major, Op. 15. (Nov. 8 and 9, 2024; Schuster Center).

Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto continues the Masterworks Series in January 2025. Inspired by paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, composer Elena Ruehr’s “Sky Above Clouds” is the middle movement of a musical triptych and perfectly captures O’Keeffe’s flair for sweeping contemporary tableaus. The dramatic evening continues with two orchestral heavyweights: Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, “Emperor,” performed by pianist Ian Parker. (Jan. 10 and 11, 2025; Schuster Center).

Requiem showcases the Dayton Philharmonic, the Philharmonic Chorus, soprano Kayla Oderah, and baritone Benjamin Taylor in March. They combine to present Joel Thompson’s “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” inspired by the final words of seven unarmed black men: Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Michael Brown Jr., Oscar Grant III, John Crawford III, and Eric Garner. Bookending the piece are two contrasting works by Lili Boulanger, “Of a Spring Morning” and “Of a Sad Evening,” and Faure’s expressive and beautiful Requiem. The concert concludes with a discussion moderated by Reverend Joshua Ward of Omega Baptist Church. (March 14 and 14, 2025; Schuster Center).

In April, Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic welcomes cellist Adrian Daurov to perform the Dvořák Cello Concerto, one of the most lyrical and monumental concertos in the cello repertoire. Surrounding the piece are two brilliant works that are comedic, though a tad eerie—Stravinsky’s Petrushka ballet score and Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture. (April 25 and 26, 2025; Schuster Center).

The final concert of the 2024-25 Masterworks season features organist Grant Wareham performing two masterful organ works. Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78, “The Organ Symphony” is known as “THE organ symphony” and for good reason: the sweet and familiar melodies hung between moments of blazing climactic glory will have audiences at the edge of their seats. Each movement is better than the last! Leading up to this epic work is Handel’s Organ Concerto, which has inspired composers for centuries. Also on the program is a new work by Derrick Skye, “Nova Plexus,” co-commissioned by DPAA, the Berkeley Symphony, and BBC Radio 3. (June 13 and 14, 2025; Schuster Center). 

2024-2025 SuperPops Series

Broadway by Request opens the 2024-25 SuperPops Series. Enjoy a night of your favorite Broadway hits. YOU vote for your most loved Broadway music or song, and Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic with Broadway Stars perform them live on stage! Hear selections from A Chorus Line, West Side Story, and Phantom of the Opera. Or maybe you’ll choose “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables or “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. Grab a ticket and cast your vote! (Nov. 2, 2024; Schuster Center).

Associate Conductor Patrick Reynolds and the Philharmonic continue the 2024 Holiday Season with DPAA’s annual Hometown Holidays concert! Full of sing-alongs, toe-tapping holiday melodies, and traditional carols, this festive concert will have even Ebenezer Scrooge humming a merry tune. (Dec.7, 2024; Schuster Center).

Cast away the winter blues with the ultimate tribute to the legendary crooner Tony Bennett with The Music of Tony Bennett. Arranged for multiple singers, conducted by Associate Conductor Patrick Reynolds, and performed by the Dayton Philharmonic, the concert includes a multi-media display of images and videos from throughout his career. Hits such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Because of You,” “The Best is Yet to Come,” and more fill the Schuster Center, saluting Bennett’s 60-plus-year career. (Jan 31 and Feb. 1, 2025; Schuster Center).

Next, Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic shift focus from Broadway and crooners to Hollywood Hits! They’ll present musical selections from some of the world’s greatest films. Melodies from “Gone with the Wind,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Dr. Zhivago,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “James Bond,” “The Pink Panther,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Dances with Wolves,” “Ben-Hur,” and many more fill the Schuster Center, showcasing the tremendous talent of the Dayton Philharmonic. (Feb. 22, 2025; Schuster Center)

Finish the 2024-25 SuperPops season with Tony-nominated pop/jazz singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway as she joins Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic on stage for a night of classics made famous by some of the biggest names in the business—Barbra Streisand, Carole King, Patti LuPone, Liza Minnelli, Karrin Allyson, and Michael Feinstein, to name a few! This spellbinding show of rousing showstoppers, exquisite ballads, and lovely symphonic harmonies is a fabulous ending to a super series. (May 3, 2025; Schuster Center)

2024-2025 Rockin’ Orchestra Series

The Rockin’ Orchestra series begins in October 2024 with a tribute to the iconic rock band Journey! Relive the 70s and 80s with The Music of Journey, another collaboration with crowd-favorite Jeans ‘n Classics. Journey’s catchy and emotive pop-rock hits are performed by the Dayton Philharmonic (under the baton of Patrick Reynolds), a rock band, and brilliant vocalists ready to rock with some of Journey’s most popular songs such as “Any Way You Want It,” “Separate Ways,” and, of course, “Don’t Stop Believin’!” (Oct. 26, 2024; Schuster Center)

January 2025 is hot with two Rockin’ Orchestra shows! Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic welcome The Motortown All-Stars to the Schuster Center stage. Direct from Detroit—and featuring former members of The Capitols, The Miracles, and the Temptations—The Motortown All-Stars stop in Dayton for a jam-packed night of timeless Motown grooves, impeccable harmonies, and dazzling choreography. They’ll join the Philharmonic as they perform hits by The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and more, with the unmistakable Motown sound that has inspired us since the 1950s. (Jan. 4, 2025; Schuster Center)

Come back a few weeks later for Country Hits: Songs from Nashville, a honky-tonkin’ celebration of Country music, past and present! Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic join some of Nashville’s brightest vocalists and instrumentalists to perform classic hits from legendary stars Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash to contemporary artists Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, and Kacey Musgraves. (Jan. 22, 2025; Schuster Center).

Dance into Spring with Twist & Shout: The Music of the Beatles! Patrick Reynolds, the Philharmonic, and the artists with Twist & Shout celebrate Beatlemania, beginning with the group’s 1964 appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” and following their journey to Shea Stadium and the Hollywood Bowl. Enjoy a night of the early hits that brought the British invasion into the hearts of Americans everywhere, including “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” (March 8, 2025; Schuster Center)

The Rockin’ Orchestra series concludes with a special performance, to be announced soon! Electric guitars and drum kits meet the rich sounds of orchestral instruments. This is not just a rock concert; it’s a symphonic spectacle of sound and light that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the power of musical fusion. (June 7, 2025; Schuster Center).

2024-2025 Family and Learning Programs

DPAA’s Family and Learning programs provide arts lovers of all ages with unique opportunities to engage with music, dance, and performance on a deeper level. From introductory to in-depth programs, DPAA offers something for every grade level, ability, and learning style.

Now in its second season, the Dayton Ballet School Ensemble, DPAA’s pre-professional training program, presents Momentum, a repertoire of classical and contemporary works. Don’t miss the chance to see the incredible talent, dedication, and hard work of this exceptional group of young dancers. (Oct. 6, 2024; Wright State University Dance Studio).

PhilharMonster is back! Every October, conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic have a blast performing family-friendly Halloween tunes for audiences of all ages! You might hear escaped elephants, a musical nightmare, and mopping buckets running amok! Families and children are encouraged to come in costume one hour before the show to enjoy crafts, an instrument petting zoo, a costume parade, and more—all hosted by DPAA’s dedicated volunteer organization, EnCorps! (Oct. 27, 2024; Schuster Center).

At DPAA’s Young People’s Concert: Pure Imagination, you’ll learn how music, opera, and dance combine to tell a story, create memories, and evoke emotions. You’ll explore drama and comedy with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and take a musical trip down the flowing Moldau River with conductor Neal Gittleman. The Dayton Opera Artists-In-Residence and Dayton Ballet School Ensemble are your tour guides, accompanied by the 2024 Young Artists Concerto Competition Winner and the Dayton Philharmonic. (Oct. 30, 2024; Schuster Center).

Founded in 1937, the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra brings together the area’s most gifted young orchestral musicians to study and perform a broad range of repertoire. The ensemble performs three times a year, beginning with their winter concert. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the future of classical brilliance! (Nov. 23, 2024; Schuster Center).

The Nutcracker: Sensory Friendly is for all families, but specifically those with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning, or cognitive variance. The performance will exclude loud sounds and any other jarring effects but will include video guides and other educational materials to enhance the experience. (Dec. 20, 2024; Schuster Center).

DPAA’s family-favorite Magic Carpet Concerts continues with BUGS!! In this fun interactive concert, the Philharmonic and Ballet School Ensemble mimic the wiggle and flutter of insects! Selections include Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee,” Grieg’s “Morning” from Peer Gynt, and music from Spider-Man. (Feb. 25-27, 2025; Schuster Center).

The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Dayton Ballet Studio Company, and the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance combine to present It’s a World of Dance in March 2025. They’ll take your family on a musical spin around the globe! This performance highlights not only the finest young musical talent in our area, it also celebrates the rich tradition of dance in Dayton. The program includes popular global dance works such as Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Saint-Saëns’s “Danse Bacchanale,” and Marquez’s Danzón No. 2. (March 16, 2025; Schuster Center).

Associate Conductor Patrick Reynolds leads the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet School Ensemble, and Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence in the season’s second Young People’s Concert: The Orchestra Moves. In this interactive program, the Philharmonic performs music inspired by dance to discover how the orchestra moves—and can move us! Along the way, audiences are encouraged to sing, move, groove, and even make a little music of their own. This is a national program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. (April 20, 2025; Schuster Center).

Reynolds returns to the Schuster stage to conduct the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Spring Concert. DPYO brings a kaleidoscope of musical brilliance to perform a broad range of orchestral repertoire for the final concert of the 2024-25 season. This performance acknowledges graduating DPYO students, who may just be the classical music stars of the future! (May 4, 2025; Schuster Center).

Closing the Family and Learning season, the students at Dayton Ballet School presents Magic Mirror. Immerse yourself in a captivating story ballet inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairytale, Snow White. The beautiful princess and her lovable forest friends embark on a magical journey in a story of love, friendship, and the struggle between good and evil. This performance is a celebratory capstone for the talented dancers of the Dayton Ballet School. (May 10, 2025; Victoria Theatre).

2024-2025 Special Events

Grab a bowl of spaghetti and syrup and run like a cotton-headed ninny-muggins to see the heartwarming holiday classic Elf on the big screen! Enjoy the movie while Neal Gittleman and the Philharmonic perform the original score live. Ring in the holiday season with Buddy the Elf as he leaves the North Pole in search of his biological father. Along the way, he inspires everyone around him to rediscover the joys of Christmas. (Nov. 22 and 23, 2024; Schuster Center).

Escape from the holiday hustle and bustle and celebrate the reason for the season as Neal Gittleman, the Philharmonic, and the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Chorus perform Handel’s glorious oratorio, Messiah. The masterwork tells the complete story of Christ, from prophecy, birth, and passion to crucifixion, resurrection, and second coming. As one of the most performed oratorios of all time, Messiah features a breathtaking orchestral score for orchestra and chorus and culminates in the popular “Hallelujah Chorus.” (Dec. 18, 2024; Schuster Center).

Finally, it’s not Memorial Day Weekend without the Dayton Philharmonic at Carillon Park! Bring your chair or blanket—but leave the cooler at home—and enjoy patriotic tunes, rousing marches, and more at this family-friendly festival full of fun activities, food, and more! (May 25, 2025; Carillon Park).

Subscriptions are on sale now!

Can’t decide what to see? Not sure when you’ll be out of town? DPAA offers flexible packages to fit your unique lifestyle! Composed Packages include tickets to the series of your choice: Ballet, Opera, Masterworks, Rockin’ Orchestra, SuperPops, or Family. Subscribers in these series can add any show outside of their package for 20% off full rates if they purchase or renew their package before March 15, 2024.

DPAA also offers less traditional options for subscribers who want to experience the season on their terms. Check out DPAA’s Create Your Own (three or more select performances) and FlexPass (bundles of four, six, eight, ten, or twelve vouchers). Create Your Own and FlexPass purchases combine performances from any series into one package—see an opera one weekend and a Rockin’ show the next!

New and renewing subscribers can also establish installment payments tailored to your specific needs. But that’s not all! Subscribers receive 10% off meals at local dining favorites before the show with DPAA’s Subscriber Dining Card.

To purchase or renew a subscription to DPAA’s 2024-25 season, visit the Schuster Center Box Office in person, or call (937) 228-3630, or visit daytonperformingarts.org.

The information in this press release is current as of February 15, 2024. All artists, repertoire, and programming are subject to change.