Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Flórez

Preview the Concert

THIRTEEN’s Great Performances spotlights the October 7 opening night concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel featuring renowned Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Actress Eva Mendes hosts the broadcast.

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Flórez and Dudamel, close friends off the concert stage, developed the special lineup of bel canto arias and popular Latin American canciones by Rossini, Granda, Lara, Moncayo, Grever, Gutiérrez and Márquez for Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Flórez. The program will air Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

In describing the conductor’s interpretation of Rossini’s “Semiramide” overture, critic Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times enthused, “Dudamel rode Rossini’s crescendos like a surfer on an epic wave, sending nature’s power into to the concert hall. He brought out wonderful instrumental details. The orchestra sparkled.”

The full program is slated to include:

ROSSINI Overture to La gazza ladra
ROSSINI “Principe più non se” from La Cenerentola
ROSSINI Overture to Semiramide
ROSSINI “La speranza più soave” from Semiramide
GRANDA (arr. Flórez) La flor de la canela
LARA (arr. Hayes) Granada
MONCAYO Huapango
GREVER (arr. Guinovart) Júrame
GUTIÉRREZ (arr. Pena) Alma llanera
MÁRQUEZ Danzón No. 2

As a bonus, viewers will also hear Flórez bring down the house all over again with two brilliant encores: “Ah! Mes Amis” from Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” and “La Donna è Mobile” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

The evening marks the beginning of Dudamel’s second season as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director. Acclaimed worldwide as an exciting and compelling maestro, Dudamel began his tenure at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Fall 2009, while continuing as Music Director of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden. Dudamel also enters his eleventh year as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

On October 8, 2009, Dudamel led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the inaugural gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This concert was also telecast on PBS’s Great Performances.

Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. In 1996, he was named Music Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, he assumed the Music Director position of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. Gustavo Dudamel was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2009 by TIME magazine and has been featured three times on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Flórez’s virtuosic bel canto tenor voice makes him an ideal interpreter of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and much sought after by the world’s leading opera houses. His performances in opera as well as in concert have won him acclaim by the public and critics alike.

Born in Lima, Peru, he made his official debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (Italy) in 1996, substituting for the leading tenor who fell ill. He was considered an overnight sensation, drawing attention from theaters like La Scala, where he made his debut that same year, at the age of only 23.

Flórez, who is making his debut in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, has enjoyed great success at theaters such as the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Zurich Opera, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Salzburg Festival.

He has recorded numerous solo CD’s and complete operas on CD and DVD, and received many prizes and decorations. In 2004 he was decorated with the “Orden al Merito” (Order of Merit) in the rank of “Gran Cruz” (Great Cross), and in 2007 with the “Orden El Sol del Perú” (The Sun of Peru Order) in the rank of “Gran Cruz” (Great Cross), the highest decoration from the Peruvian government.

Mendes first captured the attention of moviegoers in a small, but pivotal part in the critically acclaimed film, “Training Day.” Since then, she has had notable roles in “Stuck on You,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Hitch,” “Ghost Rider,” “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” “We Own the Night,” and “The Spirit.”

Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Flórez was recorded for telecast by Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images, THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG, 3sat, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Starr Foundation, public television viewers, and PBS. Major support for the telecast is also provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust and Jody and John Arnhold. For Great Performances, John Walker and Cara Cosentino are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.