For many native Angelenos like Gail Samuel, summertime concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are a Southern California ritual as eagerly anticipated as the opening-day bite of a Dodger Dog.
This year Samuel will be taking her lifelong Bowl-going habit to a new level in her recently appointed role as chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which spends its summers at the Bowl. Her programming prescription for the venue, Samuel said, will hew closely to the Bowl's decades-old philosophy.
"I think that at the Bowl we want to have something for everyone," she said. "We want to reach as wide of an audience as possible."
FOR THE RECORD:
Hollywood Bowl: In the Jan. 29 Calendar section, an article about the announcement of the Hollywood Bowl season said that the musical "Chicago" would be performed July 26-27. There will also be a third performance on July 28.
That approach is reflected in the Bowl's 2013 schedule, which the L.A. Phil is announcing Tuesday morning.
It's an archetypal Bowl lineup of classical concerts led by A-list conductors and soloists on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, including two concerts conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct an all-Verdi week that includes an operatic turn with "Aida," on Aug. 11, with soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska singing the title role.
Other highlights include a fully staged musical ("Chicago," July 26-28); jazz and world music offerings, including a Sept. 11 Nat King Cole tribute hosted by George Benson and Dianne Reeves, and an Aug. 28 Wayne Shorter 80th-birthday celebration; croon-fests by the likes of Tony Bennett (Aug. 2); and pop frolics by Earth, Wind & Fire, among others.
As always there will be a Fourth of July fireworks show, this year hosted by cultural polymath Josh Groban, and two nights (Aug. 30-31) of Hollywood musical homages conducted by John Williams, with Julie Andrews as special guest narrator. Further affirming the Bowl's long-standing love-in with the film Industry, composer David Newman will conduct "The Big Picture: A Night at the Oscars," an evening of famous movie music augmented by film clips.
Additional movie-themed programs include screenings of Warner Bros. cartoon classics with live orchestral accompaniment in the "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II" program (July 5-6). There also will be reprises of the annual "Grease" and "The Sound of Music" singalongs.
To these primary-color programming staples will be added some more exotic shades. The azure-tinted performance-art trio Blue Man Group will unveil a new work of experimental music-theater-comedy, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (Sept. 6-7). Virtuosos Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile will present their latest eclectic conceptual project, Goat Rodeo, on Aug. 25.
And Diavolo, the athletic L.A.-based modern dance company, will complete a triptych of bespoke works for the Hollywood Bowl with "Fluid Infinities," set to Philip Glass' Symphony No. 3, in a Sept. 5 program led by Grammy-winning conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey.
The heart of the schedule will be 10 weeks of classical programs in which the Phil will team with many celebrity artists. Among them are several very familiar names, such as Tilson Thomas, the L.A. native and San Francisco Symphony music director, who'll be conducting Mahler's Second Symphony ("Resurrection") with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and soloists Keira Duffy and Sasha Cooke on July 9.
On July 11, Tilson Thomas will be joined by Gil Shaham in a performance of Sibelius' Violin Concerto, on a bill that also contains Rimsky-Korsakov's "Dubinushka" and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.
"We have definitely a lot of old friends that we're seeing," said Samuel, who was named in October to replace longtime Phil Chief Operating Officer Arvind Manocha; she previously served as vice president and general manager, Philharmonic and production. Manocha, who'd been with the Phil since 2001, left Los Angeles to become president and chief executive of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Virginia.
"We've got our friend Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Our classical specialist, Bernard Labadie. Bramwell Tovey, of course, is back," Samuel continued. "And that's all sort of complemented by the younger conductors: David Afkham, who was a former Dudamel Fellow, he'll be coming; and then of course Miguel Harth-Bedoya, our former associate conductor. And then a debut with Jakub Hr¿ša."
Verdi, whose 200th birthday falls this year, will be honored not only with "Aida" but with two performances of his "Requiem" (Aug. 13, 15) conducted by Dudamel.
Among the performers in KCRW's World Festival programming on Sundays will be country legends Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and the Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. And Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Natalie Cole, Sérgio Mendes and Herb Alpert will make appearances as part of the Bowl's annual summer jazz series on Wednesdays.
Check the Hollywood Bowl website for the full season calendar.
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