Placido Domingo will get ample airtime on PBS’ ‘Great Performances’ in 2011
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Plácido Domingo is headed for some serious tube time in 2011.
WNET, the New York City public television station that produces the ‘Great Performances’ series for PBS, announced Thursday that it is readying a retrospective called ‘Plácido Domingo: My Favorite Roles,’ and has also slotted a telecast of ‘Il Postino,’ in which Domingo stars as the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, in Daniel Catán’s treatment of the beloved film (set in Italy) and the original novel by Antonio Skarmeta (set in Chile) on which the film was loosely based.
In ‘My Favorite Roles,’ according to WNET, Domingo, L.A. Opera’s general director, ‘looks back and reflects ... on his choicest roles from opera houses around the world.’ Excerpts from ‘Carmen,’ ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ and ‘Tosca’ are promised, and ‘Great Performances’ has tapped its own archives for footage of Domingo performing at La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Berlin State Opera.
No broadcast dates were given for either program. KOCE, the Orange County PBS affiliate that takes over for KCET Jan. 1 as the PBS flagship station in Southern California, has slotted Saturdays at 8 p.m. for the periodic new shows in the ‘Great Performances’ series -- starting New Year’s Day with the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s concert, conducted by Franz Welser-Most and hosted by Paula Zahn. That’s also when KOCE will rename itself PBS SoCal. The monthly ‘Great Performances at the Met’ opera series will be shown the first Wednesday of each month, starting Jan. 5 with Donizetti’s ‘Don Pasquale,’ featuring Anna Netrebko.
In October, crews taped multiple performances of ‘Il Postino’ toward the end of its premiere run at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, said Los Angeles Opera spokesman Mark Lyons. The opera closed on Tuesday at Theater an der Wien in Vienna, and the third and final stop for its shared world premiere is Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, where it is scheduled to open in June. It remains to be seen (or unseen) how PBS will handle the nudity involved in the opera -- likely via strategic camera angles.
The ‘Great Performances’ crew also found time to cross the street to Walt Disney Concert Hall to capture the Oct. 7 opening night of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s season.
That program, ‘Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Phil With Juan Diego Florez,’ will, perhaps fittingly, be KCET’s farewell to ‘Great Performances’ when it airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. The Los Angeles station goes independent on Jan. 1 and will no longer carry PBS programming; Huntington Beach becomes PBS-central for greater Los Angeles come the New Year, although KOCE recently announced it plans to move its studios early in 2011 to an office building in Costa Mesa, just across the San Diego Freeway from the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
-- Mike Boehm
[Updated 9:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this story misspelled Daniel Catán.]