Vin Scully—of the golden voice we used to expect around this time of year announcing Dodger baseball games—has announced he’ll be coming out of retirement for a very special engagement. The beloved broadcaster won’t be calling a ball game this time, though. Instead, his voice will be booming across the Hollywood Bowl.
Scully will be lending his voice to narrate Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, a piece which combines orchestral music with a live reading of Abraham Lincoln’s own words. The role has previously been voiced by Neil Armstrong, Walter Cronkite, Carl Sandburg, President Clinton and other notable names since the piece premiered in 1942.
Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the LA Phil through the music while Scully gives voice to President Lincoln’s famous texts for two shows, July 13 and July 18. The piece will be performed on a program with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Beethoven’s Symphony Number Nine. In addition to Scully’s vocals, singers Amanda Majeski, J’Nai Bridges, Issachah Savage, Ryan Speedo Green and the Los Angeles Master Chorale will perform.
When Copland first set to work on a commission celebrating a famous American from history, his initial inspiration was Walt Whitman. André Kostelanetz, then the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony, convinced him to switch his focus to a politician rather than a poet, and from there A Lincoln Portrait came to be. The score integrates two pieces of popular music from Lincoln’s own time with original compositions of contemporary classical orchestration.
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