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  • Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Honors Harry Connick, Jr. and Gloria Estefan During the 2011 Opening Night Concert
  • Jun. 17, 2011
  • EVENING FEATURES AWARD-WINNING ACTORS HELEN MIRREN, HILARY SWANK AND ANDY GARCIA

    ANNUAL OPENING NIGHT TRIBUTE PRESENTS A SNEAK PREVIEW PERFORMANCE OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S IRIS

    THOMAS WILKINS LEADS THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL ORCHESTRA

    EVENING BENEFITS THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC AND ITS MUSIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS

    Special Thanks to Wells Fargo for its Generous Support of Opening Night; Concert Generously Supported by Jaguar; Media Sponsor: 94.7 The Wave

    The Hollywood Bowl officially launched its 90th season with a sold out star-studded Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and Opening Night Concert, Friday, June 17, at 8:30 p.m. This year’s inductees – Grammy- and Emmy-winning singer/musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr. and Grammy-winning pop music superstar Gloria Estefan – as well as presenters Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank and award-winning actor Andy Garcia, plus host Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren – made for a memorable evening at the iconic venue. Video montages of the honorees were shown on the Bowl’s four large screens, celebrating their career achievements before their performances. Adding to the excitement of the evening was an exclusive sneak preview of Cirque du Soleil’s first resident production in Los Angeles, IRIS, A Journey Through the World of Cinema. The opening event of the Hollywood Bowl’s season also featured the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (HBO) led by Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, as well as a youth performance presenting student musicians from the James A. Foshay Learning Center and West Adams Preparatory High School. The Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl benefit concert raised more than $1.25 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music education programs, which serve more than 120,000 youths, families and teachers every year.

    The action-packed night kicked off with Wilkins and the HBO treating the audience to Dmitry Kabalevsky’s rousing Colas Breugnon Overture. Host Dame Helen Mirren welcomed the audience to the Bowl’s 90th season and introduced the special preview of Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS accompanied musically by Wilkins and the HBO performing an original composition by celebrated film and television composer Danny Elfman. In its 27-year history encompassing thousands of performances all over the world, this was the first time Cirque du Soleil has performed with a symphony orchestra.

    The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies began with actress Hilary Swank, whose friendship with Harry Connick, Jr. dates back to when they appeared together in the 2007 film P.S. I Love You, introducing the video tribute showcasing highlights of Connick’s musical career. Connick, one of the world’s most successful and multi-talented artists, then took the stage and launched into his well-loved “The Way You Look Tonight,” with his band, Wilkins and the HBO. After his acceptance speech, Connick, his band, Wilkins and the HBO continued with other hits such as “You Don’t Know Me,” “And I Love Her,” “Come By Me,” “It Had To Be You,” “Bourbon Street Parade,” and “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.”

    The second half of the Hall of Fame and Opening Night Concert began with a look at the audience as the event’s chairs – Sandy and Barry Pressman, Barbara and Jay Rasulo, Jonathan Weedman and Raymundo Baltazar, and Josh and Melanie Kaplan – were acknowledged by the voice of the Hall of Fame concerts for all of their12 years, Classical KUSC FM 91.5’s Rich Capparela.

    Back on the stage, Wilkins described the LA Phil’s music education programs, followed by a live demonstration showcasing the efforts of these programs as students from Los Angeles’ James A. Foshay Learning Center and West Adams Preparatory High School, led by conductor Vince Womack, performed James L. Hosey’s Heaven’s Valley.

    The Hall of Fame inductions resumed, as Andy Garcia, whose more than two-decade-long friendship with Gloria Estefan has included collaborating on numerous film and music projects, introduced a video of the singer’s impressive career highlights. Estefan took the stage and launched into her inspirational anthem, “Get On Your Feet,” accompanied by her band, Wilkins and the HBO. Following her acceptance speech, the “Queen of Latin Pop” engaged the crowd with “Mi Tierra” featuring a surprise accompaniment on percussion by Andy Garcia. Estefan, her band, Wilkins and the HBO continued with “Reach,” and fan-favorite “Conga.” Connick and members of his band returned to the stage to join Estefan, Wilkins and the HBO in a duet of “Come Rain or Come Shine.” The evening’s performances wrapped with a reprise of “Conga” by Estefan’s band, Wilkins and the HBO, accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.

    A number of film and television personalities as well as elected and other civic officials were on hand to enjoy the concert, including legendary musician Quincy Jones and “So You Think You Can Dance” host Cat Deeley, County Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Board Chairman David Bohnett, Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda and Los Angeles Philharmonic Chief Operating Officer Arvind Manocha, and world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

    Prior to the concert, Opening Night Patrons enjoyed a VIP cocktail reception in the Hollywood Bowl Museum Patio, decorated to pay tribute to the 90th season of the venue. The “90 Never Looked Better” theme was played out in youthful, whimsical colors of white, purple, turquoise and fuchsia. Towering Mokora orchids floral displays were the focal point at bars and at food stations. Numerous black and white and color photos from the Hollywood Bowl’s past 90 years were displayed on a 24-foot gallery wall in the Patio, showcasing iconic images from each of the nine decades of the Hollywood Bowl’s history.

    Wells Fargo, the Opening Night Sponsor, set their famous full-size stage coach replica inside the cocktail reception. Guests enjoyed having their photo taken inside the coach and were immediately provided a commemorative photo.

    Following the reception, Opening Night Patrons proceeded to their dinner boxes. Each box table was laid with crisp white linens and a turquoise overlay, complemented by a small white vase filled with purple iris, an ideal backdrop for the gourmet dinner provided by Patina and served on natural material recyclable plates.

    The dinner, a custom menu designed by Patina’s Joachim Splichal, presented a first course salad of rosemary-grilled asparagus on heirloom tomatoes with a ginger and vidalia onion dressing. The entrée was an herb-grilled flatiron steak served with basil-scented summer squash and eggplant with a fennel and apricot mustard. Dinner concluded with a whimsically presented citrus tart with fresh blueberries and raspberry blueberry crème.

    Wine for the evening was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards.

    Harry Connick, Jr. and Gloria Estefan join the distinguished company of artists – John Williams, Garth Brooks, Marilyn Horne, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, John Raitt, Monty Python, Kathleen Battle, Randy Newman, Bernadette Peters, Leopold Stokowski, George Harrison, the Smothers Brothers, Roger Daltrey, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Henry Mancini, Sarah Chang, Brian Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Joshua Bell, Frank Sinatra, Carlos Santana, André Watts, Plácido Domingo, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Founding Director John Mauceri, Liza Minnelli, Sir James Galway, B.B. King, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Josh Groban, Donna Summer, the Carpenters and Jean-Yves Thibaudet – previously inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Drawn from the diverse arena of musical entertainment, including classical, pop, jazz, musical theater, and film composition, new Hall of Fame honorees receive their tributes as part of the Bowl’s annual opening night celebration.

    The Opening Night Hall of Fame Concert is chaired by Sandy and Barry Pressman; Barbara and Jay Rasulo; Jonathan Weedman and Raymundo Baltazar; and Melanie and Josh Kaplan. Special thanks to Wells Fargo for its generous support of Opening Night. The concert was also generously supported by Jaguar.

    Established in 2000, the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame identifies and pays tribute to artists whose unique achievements embody the spirit of the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl. The Hall of Fame is now part of an exhibit on the main floor of the Hollywood Bowl Museum that includes photos and film of inductees over the years. The “Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame” was conceived on behalf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, who have created and produced all 12 Hall of Fame opening concerts.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. It remains one of the best deals in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. The venue offers something for everyone, from its sizzling summer evening concerts to the daytime summer arts festival for children, “SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl,” now in its 43rd season. In January 2011, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the seventh year in a row at the 21stAnnual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The Hollywood Bowl has become synonymous with summer in Southern California. www.HollywoodBowl.com

  • contact:

    Sophie Jefferies, sjefferies@laphil.org, 213.972.3422; Lisa White, lwhite@laphil.org, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034