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Join the Opera Guild of Dayton Today! Your membership is very important to us.

Click the button on the right to fill out our online membership application and join the Guild today.
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NOTE: Paypal is the processing tool that the Guild uses for handling money. However, you may join using your Paypal account OR your personal credit card.

Membership Is Our Lifeblood   

Opera Guild of Dayton welcomes new members to join us for fun and meaningful service as we support Dayton Opera. Assistance is needed in many diverse areas that let you use your talents to keep the cultural scene strong in the Dayton area. You can take part in one of our many award-winning educational programs for school children or adults throughout the area. Many exciting fund and friend raising events are scheduled throughout the year. Marketing and communications are critical areas for success in the Guild. Special skills such as graphic design, writing, ushering, hosting and more are always needed.
To join:
  • Contact Managing Vice President of Membership, Margarete Jennings, 937/469-3633 or at
  • Or contact the Guild at 937/224-3521 ext. 1099.
  • Click here to print a copy of our Membership Application. Please mail the completed form to: Margarete Jennings, 745 Woodbourne Trail, Dayton, Ohio 45459.


The summary below is a general review of how the Opera Guild of Dayton membership fulfilled the Guild’s mission of encouraging and promoting opera in the Greater Dayton area and supported Dayton Opera through fundraising, marketing and education activities in 2015-2016.

Financial contributions of $91,020 to Dayton Opera:

  • Series sponsorship of $30,000 for the production of Madame Butterfly
  • Annual operating support of $35,000
  • Artists-In-Residence support of $5,000
  • Additional gift of $20,000 in honor of Tom Bankston’s 20th year as Artistic Director
  • Mead Theatre for the Student Dress Rehearsal of $1,020

In-kind donations to Dayton Opera:

  • Provided 311 nights of home hospitality valued at $60/night to cast members for a savings of $18,360.
  • Volunteer ushers for two dress rehearsals and airport transportation for visiting artists saved the Opera an additional $2,000.
  • Volunteers prepared and served hearty snack food and beverages to cast members for the first ’onstage’ rehearsal for each production. The value of the food and volunteer hours – priceless!

Education Programs:

  • Students’ Night @ Dress Rehearsal: Close to 400 students, junior high through college, were hosted by the Opera Guild for the dress rehearsal of Dayton Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly at the Schuster Center on November 18.
  • Children’s Traveling Opera: 24 programs of The Barber of Seville were presented to over 2,400 students in grades three through six at schools throughout the Miami Valley by this national award winning program made up of 30 plus volunteers, three rotating soloists and three accompanists.
  • Volunteers: Jane Reynolds, Cindy Hoffsis, Effie Sue Kemerley, Pat Ferguson, Mary Mathieu and Linda Rountree contributed 140+ hours to design and create costumes for the newest CTO production The Pirates of Penzance.
  • Opera Marionettes: More than 1,500 students, preschool through second grade, experienced their first exposure to opera with an introduction to opera by this national award winning program. The 31 programs were performed by a dedicated troupe of 17 volunteers.
  • High School Vocal Competition: Through an endowment from the Norma J. Ross Youth Foundation, the Guild awarded $1,350 in prize money to three finalists.  Judges were Minnita Daniel-Cox, Assistant Professor of Voice and Coordinator of the Voice Area at the University of Dayton; Alicia Hotopp, vocal teacher, private voice and voice classes at the University of Dayton; and Kasia Borowiec, 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence, Dayton Opera.
  • Tri-State College Vocal Competition: The Guild awarded $5,000 to four finalists. This event is supported in part by the Guild’s Remembrance Fund.  Judges were Tom Bankston, Artistic Director of Dayton Opera; Dr. Eric Street, Professor of Music, University of Dayton; and Jason Hiester, Associate Conductor and Chorus Master, Columbus Opera.  Jeffrey Powell, Dayton Opera Chorus Master, served as piano accompanist.         

Fund Raising and Special Events

  • BRAVO! 2015: This classic Champagne Brunch and Fashion Show was chaired by Cindy Gaboury. Guests were entertained at the Sinclair’s Ponitz Center. The fashions were provided by Chico’s of Oakwood, Soma and J. Hilburn.  The stars were Community Leaders – role models who competed for the title of “Bravo Model of the Year.”  Proceeds exceeded $12,000.
  • “Hooray for Hollywood: Opera Ball 2016 orchestrated by this year’s chair, Nancy Farkas, was a red-carpet event with a grand entrance for guests to the lobby of “Hollywood Hotel” complete with red-hatted bellhops and Oscars along with a hotel lobby for check-in and film clips of the original movie, Hooray for Hollywood.   It was a glittering evening with lots of laughter and liveliness, including silent and live auctions and dancing to the spirited sound of the Bob Gray orchestra.  Net proceeds of $34,000 were realized.
  • Boutique: Co-chairs Nancy Farkas and Liz Hoffmann were supported by a dedicated sales staff of Guild members that included: Rosalie Jennings, Dana Kane and Amy Lombardo. The Boutique sold a wide variety of “must have items” in the lobby of the Schuster Center before and during intermission of every opera performance.  Items were also available to purchase at our Annual Membership Luncheon and BRAVO! Fashion Show.  Boutique netted $2,145.
  • Membership Luncheon: Our 53rd annual Membership luncheon chaired by Toni Winger was held at Dayton Country Club on March 17. The luncheon took advantage of all the Irish legends and leprechauns to create an atmosphere of fun and to share common interests in operatic music.  The food was delicious and many prizes were awarded.  The Dayton Opera’s Artists-In-Residence performed beautifully.
  • Stars of Tomorrow Luncheon: This annual luncheon preceded the Tri-State College Vocal Competition and was held at Moraine Country Club with Helen Miller as chair.  Following the luncheon the competition was held at the Kettering Seventh Day Adventist Church.  A reception followed the competition where refreshments were provided by Susan Herman.
  • Pre-Opera Light Supper: Prior to the Madame Butterfly performance, a gathering was held in the Donors Lounge at the Schuster Center and was chaired by Diane Johnson and Barbara Haller.
  • Lunch with Stella Sung: The Guild had a very special guest at their May board meeting – Stella Sung.  Stella is so down to earth and easy to relate to.  She talked about her positive three year experience in Dayton and factors that influenced her in writing The Book Collector, the final opera of the season performed in conjunction with Carmina Burana.
  • Garden Party 2016: Lois and Roger Sutherland welcomed Opera Guild members and their guests to their home for the annual Garden Party June 26. Chair of the event, Kathy Brown, presented to Lois and Roger a Waterford crystal rose in appreciation for sharing their gorgeous home and lovingly tended gardens for this and many other Guild events.  A light supper was served by caterer, Michael.  Although it was an unseasonably hot afternoon guests savored the moment.
  • Annual Meeting: An elegant brunch was served at Dayton Country Club on June 8 preceding the 52nd Annual Meeting. Friend of the Year was awarded to Jeff Martin’s Florist with Toni Winger presenting Jeff Martin his award for having done so much for the Guild over the years.  The BRAVO! Award recipient, Jane Reynolds, was out of town and Kathy Brown presented this award to Jane at the Garden Party for Jane’s ongoing commitment to Guild activities and exemplifying the Guild’s tagline – “Working to make new friends for opera.”  President Penny Wolff presented a PowerPoint program, prepared by Dolores Anderson, highlighting the many Guild events and accomplishments throughout the year.  Members present approved updates to the Bylaws, adopted the 2016-2017 budget and voted for three new board members.

Marketing and Communications:

  • Opera Notes: Four full-color issues were published of the Guild’s newsletter and distributed to Guild members, Dayton Opera Season subscribers, schools and libraries.
  • The Guild’s web page features information about our events and our vocal competitions and averages 1,000+ views per month. Access to our Membership Application, event reservations and donations to the Remembrance Fund can be made at the site.
  • e-Notes: Guild members were kept informed on up to the minute advisories or events.

Promotional Events: A marketing table was set up next to our Boutique at each Dayton Opera performance, at BRAVO! and at the Membership Luncheon to focus on upcoming Guild events and to provide information about membership.

Stay in touch with the Guild

Guild members with e-mail receive e-Notes, our electronic newsletter with current information and updates. If you are not receiving it, please contact Suzanne Crippen at 937/885-6204. In addition, Guild members receive an award winning quarterly newsletter, Opera Notes.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are currently needed to assist in making sandwiches and cookies for the cast and crew on the Monday prior to opening night of an opera. This is a very long rehearsal day for everyone and the refreshments are sincerely appreciated. If you can help, please e-mail Helen Miller, managing vice president of special events/hospitality, at or call 937/885-4925.

The Guild is also looking for an editor for Opera Notes. Sue Falter has “retired” from her role as editor and the Guild currently has no one stepping in to fill the void. If you would like to consider this role, please contact Sue Falter at 937/429-2944.