Gustavo Dudamel coming to PBS in December, along with Eva Mendes


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With KCET set to break away from the PBS mothership at the end of the year, TV viewers in Los Angeles could have a more difficult time catching ‘Great Performances,’ the long-running series that presents classical music and the performing arts from some the top companies around the world.

So just in the nick of time will be the Dec. 29 ‘Great Performances,’ featuring the recent opening-night concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and music director Gustavo Dudamel, which was recorded earlier this month at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Actress Eva Mendes, who attended the gala evening, will host the 9 p.m. broadcast.


The Oct. 7 concert featured Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez performing pieces by Rossini as well as a number of pieces by prominent Latin American composers. TV viewers will also hear Flórez perform two encores: “Ah! Mes Amis” from Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” and “La Donna è Mobile” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

In his review of the gala concert, Times music critic Mark Swed wrote that the ‘tenor effortlessly negotiated fluid ornamentation, blending ardor and elegance. His voice has a natural lightness and Dudamel scaled back sensitively to accompany his soloist, although he went to town whenever the singer rested.’

Dudamel made some late changes to the program, removing previously scheduled pieces by Rossini due to time constraints, according to an orchestra spokeswoman.

A DVD of the concert is also in the works, but there is no release date yet. The orchestra spokeswoman said that the DVD would probably be released some time after the concert airs on ‘Great Performances.’

Last season’s gala concert, featuring Dudamel’s first performance at Disney Hall as music director, also aired on PBS and is available on DVD.

-- David Ng

Photo (top): Juan Diego Flórez, performing with the L.A. Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times


Photo (bottom): Eva Mendes attends the L.A. Philharmonic’s gala after-party. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times


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