By Ted AYALA
The singing of Vanessa Carlton, the sounds of a superb symphony orchestra, the flash and brilliance of the USC Marching Band – and a few dashes of fireworks. It’s quite a way to kick-off a new concert season for any orchestra, but the California Philharmonic isn’t just any orchestra – nor is its new venue for the summer concerts just any venue.
After 18 years at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, Cal Phil moves into its new digs on June 30, preceded by a ribbon cutting on June 26.
“It was a really charming venue,” said Cal Phil music director Victor Vener of the Arboretum. “But everything we lacked for back there, we more than make up for at our new home in Santa Anita Park.”
Built on the spacious infield of Santa Anita Park, the Cal Phil will have a new place to perform its well-loved concert series – a recently completed structure with superb acoustics, ample parking and superb dining options.
“You won’t have to worry about parking or the availability of other amenities here,” he said. “It’s like a whole different world at Santa Anita. It’s really just a gorgeous and superb venue for us, just one-of-a-kind. We’re so thrilled.”
Joining them will be the artistry of singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, a certified platinum artist with a string of critically acclaimed albums.
Lining up for its inaugural concert at Santa Anita is a program of orchestral showpieces by Dmitri Shostakovich, Bedrich Smetana, and Ottorino Respighi, whose “Pines of Rome” will have the orchestra augmented by some 60 members of the USC Marching Band at its close.
“They’re going to be playing offstage brass fanfares and then finally join us onstage. This is going to truly be a grand finale. You’re going to be hearing Respighi’s music in a way that’s rarely played.”
The Cal Phil’s new season begins on Saturday, June 30 at Santa Anita Park at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, call (626) 300-8200 or go online to http://www.calphil.org/concerts/festival-on-the-green/.