The ambitious series of streaming concerts recently announced by the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is a boon not only to those of us spending more time at home but to the arts professionals as well — both seasoned musicians and those launching a musical career.
If you’ve had the chance to see some of the DPAA’s summer streams, you have a taste of what’s in store — an entertaining blend of music, song and dance featuring the Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.
The current offerings have been divided into three streams:
- Autumn Streams has just introduced an operatic tour of well-known area locations including the Dayton Masonic Center, Woodland Cemetery and the Dayton Arcade. Titled “Postcards from Dayton,” it first streamed on Oct. 16 and was produced by Kathleen Clawson, the new Dayton Opera Artistic Director Designate.
- A classical concert, featuring the Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Neal Gittleman, features works by Strauss, Ewazen, Elgar and Mozart and premiered this weekend. A Halloween celebration will incorporate ballet, orchestra and opera.
- Holiday Streams will include a concert by the Carillon Brass, a Hometown Holiday celebration and Dayton Ballet’s 25-year retrospective of The Nutcracker. The collection of Family Streams is a great way to introduce the entire family to the classical arts.
Once each of these concerts premieres, it continues to be available online through June.
For the first time, the DPAA is offering a streaming membership program with three levels of performance access. Although some of the performances will continue to be free, a paid donation will provide access to special content, artist Q&A videos and some live streams, all based on membership level.
“When the pandemic shut everything down in March, we had to make a choice: stop working or find a new way to serve,” explains Jeremy Davit, the DPAA’s chief development officer. “Although harder and more costly, we chose the latter path: Summer Streams, Autumn Streams, and Holiday Streams are all new ways for us to continue to learn how to bring music and education into people’s hearts and homes.”
The organization, he says, needed a new way for people to access that content." We explored many options, but in the end the simplicity of asking people to donate to support by bringing them the arts they love seemed to make the most sense. Davit says the Arts Explorer Streams will be provided to teachers and homeschoolers free this year.
Back at the Schuster
The socially-distanced musicians who gathered on the Mead Theatre stage for the first time since March agreed it was a thrill to be back. The classical concert entitled “The Philharmonic Returns!” includes works by Strauss, Ewazen, Elgar and Mozart. Each piece of the program comprises a subset of the full orchestra with nearly 25 musicians on stage at one time.
“Walking onto the stage at the Schuster Center felt like finally waking up after a horrible dream,” says Jonathan Lee, principal cellist for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. “It was a homecoming and the first time in months I felt like things were normal. Reuniting with the orchestra was like a family reunion. Even though we met on Zoom several times over the pandemic, being back together in person while making music together was a moving time.”
Among those singers featured in the “Postcards” concert was soprano Caitlin Crabill, a Kettering native who had just stepped into a major role with the Sarasota Opera and was receiving rave reviews when the pandemic hit and the run of the opera was cut short.
The good news for both Crabill and her husband Samuel Schlievert, who are both in the midst of launching opera careers? They were invited to perform in Dayton’s virtual streams program.
“It means so much to have an opportunity to perform during this pandemic,” says a grateful Crabill. " I feel like I hear news every day of opera companies pushing back their seasons, or talk of live performances being put on hold until the end of next year. So, when I was offered this opportunity with Dayton Opera, it felt incredible. I am so thankful for it!"
A lifelong Daytonian, Crabill says she especially loved being inside the downtown Arcade where she and her husband performed “Brundisi” from “La Traviata.” “The Arcade had been closed as long as I can remember, and it was amazing to see that beautiful rotunda with the elaborate carvings.” She also loved the opportunity to sing an aria about home from “La Wally” while standing on the balcony of the Masonic Center and looking toward the Dayton skyline. “It made performing the aria so easy because I was literally looking at the city where I grew up while singing!.”
Crabill says getting to sing for the public after six months was truly rejuvenating. “It was one of those moments where I was reminded that this is what I am meant to do.”
HOW TO GO
- The virtual performance lineup includes several free performances including concerts from Autumn Streams, Holiday Streams and Family Streams.
- Basic Membership ($100): Access to ALL DPAA Virtual Streams.
- Plus Membership ($250): All virtual programs plus DPAA Bonus Performances, Artist Q&As, and Behind-the-Scenes videos.
- Premium Membership ($500): All of the above plus access to live-streams of future in-theater performances.
- Patrons who donate tickets for a canceled 2020-2021 performance will receive access to the virtual streams at a level that matches the value of their ticket donation.
- If you’ve already donated to the 2020-2021 Annual Fund, please watch for an email that provides your discount/access code.
- If you’ve already registered for Summer Streams, use your current username and password
- For information on how to register and to access all DPAA Virtual Streams, visit www.DaytonPerformingArts.org/streams/. You can also call the Box Office at ( 937) 228-3630.