Italian vibe accents New Year’s Eve concert with DPO, opera

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance ushers in 2020 with “New Year’s Eve: Bella Italia!” Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Schuster Center.

>> RESTAURANT CLOSINGS: Marco’s Pizza shuts down 2 of its Dayton-area locations

Gathering artists of Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the concert features soprano Chloé Olivia Moore and tenor Benjamin Werley. Moore previously appeared with Dayton Opera as Leila in the 2015 production of “The Pearl Fishers,” Nedda in the 2016 production of “I Pagliacci” and Liu in 2018’s “Turandot.” She is slated to offer selections from Puccini’s “La Rondine” and Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” and “I Vespri Siciliani.”

Werley most recently made his Dayton Opera debut as Narraboth in last season’s “Salome.” He will offer selections from Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci” and Tosti’s “Marechiare.”

>> THINGS TO DO: A guide to the best New Year’s Eve bashes in Dayton

The DPO, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will render the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, appropriately named “Italian”; Vivaldi’s Sinfonia No. 52; the fourth movement of Resphighi’s “Pines of Rome” (a tone poem depicting pine trees in four locations around Rome); Luigi Denza’s “Funiculi-Funicula”; Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours” from his 1835 opera “La Gioconda; and Nino Rota’s Suite from “La Dolce Vita,” Federico Fellini’s classic 1960 film.

The evening closes with Johann Strauss II’s “Blue Danube Waltz,” “Radetzky’s March” from Johann Strauss I, and the traditional “Auld Lang Syne.”

In addition to offering a preview of DPAA’s 2020-2021 season, the evening will include food-by-the-bite available for purchase in the Wintergarden beforehand, a complimentary flute of champagne at intermission, and a festive balloon drop.

>> YEAR IN REVIEW: The local dining scene lost several iconic restaurants in 2019

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

The concert coincides with the upcoming farewell of DPAA President and CEO Paul Helfrich, who will resign in February 2020 to assume his new duties as executive director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in Orlando, Florida, in mid-February. Helfrich came to Dayton in 2008 to serve as President of the DPO and became president and CEO of DPAA four years later when the alliance was formed through the merger of the Philharmonic with Dayton Ballet and Dayton Opera.

>> PAST COVERAGE: Leader of Dayton’s performing arts alliance resigns

“He was a key leader in the merger of the Dayton Philharmonic, Ballet and Opera – a first in the nation which many said could never work,” said John Beran, board chair of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. “However, Paul brought all three together. He has worked tirelessly over the course of his tenure with our organization, including most recently with the development of the 2020-2021 season. We will miss Paul here in Dayton and we wish him all the best.”


What: "New Year's Eve: Bella Italia!"

Where: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Cost: $20-$76

Tickets: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit

About the Author