Great Performances: Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl

Air date: 08/01/2014

Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowlon THIRTEEN’s Great PerformancesFriday, August 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS


The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s acclaimed performance under the stars in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth interspersed with archival footage


In commemoration of the 2013 Giuseppe Verdi bicentennial, Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform a stirring concert of Verdi’s towering Requiem Mass at the Hollywood Bowl. Before the performance, the maestro shares his enthusiasm for the iconic venue, the largest natural amphitheater in the country, and for Verdi’s passionate and highly theatrical work: a mass, yes, but “in an opera way,” as Dudamel explains.

The concert presentation features soloists Julianna Di Giacomo (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (tenor) and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass). Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at The Hollywood Bowl on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, airs Friday, August 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.)

The performance was recorded live last summer, and features the Los Angeles Master Chorale, currently in its 50th season, under the direction of Grant Gershon,

“Dudamel emphasized intimate, personal expression, this time defying the Bowl’s immensity,” said the Los Angeles Times about the Hollywood Bowl performance. “It was an important and exceptional evening. A page was turned and a new chapter begun in the maturation of a music director.”

Dudamel’s cast is internationally renowned: D´Arcangelo regularly performs at La Scala, the Wiener Staatsoper, London’s Royal Opera and the Salzburg Festival; Grigolo regularly guests at La Scala, Covent Garden and The Metropolitan Opera; DeYoung is known for performances with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony; and Di Giacomo regularly guests at The Metropolitan Opera and LA Opera, among other international opera houses.

On the site of what was always a local favorite picnicking spot, the Hollywood Bowl opened with a series of makeshift stages in 1922 – the permanent structure and its fabled shell not completed till 1929 – and has been referenced in numerous films, as clips of Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, “I Love Lucy” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” amusingly illustrate. And all the greats from the classical and pop worlds have played here, as archival photos of The Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, and Otto Klemperer, among many others, demonstrate.

Dudamel – who first conducted at the Bowl in 2005 — extols the “magic atmosphere of this place,” and asserts that “to play here as an artist in very special…I feel honored, I feel proud, I feel happy.”

“I always conduct with a baton,” he explains. “But with a chorus, I prefer to have connection with the hand,” so on this occasion, he eschews his stick, so his fingers can bring out the full expressiveness of his forces.

Dudamel is in his fifth season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his contract has already been extended through 2018-19, the orchestra’s 100th season. He led this concert during his fourth summer season at the Hollywood Bowl.

Under his leadership, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, now in its 95th season, has expanded its diversified outreach through many projects, most notably Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by Venezuela’s widely successful El Sistema.  He is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation, examples of which include Musical America’s 2013 Musician of the Year, 2013 Gramophone Hall of Fame, 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, 2009 l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a Chevalier and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, and 2008 “Q Prize” from Harvard, along with several honorary doctorates.

The DVD and Blu-ray, released by C Major Entertainment, is distributed by Naxos of America.

Dudamel Conducts The Verdi Requiem at The Hollywood Bowl is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Bernard Fleischer Moving Images, and C MAJOR Entertainment.  It was directed for television by Michael Beyer, and produced by Bernhard Fleischer. For Great Performances, Richard R. Schilling and John Walker are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and PBS.

Visit Great Performances Online at for additional information about this and other programs.




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The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Under the vibrant leadership of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.


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