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BLOG: Must-See Performances in 2023-2024 for Lovers of the Classics

There are some pieces that just never get old—music that has been played in every music hall in the world for centuries. Did you know that Dayton Opera’s first-ever performance in 1961 was Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca? 63 years later, it’s one of the most highly anticipated operas in our upcoming 2023-2024 Season!

There’s nothing wrong with loving the classics. By appreciating the classics, we honor the masterpieces that have withstood the test of time, and we can’t wait until we can hear them again!

Read more below for the top performances in DPAA’s 2023-2024 Season that you can’t miss if you’re a lover of the classics! Tickets go on sale on August 10.

Swan Lake

February 16-18, 2024 | Schuster Center

Set to Tchaikovsky’s romantic score (performed live by the Philharmonic), Septime Webre’s Swan Lake is a perennial favorite, featuring gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes, and dramatic choreography that includes one of the most famous scenes in ballet. Swan Lake tells the doomed love story of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette, a captivating tale of magic, deception, and heartbreak.

Choreographer Septime Webre has updated the setting of the original 1877 story to New York’s high society of 1912, but Tchaikovsky’s score remains as enchanting as ever.

Brahms: A German Requiem

March 8 and 9, 2024 | Schuster Center

Johannes Brahms’ inspiring and moving German Requiem, including both orchestra and chorus, is a pinnacle work written after the wrenching loss of his mother. Adding to the dramatic evening, Acting Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea performs Mozart’s iconic Violin Concerto No. 3.

Brahms’ German Requiem stands tall as a perennial fan-favorite within the classical music repertoire. Its exquisite blend of tender introspection and powerful brilliance has made it a beloved choice for orchestras, choirs, and audiences worldwide, standing as a testament to Brahms’ unparalleled ability to touch the depths of the human soul through his music.

Handel’s Messiah

December 13, 2023 | Schuster Center

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, Handel’s Messiah. With powerful and, at times, heartbreakingly beautiful music, Messiah and its popular “Hallelujah Chorus” has become a beloved holiday tradition featuring orchestra, chorus, and soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and bass soloists.

Puccini’s Tosca

April 20 and 21, 2024 | Schuster Center

Puccini’s Tosca is a thrilling roller-coaster ride of political intrigue, passion, and betrayal, filled with some of the most ravishing music in opera. A feast for both the eye and ear, this truly grand opera will satisfy opera lovers with magnificent singing, exquisite sets, and sumptuous costumes.

Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony

January 12 and 13, 2024 | Schuster Center

Amid appearances with the world’s top ensembles, emerging conductor Kensho Watanabe leads the Philharmonic in a tribute to Rachmaninoff’s Sesquicentennial (150th birthday) with one of the composer’s most beloved works, Symphony No. 2. 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 Nutcracker

December 8-10 and 15-17, 2023 | Schuster Center

Create a lifetime of memories with family and friends at The Nutcracker. Performed with live orchestra, the beloved holiday tradition returns to the Schuster Center. Travel with Clara as her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer sweeps her away to a dreamy Land of Sweets full of mischievous rats, brave soldiers, darling lambs, a Sugar Plum Fairy, life-size confections, and, of course, a dashing Cavalier.

Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony

November 10 and 11, 2023 | Schuster Center

Beethoven’s Leonore Overture—which he wrote for his opera Fidelio—concentrates the grandeur of the opera into a brief but potent orchestra masterpiece. 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 outshone 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.