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New PBS arts festival to include broadcast of L.A. Opera's 'Il Postino'

May 9, 2011 |  5:19 pm


PBS has announced that it will air a new, televised arts festival this fall that will include broadcasts from major performing arts companies around the country as well as music-themed shows. As part of the festival, PBS will air Los Angeles Opera's popular production of "Il Postino," by the late composer Daniel Catán.

The festival is scheduled to begin Oct. 14, and will air on Fridays through December. (The lineup is preliminary and specific dates haven't been announced.) Since L.A.'s KCET is no longer a PBS affiliate, local viewers can tune into KOCE in Orange County and other stations around Southern California.

"Il Postino," based on the hit 1994 movie, debuted at L.A. Opera in September. The broadcast will be part of PBS' Great Performances, in cooperation with KOCE. Plácido Domingo stars in the production as Pablo Neruda, the exiled Chilean poet, who strikes up a friendship with his local Italian mailman. Catán, who wrote the score, died unexpectedly in April at age 62.

Other festival programs include broadcasts of Bill T. Jones' " Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray," a dance piece inspired by Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address; the San Francisco Ballet's production of "The Little Mermaid"; the Guthrie Theater's production of "HMS Pinafore"; Tommy Tune's "Steps in Time"; and Miami City Ballet's production of work by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp.

The festival, announced as part of the network's fall lineup, also will include a broadcast of "Give Me the Banjo," a documentary about the roots of American music, narrated by Steve Martin, and "Women Who Rock," a film about female rock musicians.


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-- David Ng

Photo (top): Plåcido Domingo and Cristina Gallardo-Domâs in "Il Postino" at LA Opera. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Photo (bottom): A scene from from "Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray." Credit: Irvine Barclay Theatre