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Kristin Tutino
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Wednesday, December 29 at 9 p.m. Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Flórez

(Rochester, NY) Great Performances spotlights the October 7, 2010 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. 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 airs Wednesday, December 29 at 9 p.m.on WXXI-TV/HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11).

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.”

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.

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.”

Pictured: Gustav Dudamel
Credit: Courtesy of LA Philharmonic


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