The Hollywood Bowl is back. Here are photos of what it was like backstage

A wide view of the stage at the Hollywood Bowl
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the L.A. Phil during rehearsal at the Hollywood Bowl.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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The Los Angeles Philharmonic and its music and artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel, will perform for frontline and essential workers for free at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday for the first time in 18 months of COVID-19 closure.

This week, Dudamel and the L.A. Phil met to rehearse the show. We sent our photographer Al Seib to capture the moments of a sleeping venue awakening amid a “new normal.” Here’s what it looked like:

Dudamel, in tennis shoes, conducts rehearsal
Dudamel conducts the L.A. Phil as the Hollywood Bowl rouses after 18 months of hibernation.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A masked man strides past L.A. Phil equipment
Stephen Bagini, librarian for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, backstage before rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Musicians in masks converse among their instruments
Musicians Gregory Roosa, from left, Amy Jo Rhine and Marion Kuszyk prepare instruments and visit in the orchestra lounge, which is now a large outdoor tent.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A landmark in hibernation, a surprise from the governor, tears and hugs: Behind the scenes of the whirlwind push to bring music back to the Bowl.

A wide view of rehearsal
Dudamel conducts rehearsal at the Bowl.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel gestures as he conducts rehearsal
An intense Dudamel conducts rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A violinist in a mask plays
Ingrid Chun, second violin, plays during rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel holds up his hands as he conducts rehearsal
Dudamel conducts the L.A. Phil during rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Musical instruments sit on spaced-apart folding tables
Instruments wait on spaced-apart tables in the tent that now serves as orchestra lounge at the Hollywood Bowl.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel, looking exultant, raises his arms with baton in hand
Dudamel conducts rehearsal as the Hollywood Bowl returns to life.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Musicians play stringed instruments at the L.A. Phil
Bing Wang, associate concertmaster, plays during the L.A. Phil’s rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A close-up of bassoon reeds.
Evan Kuhlmann prepares reeds for his bassoon.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Musicians walk out of the backstage area
Lyndon Johnston Taylor, principal second violin, from left; Teng Li, principal viola; and John Hayhurst, viola, walk offstage.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel conducts rehearsal with empty seats visible behind him
Dudamel conducts during rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
A wide view of the Hollywood Bowl
The team prepares the Hollywood Bowl stage for morning rehearsal.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Dudamel and the LA Phil Return to the Bowl

Date: May 15, 2021 at 8:00PM
Gate time: 6:30 PM

Event is free and invite only
For essential and frontline workers

More visual journalism from the photography staff of the Los Angeles Times