Sneak peek at what’s coming to Dayton stages starting this fall

New shows from the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet announced for the 2018-19 arts season

Creating a concert season is always difficult — but also very exciting, says Neal Gittleman.

“There’s so much great music out there and a limited number of concert slots,” explains the conductor and music director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The results of that interesting challenge are traditionally announced on New Year’s Eve at a gala Signature Event featuring performances by the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic.

The grand announcement is made on stage by DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich along with the organization’s three artistic directors: Thomas Bankston, Dayton Opera; Karen Russo Burke, Dayton Ballet; and Gittleman.

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This time around, Gittleman is especially looking forward to the Haydn-and-Brahms evening featuring the return of young violinist Chad Hoopes; “Sleeping Beauty” with the Dayton Ballet; Mahler’s First Symphony; “Salome” at Dayton Opera, and the Thanksgiving weekend Rockin’ Orchestra Series recreation of The Band’s epic ‘Last Waltz’ concert, featuring more than two dozen stars of the Dayton music scene.

“And don’t get me started about the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Classical Connections’ concert in April,” Gittleman adds. ” I’ve wanted to do that for about 50 years!”

Here’s a sampling of what’s in store for the 2018-19 season:

  • The Season Opening Spectacular in September will feature Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
  • The Dayton opera will stage productions of Verdi's "Rigoletto" and Gilbert and Sullivan's comedy "The Pirates of Penzance." Those operas will be followed by a Star Recital with singer Ryan Speedo Green and a semi-staged presentation of Strauss' "Salome."
  • The Dayton Ballet will produce an entirely new production of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" and has scheduled "Dracula: Bloodlines" and "The Nutcracker." A program entitled "Perspectives" is also in the works.
  • The new Recital Series, formerly the Chamber Series, includes two chamber programs at the Dayton Art Institute designed by concertmaster Jessica Hung. This new series will include a Star Recital with singer Ryan Speedo Green.
  • The annual Family Series features the popular PhilharMonster Halloween concert and a trip "Bach to the Future" with Platypus Theatre. That concert will be performed with the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (DPYO) under the baton of DPYO Conductor Patrick Reynolds.
  • The DPO's Superpops season will include the hits of Lerner and Lowe in "My Fair Broadway,"Hometown Holiday celebration and "Cirque Musica: Crescendo." Eileen Ivers will join the DPO for Celtic Spirit which will be followed by "The Best of John Williams II." Also on tap: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong with Byron Stripling.
  • The Dayton Freight Rockin' Orchestra Series will feature guest bands Jefferson Starship, The Magic of Motown and "A Salute to the Eagles." In November, 30 local musicians and artists take the Schuster Center Stage with the DPO to present "The Last Waltz: Live with the Dayton Philharmonic." In late March, Jeans 'N Classics and the DPO will showcase "The Top Twenty Rock Hits of All Time!" And April will welcome guest band Classical Mystery Tour in the complete Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, including "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane."

Special Events

Additional programs in the upcoming season range from the annual presentation of Handel's "Messiah" and a "John Denver Rocky Mountain Christmas" to "Video Games Live," blending music, video footage, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists and live action.

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) has invited the Dayton Philharmonic to perform the music for the May 4 Golden Cclebration evening.

“I’m always excited to announce our new season each January,” says Helfrich. “It’s the culmination of months of planning — from the basics of blocking out weeks on the calendar and working out budgets to more abstract discussions of program themes and repertoire. It takes a while to get there and lots of discussion, but as always, I’m very pleased with the result!”

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  • Subscribing to a DPAA series offers a savings over single-ticket prices.
  • Season Ticket Packages can be ordered by calling Ticket Center Stage at (888) 228-3630, by visiting the DPAA website at, or by visiting the box office in the Schuster Center. Gift incentives are available for those who renew or subscribe by January 31, 2018.
  • Subscriptions for Dayton Ballet are $70 to $360 and for Dayton Opera are $124 to $401. DPO Masterworks 9 (which includes "Sleeping Beauty" with orchestra and a Wildcard ticket to any performance in the Vistas Season) is $108 to $450, and Masterworks 6 is $78 to $321. Rockin' Orchestra is $156 to $420, SuperPops $147 to $393, Sundae Classics $70 to $173, and Recital Series and Family are $80 each.
  • Discounts are available for Seniors, Students, Educators and Military

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