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Maestro Neal Gittleman and Composer Stella Sung Take Dayton on Behind-The-Scenes Sneak Peek of Dayton Opera’s Upcoming World Premiere of The Book Collector

Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 

DAYTON, OH (April 14, 2016) – On Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 3 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO), under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, is thrilled to present Sung’s Premieres, the fourth and final Demirjian Classical Connections Concert of the 2015–2016 Ascend Season. This performance will be a special behind-the-scenes concert presentation of a brand-new work, The Book Collector, composed by Dayton Performing Arts Alliance's Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Stella Sung. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Innovation Partner for this performance is the DP&L Foundation - Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.

The Classical Connections program opens with the world premiere of Farmer Glorp, an animated movie loosely based on the story of Sunlandia, written by first graders in 2014 at the Miami Valley School in Dayton.  The movie was created by students in the University of Central Florida's (Orlando, FL) Character Animation Program. Students accepted into this UCF program learn to create character animation in a rigorous, pre-professional environment that culminates in the team animation of two short films during the students' junior and senior years. Dayton Performing Arts Alliance's Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Stella Sung has composed the enchanting score to Farmer Glorp, which will be played live by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.  The UCF students who created Farmer Glorp will travel to Dayton to attend this exciting world premiere of their animated film on May 1.

After the short film, the program will turn to a discussion and concert presentation of Dayton Opera's May world premiere and fully staged production of a one-act opera composed by composer Stella Sung. The recipient of a three-year Music Alive grant, international award-winning Dr. Sung has composed The Book Collector specifically to debut in Dayton. In this special preview Classical Connections, conductor Neal Gittleman and composer Stella Sung take the audience inside the creation of this brand-new opera and provide musical excerpts as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the musical composition, libretto, scene creation, staging and presentation of this world premiere. Dayton Opera singers soprano Angela Mortellaro (Anna), tenor Andrew Owens (Franz), and baritone Andrew Garland (The Baron) will take the stage with Maestro Gittleman and the DPO for a complete concert performance of Ms. Sung’s music and librettist Ernest Hilbert’s text. Human Race Theatre actor Tim Lile will join the singers in the spoken role of the Auctioneer. 

The Book Collector will receive its fully staged and produced world premiere on May 20 and 22, 2016 by Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic.  It will be presented on a double bill with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on the Mead Theatre Stage of the Schuster Center. 

Directly following the Connections Concert performance there will be a casual Q&A with Neal and Stella in the Wintergarden and an Ice Cream Social with a free scoop of Graeter's.

Sung’s Premieres is a landmark Classical Connections program for a landmark moment in opera history!

Tickets for Sung’s Premieres range from $14 to $41 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at  Senior, teacher and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information on this concert or on other upcoming performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit  For more information on The Book Collector, please 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.
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