La Traviata: Essential Opera Is Presented Both In-Theater and via Live-Stream

DAYTON, OH (March 29, 2021) – On Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Dayton Opera, under the leadership of Artistic Director Thomas Bankston, will present La Traviata: Essential Opera. This opera will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

La Traviata: Essential Opera is the second essential work of the opera repertory presented by Dayton Opera, as 2020‒2021 Reimagined Season continues in a format that responds to the needs of our current times and to the artists and audience. The performance will focus on the essence of Giuseppe Verdi’s music and drama in an abridged, 90-minute production, with no intermission, that captures the brilliance of this composer in an exciting and 21st-century way. Dayton Opera will continue to adhere to social distancing and other health parameters for a welcomed and safe experience for both artists and audience.

In Verdi’s tragic tale of love, like Alfredo, you will be swept away by Violetta’s celebrated charm, even if you know in advance that she is “la traviata” – the woman who strayed. Though their love is doomed from the start, it’s no less passionate. You’ll be riveted by the compelling story of thwarted love, set to Verdi’s rich and evocative music, with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Bring a handkerchief for the end, when those who love her most gather around Violetta’s bedside in a final, heartbreaking ending.

Dayton Opera welcomes the return of Johnathon Pape as Stage Director of this reimagined production of La Traviata. Pape was last in Dayton in May 2018 when he directed Dayton Opera’s electric production of Turandot. Before then, Pape directed Dayton Opera productions of Carmen in 1999, Don Giovanni in 2000, The Barber of Seville in 2001, and The Daughter of the Regiment in 2011. Pape’s directing career spans theater, musical theater, and opera, and he has staged a wide range of productions throughout the United States and abroad. In 2011, Pape joined the faculty of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he serves as Director of Opera Studies, and in 2017, he instituted the Boston Conservatory Summer Opera Intensive, a three-week training program in Valencia, Spain.

Verdi’s rich score comes to life through the masterful playing of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction Conductor Patrick Reynolds. The orchestra will be on stage for this dramatized concert-style performance in a socially-distanced configuration to perform Verdi’s dazzling score. This is Reynolds’ seventh conducting assignment with Dayton Opera, the most recent being the November 2019 production of La bohème.

Returning to Dayton Opera is soprano Chloé Olivia Moore, who will sing the tragic role of “la traviata” Violetta. Moore returns to Dayton Opera after her last performance as the slave girl Liu in the 2018 production of Turandot. Before Turandot, Moore performed the role of Leila in the April 2015 production of Pearl Fishers and the lead role of Nedda in the heartbreaking I Pagliacci in 2016. Known for her unique timbre and depth with unusual flexibility and speed, Moore has been praised by The Washington Post for her “clarion” voice with “a wealth of shades.”

Tenor Matthew Vickers takes the Schuster Center stage as the young romantic Alfredo for this production. Vickers recently made his Dayton Opera debut in the role of Rodolfo in the November 2019 production of La bohème. He received his vocal training from the young artist programs at Virginia Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He has been praised for his “brilliant and golden voice” (Die Kleine Zeitung) and his “burnished sound and confident acting” (National Post), and hailed as “a gutsy performer whose glowing tenor voice has interestingly dark, baritonal undertones (Opera Now).”

Bass-baritone Kenneth Shaw, who has been hailed for his “strong, impassioned and lyrical” voice (Opera News), long ago established himself as one of America’s most talented and versatile artists. He has sung over 70 leading roles in over 50 operas with opera companies across the country and around the world, as well as concerts and recitals across America, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. Shaw is a member of the distinguished voice faculty of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He returns to Dayton Opera for an astounding 16th time to perform the role of Alfredo’s manipulative father Germont.

Three graduate students from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music will make their Dayton Opera debuts in this production. Mezzo-soprano Christina Hazen will perform the role of Violetta’s close friend Flora, baritone Samuel Kidd will perform the role of Violetta’s admiring protector Baron Douphol, and tenor Manfred Anaya will perform the role of Alfredo’s good friend and nobleman Gastone.

Three additional talented singers with ties to Dayton Opera and the southwestern Ohio region will perform the remaining supporting roles. Baritone Bradley Mattingly is an active member of Dayton Opera chorus and makes his 9th appearance in a supporting role as Flora’s lover Marquis d’Obigny. Former Dayton Opera Artist-in-Resident soprano Maya Vansuch, who performed the role of the stepsister Clorinda in last March’s production of La Cenerentola, will sing the part of Violetta’s loyal maid Annina. Finally, bass-barione Benjamin Smolder, Associate Professor of Voice, Producer and Conductor of Miami University Opera, and the National Director for the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition, will perform the role of Violetta’s attentive doctor Dr. Grenvil.

John Rensel, Resident Lighting Designer, will provide lighting design for this production.

To accommodate a variety of viewing needs of its patrons, the DPAA offers three options to enjoy this opera:

  • In-Theater Performances – The DPO will offer two live in-theatre 90-minute performances of this opera, with no intermission, for those who cannot wait to be back in the Schuster Center to experience Dayton Opera in person. These performances will be held Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 3:00pm and at 8:00pm in the Mead Theater of the Schuster Center. In compliance with Public Health–Dayton and Montgomery County, limited seating will be available in the Schuster Center, patrons will be seated in a socially-distance configuration, and strict safety guidelines will be followed in order to ensure the safety of all patrons in attendance. In-theater tickets are $50 per performance.
  • Live Stream Performance – For those patrons who are not yet ready to attend an in-theater performance, this opera can be viewed in a live-stream format from the comfort of home in real time as Dayton Opera performs from the stage. The Live Stream Performance will be streamed at 8:00pm on Saturday, April 24 2021, and the live stream ticket also provides access to on-demand viewing of the performance until June 30, 2021. Live stream access is $25.
  • Virtual Stream Membership – Patrons can become a DPAA Virtual Streams member which, depending on the membership level, provides access to all DPAA Reimagined Season live and recorded performances, as well as past 2020 Autumn and Holiday Streams, Artist Q&As, Behind-The-Scenes Videos and Bonus Performances. The Premium membership level ($500) provides access to all DPAA Live Streams. The Basic ($100) and Plus ($250) membership levels provide access to all performances five days after the Live Stream premieres. All performances are available for on-demand viewing until June 30, 2021.

Tickets for In-Theater and Live Stream performances of La Traviata: Essential Opera are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. DPAA Virtual Streams Memberships can be obtained by visiting https://daytonperformingarts.org/streams/. Information and ticketing for this program, or any of the DPAA 2020–2021 Reimagined Season programs, can be found by visiting www.daytonperformingarts.org.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) 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 greater Dayton community, with a mission to be the community’s indispensable source for traditional, diverse and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music. The vision of the DPAA is to transform lives through the power of music and dance. The DPAA offers a wide variety of performance and education programs, setting a new standard for artistic excellence. DPAA performances reach an audience of more than 90,000 people annually, and their rich arts education programming serves over 60,000 schoolchildren in 150 schools in the Miami Valley. These performances and education initiatives are made possible in part through major support provided by the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the National Endowment for the Arts.