With our ongoing blog series, Amazing Artists & Venues, Onstage Publications has thus far highlighted performing artists, organizations, administrators, and venues all over the nation. Today, we look much closer to our home state as we bring to you the Dayton Opera of Ohio; and the gorgeous theater which houses them.

The Dayton Opera has enriched Ohio’s Miami Valley since it’s inception in 1960. The Dayton Opera is one prong of the three-pronged Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which also includes the Dayton Ballet & Philharmonic. It all began when a group of opera-loving locals met in December to discuss the region’s lack of a genuine professional opera company.

History of the Dayton Opera

  • The Dayton Opera performed its first season in 1961-62.
  • It was formally incorporated in 1962. Since then, Dayton’s audiences have grown from 3,000 in its first season to over 20,000 souls!
  • Dayton Opera’s founder Lester Freedman led the young opera company for 20 years, producing memorable nights for opera-goers in Dayton Downtown’s Memorial Hall.
  • In 2003, Dayton Opera moved from its long-time home of Memorial Hall to the Benjamin and Marian Performing Arts Center.
  • The move has enabled the company to produce bigger and better productions in a modern, acoustically superior theater.

We get excited about outstanding auditoriums here. They are the cornerstone of a memorable audience experience!

The Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

Also known to Daytonians as the Schuster Center, this fantastic venue is two separate structures – a performing arts center and an office/condominium tower. Per their website, “The performing arts center serves as the focal point of the facility and includes the Mead Theatre, the Mathile Theatre, and Citilites restaurant and bar. Performance Place, the office/condo tower attached to the Schuster Center, rises 224 feet from the sidewalk…”

The Mead Theatre is the heart and soul of the facility, and it’s home of fantastic performing arts venues, including our beloved Dayton Opera. This state-of-the-art facility accommodates an audience of 2,300, who attend to see a diverse selection of artists from opera to ballet, orchestral performances and more.

The audience experience begins Architect Cesar Pelli’s design intended to feel like an evening outside, under the starry skies. Cool blues and orange-reds of the interior reach the domed ceiling. There, circles of fiber optic lights depict the Dayton sky precisely as it looked on December 16, 1903, when the eve of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

A close focus on acoustics enhances this unique audience experience. As per their website, world-renowned planning and design consultants created a close, intimate setting for the audience. The last row is only 120 feet from the stage!

Seating options include:

  • orchestra
  • loge (also known as box seating)
  • upper balconies
  • lower balconies

Such a stunning venue has attracted world-famous performers from diverse backgrounds and genres!

Noteworthy Artists

Numerous performance artists have graced the Dayton Opera with their amazing performances. Some opera legends they’ve hosted include:

Whether attending a world-class performance or spending a night out with local musicians, Dayton’s audience enjoys one of the most beautiful theaters built in modern history!

Audience Experience Matters

Classical musicians and performing artists make up the lion’s share of our program book clients here at Onstage. We know theater-goers are thrilled to experience a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they go to a production by the Dayton Opera. And for that, we salute them!

Our purpose is to present audiences with incredibly high-quality program books. The audience learns about the organization, the performers, and the history of the performance they’re about to experience. Program books are cherished tokens of an adventurous night out. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about luxury program book publications with Onstage!

Related Reading & Resources: Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

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