Sunday, February 20, 2000
Kunzel, Pops plan explosive TV Fourth
BY JANELLE GELFAND
The Cincinnati Enquirer
On the Fourth of July, Cincinnati Pops maestro Erich Kunzel plans to put Cincinnati on the map in a big way.
In a Pops first, the orchestra will celebrate the Fourth with a nationwide live PBS broadcast from Riverbend Music Center. The show is the sixth Pops TV special for PBS.
Cincinnati Pops Holiday: Fourth of July from the Heartland will star two of the Clooney clan, the Tristate's first lady of song Rosemary Clooney and TV/radio personality Nick Clooney as program host. Performing will be trumpet virtuoso Doc Severinsen and singer/actor Tom Wopat (The Dukes of Hazzard).
For the first time in nine years, Mr. Kunzel will be in Cincinnati on the Fourth, instead of in Washington, D.C. Since 1991, he has conducted A Capitol Fourth for a nationwide PBS broadcast.
We've never done it live (in Cincinnati). All of our TV shows have been delayed,' Mr. Kunzel says. Of course, my concerts in Washington have been (broadcast) live, so I'm used to it. Our team here is so well-drilled and works so harmoniously together, that I don't foresee any problems.
Everything has to be timed like clockwork, but in making almost 70 albums for Telarc, we're used to tremendous pressure. As far as delivering the product, it will be perfect to the second.
This year, National Symphony Orchestra maestro Leonard Slatkin will be on the podium for A Capitol Fourth at 8 p.m. on PBS, followed by the Cincinnati Pops special (9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
Others performing in the Pops extravaganza are the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus, Cincinnati's Southern Gateway Chorus, aerialist Alexander Streltsov, 15-year-old bluegrass fiddler Billy Contreras and the Camp Chase Fifes and Drums.
The Riverbend evening will begin with a prelude performance at 8:30 p.m. before the live broadcast begins.
As in his other holiday specials, Mr. Kunzel is filling out the ranks with Tristate talent. The televised show will open with fireworks and an extravaganza of 100 singers and dancers. The cast of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's Hot Summer Nights will perform Celebration.
Members of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy will join Russian aerialist Mr. Streltsov in a routine to the Olympic Fanfare.
CSO and Pops subscribers may order Fourth of July tickets now for preferred seating. Single tickets will be available May 17. Tickets: $16-$25: 381-3300; or at cincinnatipops.org. Pops tickets ordered on the Web receive a 10 percent discount. Children 12 and under are admitted free to the lawn.
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