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DAYTON, OH (January 28, 2013) – On Friday, February 22 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, February 24 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Dayton Opera will present The Glory of Wagner performed in German with English surtitles above the stage.

When he was born 200 years ago, no one could ever have predicted that Richard Wagner would become one of the most radical and progressive composers of all time. His style is uniquely complex and rich; his operas are among the most challenging and beloved in the repertory. To add its birthday best wishes, Dayton Opera presents The Glory of Wagner, a glorious selection of Wagner’s overtures, arias, choruses, and the completely staged and costumed Act I of his monumental Ring Cycle opera, Die Walküre.

“It’s been 42 years since the Dayton Opera has performed the work of Wagner. What better time could there be to return to his great operas than in this 200th celebration year, when opera companies around the world will honor him,” said Thomas Bankston, Dayton Opera Artistic Director. Bankston and Stage Director Kathleen Clawson are collaborating to again employ the performance style used in Dayton Opera’s acclaimed 2011 production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra on stage surrounding the staging area, not in the orchestra pit as in most productions. Bankston added,” I’m pleased that DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman will conduct this unique production which will provide an opportunity for the full power of Wagner’s lush, full orchestral sound to accompany our wonderful soloists and the voices of the Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Choruses. The larger forces that we are able to present in this production present a glimpse of the type of enhanced collaborative presentations that will be a hallmark of the newly created Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.”

The program begins with the famed Act III Orchestral Prelude and Bridal Chorus, Treulich geführt ziehet dahin, from Lohengrin featuring the two choruses. Making her Dayton Opera debut, Soprano Kara Shay Thomson sings Elizabeth’s aria, Dich teure Hall, from Tannhäuser. Bass Nathan Stark, who appeared in Romeo and Juliet last season with the Dayton Opera, follows singing Daland’s Aria, Mögst du, mein Kind, from Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman). The two choruses then perform Erschallet, Feierklkänge!, a rousing chorus from the finale  of Act II of Rienzi. Making his Dayton Opera debut, Tenor Erik Nelson Werner performs Parsifal’s Aria, Nur eine Waffe taugt, from Parsifal. The first half of the program concludes with Bass Gustav Andreassen, in his Dayton Opera debut, singing the role of Hans Sachs, joined by both choruses performing music from the Act III Finale of Die Meistersinger.

Fully staged and with costumes from the Santa Fe Opera, the second half of the program consists of the entire Act I of Die Walküre, with Soprano Kara Shay Thomson as Sieglinde, Tenor Erik Nelson Werner as Siegmund, and Bass Nathan Stark as Hunding.

It’s an evening of Wagner, replete with drama, larger-than-life characterizations, and – best of all – some of the world’s most innovative, heroic, stirring, and beautiful music. Tickets range from $15 to $92 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at Friday Nite $15 Tweet Seats, which allows muted mobile devices in the Upper Balcony during the performance and is sponsored by DP&L, are also available. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at box office. Attendees are invited to attend the cast party following Friday’s performance at the Dayton Racquet Club.

Learn More about Richard Wagner and The Glory of Wagner
There are several opportunities to learn about Richard Wagner and The Glory of Wagner. Art & Arias returns to the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:00 pm. This lively hour-long look at opera and art features speakers Dr. Sam Dorf and DAI Docent Karen Long offering their perspectives. Art & Arias is free and open to the public.

Also, the free and informative Opera Overture presentations with the opera aficionado and University of Dayton professor Dr. Sam Dorf will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. at Books & Co. at The Greene and Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3211 Lakeview Ave., Dayton.

Mid-Day Arts Café will focus on The Glory of Wagner on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston joins Clawson and Gittleman for an interesting discussion on this unique production. Tickets are $12 and include a box lunch provided by Citilites Restaurant & Bar. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation starts promptly at Noon.

At the performance, enjoy entertainment and food-by-the-bite and beverages on sale in the Wintergarden beginning one-hour prior to the performance. For ticket holders, a 20-minute Opera Preview with Dr. Dorf is also offered one hour prior to both performances.

Visit for more information on the cast and the music of Wagner in pop culture.

Principal Sponsor for The Glory of Wagner is the Harry A. Toulmin, Jr., and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund of the Dayton Foundation; Leadership Sponsor is The Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund; Performance Sponsors are Dr. Charles and Patricia Demirjian; Entrepreneurship Circle Sponsor is Crowne Plaza Dayton.


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.   The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is also the proud recipient of a 12-13 season grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

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