Summer is officially here now that the Hollywood Bowl has kicked off it’s 2013 season. Festivities for the 91st annual Opening Night At The Bowl commenced this past Saturday. Guest conductor Thomas Wilkins launched the spectacular evening by leading the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Stravinsky’s “The Right of Spring.”
The star-studded line-up of entertainment included performances by Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inductees, Patti Austin and John Legend, as well as rock legends Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. Angela Bassett and Peter Fonda hosted, while presenters included Arsenio Hall and Stevie Wonder, who later performed with Legend. Actor/singer Darren Criss of “Glee” performed an inspirational musical number with Burbank’s Powerhouse Show Choir.
The evening’s highlight was an impeccable rendition of Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” by Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA). Led by Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, YOLA provides free instruments, intense classical music training, as well as academic support to school-aged children from underprivileged neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. A portion of the night’s proceeds went to benefit YOLA, and all of the artist’s performances were donated.
The Hollywood Bowl celebrated it’s first-ever inaugural season, entitled “Symphony Under the Stars,” on July 11th of 1922. Over the years, it has hosted countless celebrities and performers both onstage and off, including Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin (a season ticket holder every summer for nearly 30 years), Lucille Ball and Mickey Rooney. It’s seen some of the greatest talents in entertainment perform beneath it’s famous band shell, including a 1922 performance of the glorious opera “Carmen,” the Albertina Rasch Ballet, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme’, Peggy Lee, Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and so many others.
The band shell itself has changed faces a number of times trough the years, there was even a reflecting pool installed below the stage in 1953 (something that would last until 1972). For nearly 100 years, people have been coming to the Hollywood Bowl to enjoy the world’s best music via starlight. Today, it remains one of the most fun, unique and glamorous music venue around.
The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles
Now through September 15