Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Logo



Angela Whitehead
Interim Communications & Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Dayton Ballet / Dayton Opera / Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
126 N. Main St., Suite 210, Dayton OH 45402
O: (937)224-3521 x1138  F: (937)223-9189

DAYTON, OH (September 2, 2014) – On Saturday, September 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) proudly presents the 2014–2015 Season Opening Spectacular, Russian Panorama, featuring the music of nine diverse Russian composers in three distinctly different artistic formats. This exciting program is a wonderful collaboration of Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic.  It showcases all three art forms, along with the Philharmonic and Opera choruses, innovative stagecraft and acclaimed vocal talent.  Dayton Opera Artistic Director Thomas Bankston, Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, and Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke together present an outstanding celebration of music, song, and dance. 

Principal Sponsor for “Russian Panorama” is The Hampden W. and Erma R. Catterton Charitable Trust Fund: Dayton Opera Association Trust Fund. Leadership Sponsor for this production is Brady Ware, which is joined by Associate Sponsor Emerson Climate Technologies.  As part of this combined event for all three art forms, “Russian Panorama” is the first classical series performance for the Dayton Philharmonic with support from Classical Series Presenting Sponsor Premier Health. DPAA Innovation Partner this season is The DP&L Foundation - powering innovation in the performing arts.

“Russian Panorama” marks the beginning of a special Season Kickoff Celebration that will continue for four weekends in a row in September and October, bringing Classical, Ballet, Opera, Connections, Rockin’ Orchestra and Pops programs to the Schuster Center.  “As part of this Season Kickoff Celebration, Dayton celebrates the rich music of Russian composers who masterfully blend beautiful melodies, infectious rhythms and powerful emotions, speaking the truth with heart, humor, passion, and soul,” says Maestro Neal Gittleman, explaining why Russian music provides the inspiration for the opening of a new season for DPAA.

The Season Opening Spectacular begins with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, a seven-minute musical joyride at almost roller coaster speed.  Written in 1954 for a concert held in Moscow to celebrate the anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution, the piece is unique in both its style of melody and its lively tempo.  Excerpts from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s lyric opera Eugene Onegin follow, highlighting the powerful range of four Dayton Opera vocalists.  With its torrid exploration of love, social mores, and passion, it should come as no surprise that Tchaikovsky wrote this piece while living through a short and catastrophic marriage. With an opening that sounds like a celestial clock ticking off the last minutes of someone’s life, Modest Mussorgsky’s Coronation Scene from the opera Boris Godunov morphs into a lyrical, hauntingly beautiful procession of participants in a grand royal pageant. 

After intermission, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra takes center stage once again to perform Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov’s “Procession of the Sardar”, the final of four parts that comprise his Caucasian Sketches.  With its exotic melody and evocations of Turkish janissary music, “Procession of the Sardar” is certainly the most vibrant and striking of the Caucasian Sketches.  Then, Dayton Ballet joins the Dayton Philharmonic to perform excerpts from Act II of Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella.  Karen Russo Burke has choreographed a festive ballet to accompany Prokofiev’s lush score, and Dayton Ballet rises to the occasion with spectacular dance. After, Dayton Opera vocalists will dazzle with magnificent pieces from Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as another beautiful piece from Mussorgsky and the popular Vocalise by Sergei RachmaninoffVocalise was originally written around 1912 and published as the last of a set of fourteen songs, the first thirteen set to poems written by Russian romantic poets. In contrast, Vocalise was written without words, relying for its success entirely on the beauty of the melodic line. It quickly became the most successful song of the set and has remained one of Rachmaninoff’s most popular compositions. 

Finally, audience members will be instantly familiar with Alexander Borodin’s "Polovtsian Dances" from Prince Igor.  Since 1953, its music has been a part of the fabled history of American musical theater and Broadway. In that year, the musical Kismet debuted, and America heard for the first time the song "Stranger in Paradise," a slow, enticing melody that is but one of the "Polovtsian Dances" that course into each other in a glittering sequence building in momentum and exhilaration to an astounding climax. Dayton Ballet joins forces again with the DPO, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic Chorus, and Dayton Opera Chorus for this breathtaking finale.

Dayton Opera welcomes to the stage four guest artists for this program.  Russian-born soprano Inna Dukach returns to Dayton Opera, having performed the role of Mimi in the 2011 production of La bohème.  Harold Wilson will perform as bass soloist, having recently sung the role of Ramfis in Dayton Opera’s beautiful production of Aida this past May.  Baritone Grant Youngblood will make his fourth appearance with Dayton Opera, having most recently performed the role of Amonasro in Aida, as well as the roles of Scarpia in Tosca in 2005 and Figaro in the 2001 production of The Barber of Seville.  Tenor Wesley Rogers will make his debut with Dayton Opera in this program.  Hank Dahlman directs the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus, and the Dayton Opera Chorus is directed by Chorus Master Jeffrey Powell. 

Several performances and pre-performance events are set to highlight the Season Opening Spectacular and the Season Kickoff Celebration as follows:


*        Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. – DPAA Season Opening Spectacular  “Russian Panorama” –  Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic – Schuster Center

*        Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27, 2014 – 8:00 p.m. – Premier Classical Series Concert “From Russia with Love”, with Guest Violinist Chad Hoopes – Dayton Philharmonic – Schuster Center

*        Sunday, September 28, 2014 – 3:00 p.m. – Demirjian Classical Connections Series Concert “Tchaikovsky: The Romantic”, featuring Guest Violinist Chad Hoopes – Dayton Philharmonic – Schuster Center

Pre-Performance Events

*        September 12, 2014 – 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. – Urban Nights – DPAA will be present in front of the Schuster Center to greet Urban Nights participants, review the exciting Season Kickoff Celebration, and highlight the captivating DPAA 2014-2015 New Horizons Season.

*        September 16, 2014 - 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. – DPAA on the Square – Join Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic on the Square for a midday performance to celebrate the 2014-2015 New Horizons Season.

*        September 20-28, 2014 – Russian Cultural Display – Schuster Center – View timelines of Russian history, an exhibition of stunning Russian photographs, and a beautiful display of Russian Matryoshka Nesting Dolls and other Russian cultural pieces in the Orchestra Lobby and the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center.

*        September 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, 2014 – Savory Russian-themed Menus – Citilites Restaurant and Dayton Racquet Club – Savor delicious menus with a Russian theme at both Citilites Restaurant and Dayton Racquet Club on each evening or afternoon before performances.

*        September 20 and 21, 2014 – Pre-Performance Talks for “Russian Panorama” – Want to learn more about the beautiful music from the Russian composers whose works comprise the Season Opening Spectacular “Russian Panorama”? Come one hour prior to both performances to hear colorful insight by University of Dayton Professor Dr. Sam Dorf in the Mead Theater. 

*        September 26 and 27, 2014 – Captivating Russian Dance – DP&L Stage – Schuster Center Wintergarden – Enjoy pre-show performances by Hard Core Vintage, a dance troupe which will perform cultural Russian Ballroom Dance from 19th century Russia, setting the stage for the celebration of Russian Music.  Performances begin 30 minutes prior to DPAA performance

*        September 26 and 27, 2014 – Take Note Talks for “From Russia with Love”- Schuster Center Mead Theater –  Join Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the young, talented Guest Violinist Chad Hoopes to learn more about the passionate music of Tchaikovsky.  Talks begin at 7:00 p.m. both evenings in the Mead Theater. 

*        September 28, 2014 – 2:00 p.m. – Pre-performance Talk – Schuster Center Donor’s Lounge – Join Dr. Joseph Schenk of the University of Dayton for an engaging and fascinating lecture on Russian culture ranging from the beginning of recorded history of the region through modern-day Russia.  Light refreshments will be provided during the talk.  Russian bites will be available for purchase at Citilites Restaurant in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center before and after the talk.

*        September 28, 2014 – Post-performance Q&A and Ice-cream Social –  Schuster Center Wintergarden – Join DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman following the performance for a casual Q&A and an Ice Cream Social with a free scoop of Graeter's.

To purchase single tickets to Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Season Opening Spectacular, “Russian Panorama”, or any of the other performances, call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630.  For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include all three art forms, or single tickets online, you can also visit

 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 proud 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.

Event | Description


Visit Dayton Ballet
Visit Dayton Opera
Visit Dayton Philharmonic

© Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
All Rights Reserved
126 North Main Street, Suite 210
Dayton Ohio 45402

(937) 224-3521