Unprecedented Performing Arts Kick-Off

by Bridget Richard

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance began its 2013-2014 season this past weekend, on September 21 and 22, with an unprecedented “Season Opening Spectacular.” For the first time ever, the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and The Dayton Philharmonic collaborated to present a unique show to the public.

The season debut had nine separate artistic performances, beginning with the whimsical “Carnival Overture,” written by Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák in 1891. Not to be misled, this kick-off was far from being your regular boring classical performance. The Alliance performed six selections written by American legend Leonard Bernstein, including the operatic performance “Glitter and Be Gay,” featured in the film “Trouble in Tahiti.” Also, the Dayton Ballet did a high-caliber performance to the famous concert suite from “West Side Story,” also written by Bernstein.

The new form of debut featuring all three forms of performance was exciting to many people. In an interview with Stacey Ritz, the CEO and President of the DPAA, Paul Helfrich said, “We’ve all learned a great deal in this past year about the three art forms and about how we work together. Each art form has a very different timeline for preparing performances. The Ballet usually rehearses four to six weeks on each show. For the opera, it’s normally three weeks. For the Philharmonic it’s typically just one week. That alone shows how delicate the planning has to be to get all of us onstage and ready to perform at the same time! But even more important is the deeper understanding we all have for what each of us does and what it takes to make our art come alive.”

This kickoff performance was a great way to present art to the public in a new and unified way, and is a great way to express stories and emotions through a wide variety of mediums all in one sitting. And, here are some fun facts: The official coffee of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is Boston Stoker, and the official candy for the Dayton Opera is Esther Price.

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