From the first meetings of its founders in the fall of 1960, Dayton Opera has enriched the cultural life of the Miami Valley. Dayton Opera’s over 50-year history began in the autumn of 1960, when a group of opera-loving Daytonians met on December 13, 1960 to discuss the region’s need for a professional opera company. With great volunteer support, Dayton Opera performed its first season in 1961-62, and was formally incorporated on May 31, 1962.
Since that time, the company’s budget has grown from $30,000 to nearly $2 million. Audiences have grown from 3,000 in its first season to over 20,000 in recent years. In 2003, Dayton Opera moved from its long-time home of Memorial Hall to its new home at the Benjamin and Marian Performing Arts Center. The new facility, perfectly suited to opera performances, has enabled the company to produce bigger and better productions in an acoustically superior theatre.
On July 1, 2012, Dayton Opera joined forces with the Dayton Ballet and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to create the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. This historic merger promises to produce and present the best in performing arts for the Miami Valley.