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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera Fill the Gem City with Music, Song and Dance as the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Proudly Announces Its 2020–2021 Season

DAYTON, OH (January 2, 2020) – The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) is thrilled to present the 2020-2021 Season of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The announcement was made with a sparkling video introducing the anticipated new season of the DPAA on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2019 to over 2,000 patrons at the Schuster Center in Dayton, Ohio.

The three DPAA Artistic Directors, Thomas Bankston, Dayton Opera; Karen Russo Burke, Dayton Ballet; and Neal Gittleman, Dayton Philharmonic, as well as DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich, have worked together to prepare a season full of groundbreaking and engaging performances in all three art forms.

Subscriber Ticket Packages for all DPAA traditional series went on sale on Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Current subscribers will receive their renewal packages and will get first claim to their current subscription seats, but only until February 28, 2020, when all unsold seats will be released for sale to the general public. Tickets to Special Events–The Art of Us: A Dayton Mosaic, Handel’s Messiah, New Year’s Eve Celebration, and this season’s three Films with Live Orchestra: Beauty and the Beast, Fantasia, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back–may be purchased only by series subscribers until the single-ticket on-sale date, currently scheduled for June 1, 2020.

Season Ticket Subscription Packages may be ordered by calling Ticket Center Stage at (888) 228-3630, by visiting the DPAA website at http://www.daytonperformingarts.org, or by visiting the box office in the Schuster Center Wintergarden. More information can be found on the DPAA website.

As a leader in performing arts in southwest Ohio and the nation’s only combined Ballet, Opera and Philharmonic, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) strives continually to bring wholly new experiences to the stage.

Special Events of the DPAA are performances that either combine the power of all three art forms or those that are often purchased apart from packaged series.

All three DPAA art forms—Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic—together with five other leading performing arts organizations in the Dayton area—Bach Society of Dayton, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Human Race Theatre Company and Muse Machine—will take the stage in September for a Season Opening Spectacular performance called The Art of Us: A Dayton Mosaic. This one-of-a-kind production is made possible by the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

The DPAA will also present two of its favorite holiday traditions: Handel’s Messiah on December 16 and the annual New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31, a performance that continues to be the toast of the town.

In 2021, the Dayton Philharmonic is thrilled once again to present a series of Films with Live Orchestra in three spectacular evenings in the Schuster showcasing three blockbuster films, with the musical soundtrack provided entirely by the DPO. This season’s journey through the world of motion pictures begins in January 2020 with the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. Then, in March, it’s a visit to the mystical world of the animated film Fantasia. Finally, the DPAA takes a return trip to a “galaxy far, far away” with the epic continuation Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.


For the 2020–2021 season, Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston has selected the perfect combination of classic works, a brand-new world premiere, and a star-studded Gala recital to fill the season with the very best opera has to offer. This 2020–2021 season, the DPAA is thrilled to celebrate Mr. Bankston’s 25th year as the head of Dayton Opera!

The Season Opening Spectacular officially opens the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance season in September 2020. This season, the Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic, and Dayton Ballet join forces with five additional performing arts organizations in the Dayton area for a tour de force of all that the arts in Dayton have to offer. The program, aptly titled The Art of Us: A Dayton Mosaic, joins the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance with the Bach Society of Dayton, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Human Race Theatre Company and Muse Machine. The unique presentation is made possible with generous support from the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

Dayton Opera then presents two classics in the opera repertoire: Verdi’s beautifully poignant La Traviata in November, followed in February by Mozart’s brilliant combination of comedy and tragedy with Don Giovanni. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Dayton Opera and the 25th anniversary of Mr. Thomas Bankston as its Artistic Director, Dayton Opera presents a sparkling, star-studded Gala Recital in March. The season closes with an exciting world-premiere of an opera written, composed, and directed by a team of four outstanding women in the world of opera. Finding Wright is the story of human connection and emotion, centering on the life of Katharine Wright, sister to two of the most famous Wrights of Dayton and, in fact, the world: brothers of flight Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Dayton Opera’s season is available as a five-performance subscription series.


Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke leads the talented company of Dayton Ballet as they tell some of the most classic stories of all time and explore the more modern nuances of dance in this 2020–2021 season.

In September, Dayton Ballet takes the stage alongside Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic, and five additional leading performing arts organizations in the Dayton region with a sweeping Season Opening Spectacular entitled The Art of Us: A Dayton Mosaic.

In October, Dayton Ballet presents the haunting story of Ichabod Crane in an intriguing brand-new production of Sleepy Hollow, with new musical score by Austin Jaquith and new libretto by Karen Russo Burke.

The December holidays wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Land of Sweets in Tchaikovsky’s beloved The Nutcracker, which returns once again for ten incredible performances. In February, Dayton Ballet bring back to the stage the modern, whimsical, and utterly brilliant work of Jirí Kylián called Sechs Tänze. Kylián’s work will be accompanied by several additional ballets that highlight the sheer athleticism and artistry of the talented company of Dayton Ballet dancers.

The season closes in April with a family-friendly journey to Neverland as Dayton Ballet presents Peter Pan, choreographed by Septime Webre. This story is filled with everyone’s favorite characters from the classic tale, including Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys, the magical Tinkerbell, the menacing Captain Hook, and the dastardly yet wildly entertaining Crocodile. Dayton Ballet is thrilled to present this production of Peter Pan once again with live music by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Ballet season is available as a five-performance subscription series.


Classical music is presented in a panorama of options, all sure to delight both novice and expert, in Dayton Philharmonic’s flagship series. For starters, the Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association Masterworks Series opens with a very special Season Opening Spectacular entitled The Art of Us: A Dayton Mosaic. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will join Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and five additional performing arts organizations in the Dayton region for an exciting one-of-a-kind presentation made possible by the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

The Masterworks Season continues with a calendar full of dynamic soloists and major classical compositions, under the leadership of DPO Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman.

Maestro Gittleman and the DPO will continue to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the true titans of classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven. Last season (2019–2020), the DPO performed to standing ovation several of Beethoven’s giants: Symphonies One, Three (“Eroica”), Five, and Six (“Pastoral”). This season (2020–2021), Maestro Gittleman and the DPO will continue working their way through the full Beethoven symphony cycle, eventually playing all nine symphonies, as well as works that connect to Beethoven’s symphonies and also great works by Romantic Era composers who were deeply influenced by Beethoven.

The DPO will also focus this season on some of the leading woman composers of both the classical and modern eras, performing works by Jennifer Jolley, Amy Beach, Florence Price, Stella Sung, Reena Esmail, Amy Scurria, and Clara Schumann.

In addition, exceptional works for piano, cello, violin, and string quartet will be performed by artists both long established and on the rise. Guest artists, including Aleksandra Kasman, Adrian Daurov, Sara Davis Buechner, the Beo String Quartet, and DPO’s own Concertmaster Jessica Hung, grace the stage with their mastery of their instruments and their impeccable musicianship.

The Masterworks season is available as either a ten- or six-concert subscription series.


The DPO Recital Series continues as one of the best values in performing arts. It includes two chamber programs, High-Octane Strings and Concertmaster and Friends, at the Dayton Art Institute, featuring programs specially designed by Concertmaster Jessica Hung. These programs make for two lovely, intimate Sunday afternoons of music in the gorgeous Mimi and Stuart Rose Auditorium at DAI.

In addition, this series will include a sparkling, star-studded Dayton Opera 60th Anniversary Gala Recital honoring Thomas Bankston in March, along with a C-tier Wildcard that can be used for any DPAA event throughout 2020–2021. The Recital Series is available as a four-performance series.


The DPAA understands that an appreciation for the arts starts at an early age and lasts a lifetime and remains committed to offering programs to allow parents, grandparents, and caretakers to share the performing arts with their children through programs that encourage and deepen that appreciation.

The DP&L Family Series is a great way to introduce the mystery and majesty of classical music, dance and song to the youthful mind. The annual PhilharMonster Halloween concert is a Dayton favorite, where spooky meets silly in a program for the entire family to enjoy. The series also includes a unique immersion into A World of Dance, performed by Dayton Ballet II, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, and the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (DPYO) under the baton of DPYO Conductor Patrick Reynolds.

In December, the DPO invites families into Dayton’s beloved holiday tradition with a journey to the Land of Sweets in Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Then, in April, families are in for a real treat as they are invited on a trip to Neverland with a matinee performance of Dayton Ballet’s Peter Pan, with live music by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Family Season is available as a four-performance subscription series.

Leading vocalists, celebrated instrumentalists, splendid orchestral arrangements, and a journey to Neverland and headline the 2020–2021 Kettering Health Network SuperPops Series.

The season opens with an homage to the music and style of great American composer and gifted lyricist Cole Porter. Then the holiday Pops favorite Hometown Holiday shows us that “there is no place like home for the holidays,” as local vocal groups and musicians join the DPO to celebrate the season!

In January, the DPO takes a step back in time to honor the one and only First Lady of Song with Ella Fitzgerald Forever. March whisks us away to Hollywood for one more whirling pass through the incredible movie soundtracks of John Williams, widely regarded as the greatest American film composer of all time.

In April, the Dayton Philharmonic accompanies Dayton Ballet on their journey to Neverland with an exciting presentation of the classic tale of Peter Pan. The Dayton Philharmonic will perform the delightful score from American composer Carmon DeLeone. The SuperPops series draws to a mysterious close in June with Spies, Lies, and Treble Clefs, a nod to the indelible music of the classic James Bond movies.

The SuperPops Season is available as a six-performance subscription series.


The Dayton Freight Rockin’ Orchestra Series is THE musical crossroads where rock meets orchestra, a celebration of “music that shaped a generation” performed by guest bands together with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The season begins right here in the Gem City, where the heart of the Funk movement beat loud and strong in the 70s and 80s. Dayton was known known as “The Land of Funk,” and Dayton Funk is a groovy nod to the music of the time that gave way to hip-hop, house music, and so many other musical forms that dominate the charts today.

Channeling the spirit of the late Freddie Mercury, Rockin’ Orchestra fan favorites Jeans ’n Classics agree that “We Will Rock You” in November with One Vision: The Music of Queen. Then, in February, “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the magic that happens when rock meets orchestra as the DPO raises the roof of the Schuster with Faithfully: The Music of Journey.

Because there is simply no end to the mark they have left on the world of music, the Fab Four is honored once again by the Dayton Philharmonic in March 2020 with Revolution: The Music of The Beatles. The Rockin’ Orchestra season then slides into April with a shout out to John and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and the iconic Stevie Nicks as the DPO presents Landslide: The Music of Fleetwood Mac.

This entire Rockin’ Orchestra season gives Dayton the joy to “Remember When Rock Was Young,” and this last concert in June is no exception. The DPO takes a creative tour through the incredible songbook of one of the most prolific artists of the last five decades with a Tribute to Elton John.

The Rockin’ Orchestra Season is available as a six-performance subscription series.


Subscribing to a series offers a sizable savings over single-ticket prices. Subscribers to DPAA series get the best seats and save up to 25 percent off base ticket prices. Discounts are available for Seniors, Students, Educators and Military. For more information, or to subscribe to any one of the DPAA 2020–2021 Season series, call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit online at www.daytonperformingarts.org.


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. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled 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. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.