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When the little-seen music theater masterwork Mass was presented as the centerpiece of Ravinia’s 2018 celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial, the Chicago Tribune declared it one of the best concerts of the year, and audiences clamored for a repeat performance. Ravinia obliged, reuniting more than 200 onstage artists—the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a cast of “Street Singers,” the choruses of Vocality and Chicago Children’s Choir, and even the local Highland Park High School marching band, plus baritone Paulo Szot, performing as the Celebrant at the center of it all—for a single 2019 encore that Ravinia arranged to have filmed. The result premieres as an installment of the seminal PBS series Great Performances at 9 p.m. Friday, May 15, on pbs.org/gperf, the PBS Video app, and PBS stations, including Chicago’s own WTTW, Channel 11.
Prior to the event, there will be a pre-concert Chat. A virtual “panel discussion” will be livestreamed on Ravinia’s Facebook page just before the broadcast, beginning at 8:15 central time. For this talk, Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman and Chief Conductor and Curator Marin Alsop will be joined by the Tony Award-winning (South Pacific) singer/actor Paulo Szot, as well as Chicago Children’s Choir and Vocality Artistic Director Josephine Lee and Highland Park High School Band Director Joshua Chodoroff. The panel will be moderated by WFMT Vice President and General Manager George Preston.
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