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Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic Kick Off the 2016-2017 Excite Season with a Celebration “Nouvelle et Vivante” of Exquisite French Music in Vive la France!

Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 

DAYTON, OH (August 22, 2016) – On Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) proudly presents the 2016–2017 Season Opening Spectacular, Vive la France!, featuring the music of eight diverse French composers in three distinctly different artistic formats. This exciting program is a brilliant collaboration of Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic and will be performed for one night only at the Schuster Center.  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.  Opera excerpts will be performed in French with English surtitles.

The Associate Sponsor for this performance is Houser Asphalt & Concrete.  DPAA’s Innovation Partner for the 2016-2017 Excite Season is the DP&L Foundation: Powering Innovation in the Performing Arts.

This exciting evening opens with the traditional moving performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played at the very first concert each DPAA season to kick off the season in honor of our great country, the United States of America. 

The first half of Vive la France! officially begins with the Dayton Philharmonic performing French composer Hector Berlioz’s flourishing and festive Roman Carnival Overture.  Then Dayton Opera takes the stage to perform excerpts from such magnificent French operatic works as Gounod’s Faust and Massenet’s Werther.  Philharmonic concertmaster, violinist Jessica Hung, will also be featured in a stirring performance of Massenet’s famed “Meditation” from Thaïs, joined by soloists from Dayton Ballet. Then for a first-half finale, the Dayton Philharmonic will electrify the audience as they provide the exquisite music, and Dayton Ballet will dance on stage alongside Dayton Opera’s impeccable vocalists in some of the greatest French music that moves the soul—the famous “Bacchanale” and final scene from Saint-Saëns’s grand masterpiece Samson and Delilah.
Dayton Philharmonic and Ballet open the second half of the program with the “Carillon” and “Farandole” from Georges Bizet’s well-loved L’Arlésienne. Then the DPAA explores another side of French operatic repertoire, including music from Offenbach’s dramatic “opéra fantastique,” The Tales of Hoffman, and a “frothy” orchestral “Galop” from Orpheus in the Underworld.  In a continued nod to all things French, Dayton Opera vocalists will perform a few favorites from the Schönberg/Boublil hit musical Les Misérables.  The night will end with a festive salute to the beautiful country of France with the full company joining together to perform the French National Anthem, “La Marseillaise,” written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and arranged by composer Hector Berlioz.

Dayton Opera welcomes to the stage three guest artists for this program. Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas returns to the Mead Theater Stage for this opening production, having last performed with Dayton Opera  in the role of Amneris in the stunning 2014 DPAA Signature Event, Aida.  Tenor Jonathon Burton also returns to Dayton Opera, having sung the role of Cavaradossi in the 2013 production of Tosca.  Dayton Opera welcomes to the stage bass-baritone Wayne Tigges, who will be making his Dayton Opera debut with this performance. 

Former Dayton Opera Artist-in-Residence Melisa Bonetti and Dayton Opera Chorus members Mark Hanson and Brad Mattingly will join the three featured vocalists in the excerpts from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman.

The Dayton Opera Chorus is directed by Chorus Master Jeffrey Powell, and Hank Dahlman, University Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Wright State University, directs the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus.

Dayton Opera, along with Dayton Ballet and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, invites Dayton to a very special tour de force of performing arts that will have everyone crying “Vive la France!”

To purchase single tickets to Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s Season Opening Spectacular, Vive la France!, please call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630.  For more information or to order subscriptions to the Dayton Opera’s full 2016-2017 Excite Season, 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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