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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera Together Climb to New Heights as the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Proudly Announces its 2015-2016 Ascend Season

Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x 1138

DAYTON OH (Jan 6, 2015) – The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance reaches for new heights as it announced its 2015-2016 Ascend Season for Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra this past New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014, at the Schuster Center in Dayton.  The three DPAA artistic directors, Thomas Bankston, Dayton Opera; Karen Russo Burke, Dayton Ballet; and Neal Gittleman, Dayton Philharmonic, and DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich were on stage for the exciting announcement, which took place during the New Year’s Eve: Classical Destinations performance, one of three DPAA Signature events of the current 2014-2015 season that showcase all three art forms in a fantastic evening of music, song, and dance. 

Subscriptions for all nine DPAA Ascend season series went on sale to the general public on Saturday, January 3, 2015.  Subscriptions can be ordered by calling Ticket Center Stage (888) 228-3630, by visiting the DPAA website at, or by visiting the box office in the Schuster Center Wintergarden. Special incentives in the form of dining cards and free concerts will be available for those who renew or subscribe by January 31. In addition, all those who subscribe by February 28 receive the exclusive opportunity to participate in a ticket presale event from March 1 through March 15 for “An Evening with Rodgers & Hammerstein” - a DPAA Signature Event featuring all three art forms to be performed this May 16, 2015 at the new Music Center at the Heights in Huber Heights.

“This is a season of new initiatives,” said DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich.  “As we look at arts organizations around the country, it’s clear: you can’t just keep doing the same things you’ve always done and expect to have ongoing success.  To stay vital, the arts have to change, grow, and respond to their communities.  That’s just what we will do in our new season.” 

The 2015-2016 DPAA Ascend season begins early this year on May 16, 2015, when all three art forms help inaugurate the sparkling new Music Center at the Heights in Huber Heights, OH with a splashy tribute to the glorious music, song, and dance in An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein.  Then, music lovers are welcomed downtown this summer to DPAA’s Summer in the City for the first-ever July festival at the Schuster Center, celebrating rock and pop music, all backed by the full Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. 

In September, the new season explodes onto the Schuster stage with American Mosaic. This spectacular program, which will premiere on the traditional Season Opening Spectacular weekend, includes seven art forms this year as the DPAA is joined by the Bach Society of Dayton, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, The Human Race Theatre Company, and Muse Machine in a sensational celebration of the amazing legacy of 50 years of generous support from the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.

The DPAA Ascend season then takes off as each series debuts with exciting programs that present each of the classical arts with new discoveries, insights, and drama. The biggest event yet is saved for last.  In May 2016, the DPAA presents the world premiere of a one-act opera written by our Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Stella Sung. The Book Collector, a mystical murder intrigue, effectively sets up the second half of the program: Carmina Burana, performed by Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Opera Chorus, DPO Chorus, and the full Dayton Ballet company.

Additional Highlights of the DPAA 2015-2016 Ascend season include:

Dayton Opera, under the careful direction of Artistic Director Thomas Bankston, presents two of the classics in opera repertoire with sweeping presentations of Verdi’s penultimate opera Otello, based on Shakespeare’s tragic play of the same name, and Puccini’s beloved Madame Butterfly, the heartbreaking story of a devoted wife willing to do whatever it takes in the name of love. 

Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke also directs her attention to the classics as Dayton Ballet brings back to the stage in October the wildly popular Cinderella, and then in April, the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, set to the classical music of Sergei Prokofiev.  The Dayton Philharmonic will join Dayton Ballet for this performance to bring to life the beautiful score.  In February, Dayton Ballet presents two exciting world-premiere ballets, one choreographed by Burke and one choreographed by the engaging Melissa Barak, whose résumé boasts an incredible dance background, including nine years with New York City Ballet.

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, presents a full repertoire of programs in its Premier Health Classical Series, honoring classical composers such as Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Dvorák, Bach, and Mozart, just to name a few.  The DPO also lends its full, rich sound to not just one, but two full ballets this year – The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet.  In May, Maestro Gittleman offers a focused look at Johannes Brahms with an in-depth two-evening Brahms Festival. 

Audience-pleasing artists, both new and returning, will join the musicians of Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gittleman and Associate Conductor Patrick Reynolds. The Kettering Health Network SuperPops Series presents a wide range of wonderful performances, including a collaboration with The Human Race Theatre Company once again for the Best of Broadway II, a Christmastime visit from the Celtic Tenors, a celebration of the music from Pixar films, which have been delighting young and not-so-young alike over the last 30 years, two performances that pay homage to two outstanding eras of music – Iconic Folk Rock of the 70s and Music from the Mad Men Era – and, in April, a very special visit from saxophonist and jazz great Kenny G. 

The Rockin’ Orchestra Series pays tribute this season to the Bee Gees, The Who, and Motown, and then in April, the DPO is joined by two legends of classic rock – John Elefante from Kansas, and Mickey Thomas from Starship.

The Philharmonic continues its new Sunday Chamber Series, featuring the stellar talents of DPO Concertmaster Jessica Hung, the DPO Principal Quartet, Dayton Opera Artists-in-Residence and the DPO Woodwind section. All concerts will be performed at the intimate Dayton Art Institute Renaissance Auditorium.

DPAA’s Demirjian Classical Connections series will also continue on Sunday afternoons, giving audiences eye-opening insight into some of the famous composers on the Classical Series, including Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Dvorák, and DPAA’s very own Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Stella Sung, who will talk in depth about her brand-new opera The Book Collector, with excerpts performed by the DPO under the baton of Maestro Neal Gittleman.  Each of these Connections concerts comes complete with a Q&A with Maestro Gittleman and a free scoop of Graeter’s ice cream following the performance.

Popular seasonal events remain a staple on the DPAA calendar, including the DP&L Foundation Family SeriesPhilharMonster and Dayton Ballet’s The Nutcracker, as well as the Christmastime performance of Handel’s Messiah at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Subscribing to a series offers savings up to 23% over single ticket prices. Subscriptions for Dayton Ballet are $128 to $288 and for Dayton Opera, $132 to $321. DPO Classical 9 (which includes The Book Collector/Carmina Burana, Romeo & Juliet Ballet with full Orchestra, and a Wildcard ticket to any performance in the Ascend season) is $108 to $450, and Classical 6 is $72 to $321. Rockin’ Orchestra is $128 to $350, SuperPops $147 to $393, Classical Connections $43 to $138, and Chamber and Family Series are $48 to $80 each. Discounts are available for Seniors, Students, Educators and Military.  For more information, or to subscribe to any one of the DPAA 2015-2016 Ascend Season series, call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit online at


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.
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