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End January blues with Dayton’s arts venues

The very word “January” is a definition of the “winter blahs.”  We survive the joys of the holiday season and New Year’s Eve to find that the real world comes crashing about our ear-muffed ears.  

Have you ever heard anyone wish you “Happy January?”  Well, you are about to have that experience with enthusiasm and sincerity.  Here in Dayton, the January weather may be quite cold and the skies bleak.  To change that image, all one has to do is to enter one of the many arts venues which defy the January gloom and pessimism.

Let’s begin with Dayton Opera’s premiere performance of Verdi’s Macbeth.  What could be more cheering than a stage full of soon-to-be dead characters singing magnificent arias and duets?  

Verdi loved and revered Shakespeare.  If there had been a time warp, I am certain that Shakespeare would have loved Verdi. Verdi wrote operas based off Othello, Falstaff and Macbeth, all drawn from Shakespeare’s great plays and characters.  

Macbeth has remained out of the popular repertory for a variety of reasons. The demands of the characters require singers with special dramatic abilities as well as vocal magic. Impresario Tom Bankston has always assembled casts with special gifts.  To bring Macbeth to Dayton audiences Tom has invited soprano Michele Capalbo to sing the role of the all-powerful and malevolent Lady Macbeth. With her triumphs as Tosca and Aida, Michelle needs no introduction to Dayton audiences.  

She will be matched with one of Dayton Opera’s superstars, Lester Lynch, as the tragic Macbeth.  Lynch‘s stunning baritone power, demonstrated by his superb Rigoletto, Amonasro in Aida and Tonio in Pagliacci, will create this larger-than-life man of great power who falls victim to his wife’s fulminating ambition .

The heat generated by this dramatic contest of will, relentless resolve and tragedy will dissolve the bleak snows of Dayton’s January. The performances, Jan. 19, 25 and 27 will be another milestone in Dayton’s operatic history.  

The Dayton Philharmonic won’t be spilling blood or leaving corpses about the stage of the Schuster.  Their contribution to chasing away the January blahs will be with irrepressible music Jan. 10 and 12.

Maestro Neal Gittleman’s always innovative programming will concentrate on transformations.  Schubert’s Ninth Symphony is called “The Great C Major.”  Great is an understatement in describing this powerful and yet gently compelling work.  

You do not have to be a musician to be beguiled by the simple melodies which grow into commanding themes. Schubert’s music, such a palate of greatness, will beguile and warm every heart.

To prepare the audience for the Schubertian masterpiece, Maestro Neal opens the concert with contemporary composer James Beckel’s tribute to the master, his Fantasy after Schubert.  Sandwiched in between these works will be the cello of Julie Albers who will beguile with her music and her classic beauty as she plays another contemporary work, Steven Albert’s lyrical Cello Concerto.

You might as well just camp out at the Schuster.  Two days after Macbeth closes, the blockbuster musical Chicago comes to town.  You may have seen the movie but it will pale compared to the live show. I really don’t have to remind you just how hot Chicago is.  It will be in residence from Jan. 20 to Feb. 5 to keep winter further at bay.
In between the Philharmonic and the Opera, you can walk across the street to the Victoria. There, Dayton Ballet’s Peter Pan and his inimitable cadre of fantasy children will be dancing, and doing a bit of flying as well.  Who can resist Peter’s admonition to “think lovely thoughts?”

For a change of scene, travel up Salem Avenue to Dayton Theatre Guild’s January 11-27 production of Park Your Car in Harvard Yard.  I don’t know anything about the play but I know a great deal about the excellence of the Guild’s productions.  

The Human Race’s Loft Series Romeo and Juliet barely sneaks into January opening on the 31st.  Again, Shakespeare will leave us with bloodied bodies but soaring inspiration.

Now, you can relax and enjoy the special sunshine of Dayton’s fabulous arts riches. January will be just another joyous month – or perhaps the most glorious one.

Auditions for Glass Menagerie

Lebanon Theatre Company announces auditions for The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.

When: Sun., Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. and Mon., Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.
Where: Top of the Shoe Theatre, 120 E. South, Lebanon, OH
• male actor that can play early 20’s or early 30’s as the Narrator/Son
• male actor that can play early 20’s or early 30’s as the Gentleman Caller
• female actor that can play late 40’s or early 50’s as the mother
• female actor that can play about 20 yrs. old as the daughter/sister

Auditioners will be asked to do cold readings from the script. Production dates are March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16.

For further information, call (513) 228-0932 or visit the website

Winter youth art classes at Rosewood

Rosewood Arts Centre will be offering a variety of art and performance classes for children during the winter season.

New classes include Watercolor and More—use household items to experiment with various painting effects and techniques, Beginning Linoleum Block Printmaking— learn the basics of creating reproducible art by carving reusable linoleum templates, and Art Around the World— explore the cultures of South America, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Ireland and Egypt through various media. We are also offering favorites such as Stretch and Point and Drawing Anime.  

Rosewood Arts Centre is located at 2655 Olson Drive in Kettering.  Hours are 8 am to 9 pm Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 6 pm Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday. Winter art classes continue through March and the spring season youth classes begin in April.

For more information, call (937) 296-0294 or go to  Rosewood Arts Centre programs are supported in part through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council and programmed through the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and the Kettering Arts Council.

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January 2, 2008
Volume 17, No. 1

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