Toledo Ballet

Toledo Symphony, Toledo Ballet to merge

From TOLEDO ALLIANCE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet today announced plans to merge the area’s oldest performing arts institutions. The Toledo Symphony, celebrating its 75th anniversary, is recognized as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. The Toledo Ballet, celebrating its 78th season, is recognized as one of America’s finest pre-professional dance programs. By joining forces, the Symphony and Ballet will build on an accumulated 153 years of performing arts history to present the finest performing arts in the region and reaffirm their shared focus upon education. The merged organization will be known as the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts, or T.A.P.A. The new non-profit is expected to form effective January 1, 2019. The Symphony and Ballet will continue to operate as sibling brands under the T.A.P.A. umbrella. Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony will become CEO of the combined organization. The Toledo Ballet has operated for several months without an Executive Director. “This partnership is a natural one,” says Vassar, “The Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet have worked together for over 70 years, with the Symphony serving as the Ballet’s pit orchestra. Our archives are rich with collaborations, and we have a great history of working together to entertain and inspire this community.” The Toledo Symphony first performed with the Toledo Ballet in the 1949 performance of the Nutcracker. The orchestra has supported the Ballet in every Nutcrackersince, celebrating the nation’s longest-running production of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet. Additionally, the Symphony has presented dancers from Toledo Ballet in many of its series performances, including the Rite of Springin 2015. “Marie Vogt choreographed several special performances for the Toledo Symphony in the 1950s under then-Music Director Wolfgang Streseman,” recalls Robert Bell, President Emeritus of the Toledo Symphony. “There were special performances of music by Copland and Enescu at the Paramount and Rivoli theaters, too. The Ballet’s dancers beautifully enhanced each program with fresh choreography.” During this formative period of the Toledo Ballet under Marie’s passionate and unwavering commitment to the art, the Symphony retained the Ballet for a variety of educational concerts as well imaginatively staged productions of the Nutcracker Suite. Besides presenting memorable performances, the Symphony and Ballet have common roots in education. The Toledo Symphony, through the Toledo Symphony School of Music and three Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras, provides music instruction to nearly 350 student performers each year. The Toledo Ballet School presents a comprehensive instruction program, including classical ballet, ballroom, jazz, tap, and hip hop. The Ballet School carries certification from the American Ballet Theatre and welcomes 300 students annually. “The Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony Orchestra have been collaborating for approximately 78 years,” said Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director of the Toledo Ballet. “The merging of the two organizations solidifies what has been a wonderful and long-running relationship between us. We are thrilled to take these two organizations into a new direction of collaboration not only for the arts community, but also the entire Toledo region.” The Toledo Symphony School of Music, Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras, and Toledo Ballet School will maintain their separate instruction spaces. “In time, I expect that our education activities will come together under one roof,” says Vassar. In 2017, the Symphony and Ballet experimented with a shared service model, which ultimately led…


Toledo Symphony, Toledo Ballet present classic “Nutcracker”

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony will work closer than ever before in this December’s production of “The Nutcracker.” It will be the Toledo Ballet’s 77th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved masterpiece. This is a partnership rooted in history, as the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet have collaborated artistically on “The Nutcracker” since the 1940s. This year, the Toledo Ballet has committed to presenting “The Nutcracker” with the full Toledo Symphony in the orchestra pit. This makes the Toledo Ballet’s presentation of “Nutcracker” the only local production to include a full orchestra of professional musicians. The Toledo Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” presented in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony, will be performed December 9th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and December 10th at 2 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets range from $24-$56 and can be purchased by calling 419-246-8000 or visiting toledosymphony.com. The Toledo Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” the longest-running annual production of the ballet in the nation, brings to life E.T.A. Hoffman’s magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. “As two arts organizations, we individually present meaningful and relevant music and dance to our audiences, but we can do it so much better together. So, if you’re going to see ‘The Nutcracker’ this season, I want to make sure that you see the one with the full orchestra. Only then will you really grasp what Tchaikovsky was trying to achieve,” said Zak Vassar, President and CEO of the Toledo Symphony.“We are excited to partner with the Toledo Ballet in this special way. In an age where many ballet companies dance to prerecorded music, I am proud that the Toledo Ballet will perform with a full, live orchestra. It makes such a visceral difference for the audience and preserves the artistic tradition.” The partnership is not only musical, however. Beginning this season, the Toledo Symphony will incorporate “The Nutcracker” into its annual holiday series, where it will join the orchestra’s popular “Christmas at the Peristyle” and Handel’s Messiah. The orchestra will also provide marketing, public relations, and box office support for the Toledo Ballet’s three “Nutcracker” performances. “This kind of collaboration makes a lot of sense in a community like ours,” said Felecia Kanney, Marketing Director of the Toledo Symphony. “Adding the beloved ‘Nutcracker’ to the mix supports both organizations. We get to add a classic tradition to our holiday repertoire, and the Toledo Ballet gains in economies of scale. It’s mutually beneficial without increasing the ticket cost. For nearly 70 years, these two iconic arts institutions, the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet, have come together to bring the joy of ‘The Nutcracker’ to the community. This closer partnership paves the way for an improved patron experience and reaffirms our commitment that we will settle for nothing but the best for audience goers.” “I am very excited to once again collaborate with the highly esteemed Toledo Symphony Orchestra,” said Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director of the Toledo Ballet. “When two strong arts organizations such as the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony come together it is a win-win for the entire community. Dancers at the Toledo Ballet are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue performing to live music with the Symphony. Dancers and musicians inspire each other, and that is what makes live theater so exciting.”