By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
Turning yet another page in a five-month-long saga, the
Pasadena Pops and the Los Angeles County Arboretum have finalized a multi-year
agreement that will see the Pops move to the Arcadia facility next summer as
both the facility’s resident orchestra and presenting partner.
The contract is for three years with an evergreen clause,
says Paul Zdunek, CEO of the Pasadena Symphony Association, which runs both the
Pops and the Pasadena Symphony. (Under a normal evergreen clause, a contract
automatically extends year by year unless one of the parties to the agreement
gives notice to cancel.)
The Pops announced that it will play at the Arboretum in
2012 on June 26, July 21, August 18 and September 8. Happily, for fans of both
the California Philharmonic — which shifts from the Arboretum to Santa Anita
Racetrack next summer (LINK) — that means the two organizations will not
conflict on dates, a good thing from a parking and traffic point of view.
Zdunek hopes to provide details on the 2012 season by the
end of this week — the next 2011 Pops concert is Saturday on The Lawn Adjacent
to the Rose Bowl, when the orchestra’s new principal conductor, Marvin Hamlisch,
leads a program devoted to music from the Broadway stage (DETAILS).
As the Arboretum’s presenting partner, the Pops also expects
to offer other programming beginning next summer. “We are beginning to work on
that now,” explained Zdunek. “We needed to get the contract done first. We
envision family concerts, outdoor theatre, silent films, as well as Asian-influenced
performances, to name a few.”
Among the enhanced amenities envisioned for next year’s
concerts are VIP parking packages for subscribers, multiple entry points for
ticket holders and purchasers; a stage with large LED video screens that will
project stage action using three cameras and an enhanced sound system with
multiple JBL Audio speakers throughout the grounds; and what the Pops is terming “VIP
flushable comfort stations with individual hand-washing facilities inside, air
conditioning and lighting in each unit…that will feel like using another
restroom in an indoor venue.” (Yes, these things actually exist; I’ve seen and
used them before).
The Arboretum will mark the Pops’ third venue in four
seasons. After performing at Descanso Gardens in La Caada for more than a
decade, the orchestra shifted to its present location outside the Rose Bowl
(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.