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New KCET Series 'Open Call' Showcases Vibrant SoCal Arts Community

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KCET partners with top arts and culture organizations across The Southland
Colburn School Conservatory of Music kicks off initiative with series of orchestral performances, followed by productions from UCLA Live, USC and others.

LOS ANGELES, February 14, 2012--Viewers will have a front row seat every week to some of the region's most dynamic stage performances, cultural events and works of art.  KCET has launched an exciting new series, Open Call, hosted by internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano opera singer Suzanna Guzmàn, showcasing the work of top Southern California arts and culture organizations and schools.

The weekly series features a wide variety of productions from intriguing profiles of artists and their organizations to full-length performances in music, dance, visual arts and the spoken word filmed live in theaters and cultural venues around the region. KCET's Open Call will also capture young, emerging talent as they study, create and perform exciting, cutting-edge work at top schools across The Southland.

"KCET's Open Call will fill an important role, bringing performances, profiles and arts and culture documentaries into the homes of millions of people in our community," said Al Jerome, president and chief executive officer for KCET.  "We hope to help build another level of support for our partners and inspire our audience to explore distinguished works created out of the experience of our region. As our first production, we are delighted to be able to feature the wonderful artists from our very own world-class Music Conservatory in Los Angeles, The Colburn School."

Beginning March 1, 2012 at 9 p.m., The Colburn School Conservatory of Music helps kick off the initiative with a series of four, orchestral performances filmed at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. including celebrated works:

·         Dvorak's violin concerto featuring Francesca de Pasquale, the 2010 winner of the prestigious Irving M. Klein String Competition

·         Shostakovich's Cello Concert No. 1 performed by Conservatory musician Estelle Choi and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor conducted by Yehuda Gilad

·         The works of Toru Takemitsu and Gustav Mahler create a unique blend of "East and West" musical ideas, and acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Sasha Cooke, performs the vocal works of John Adams ("Am I in Your Light" from Dr. Atomic). Renowned American conductor Gerard Schwarz conducts.

Sel Kardan, Colburn's President and CEO said: "Open Call represents an important undertaking on the part of KCET to showcase the extraordinarily vibrant performing arts of Southern California.  The Colburn School is pleased to partner with this forward thinking broadcaster to bring the artistry of our orchestra and chamber music programs to a wider audience and highlight the achievements of our gifted students."

A Los Angeles Host with Global Insights

Ms. Guzmán, an internationally renowned performer and Los Angeles native, sets the stage for viewers in each episode, contributing her unique insights into the evening's performance. Directors, artists and other key players in the production are invited to provide additional commentary that helps tell the story of the organization and what it's presenting.

Colburn's Kardan and Yehuda Gilad, music director and conductor for the school, are her first guests.

"We are honored that Suzanna will be able to contribute her unique artistic sensibility and expertise to give viewers a backstage pass to these productions," added Jerome.

Throughout the year, the new KCET original series will spotlight productions and other arts-related content on air and online from a wide spectrum of additional Southland arts and culture organizations, including UCLA Live, University of Southern California and Los Angeles Ballet, among many others to follow. 

KCET's existing arts programming, such as Fine Cut and Live @ the Ford (including four new episodes) will also air under the Open Call series umbrella. Bohdan Zachary is the executive producer for the Open Call series, and Daniel Bee, Sel Kardan and Seth Weintraub are the executive producers of The Colburn Concert series.

In addition to Open Call, KCET is also working with Los Angeles County Arts Commission for another arts-driven project called Artbound, a cross-platform original series dedicated to producing engaging content about the arts and culture of Southern and Central California.  The series explores artists and arts groups engaged in creative practices informed by unique geographies and cultures.

About Suzanna Guzmàn

Suzanna Guzmán, mezzo-soprano, one of the original Associate Artists of Los Angeles Opera, has appeared as a principal soloist with symphonies and opera houses around the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera di Geneva, just to name a few. TIME magazine called her a "fire eating singing actress" for her portrayal of the title role in Houston Grand Opera's multimedia production of Carmen. Committed to new works, Ms. Guzman has created many roles in their world premieres, among them: the troubled wife Paula in Daniel Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas, Mrs. Fox in Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the Duchess of Alba in Menotti's Goya. Currently on the artist roster of the Music Center Education division, she continues to perform her one-woman show, Don't be Afraid: It's Just Opera, seen nationwide by over 200,000 intercity students. She is the principal vocalist on the Grammy-nominated CD, Carlos Chávez: Volume III and on the 2007 DVD release of La Traviata starring Renee Fleming, conducted by James Conlon.

Honored by People Magazine as an outstanding Latino in Music, Dr. Guzman was the first recipient of the Plácido Domingo Award, the 2011 Mexican American Opportunity Foundation Woman of the Year award and the 2011 Bank of America Local Hero Award for service to arts and the community.

Future engagements include Baba in Menotti's masterwork, The Medium, San Diego Opera's production of the Barbiere di Siviglia directed by the legendary John Copley and an evening of Falla and Piaf at the Huntington Summer Season with the Southwest Chamber Music.

About The Colburn School

The Colburn School is a world-class performing arts school located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, neighboring the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the planned Broad Museum.  Its acclaimed faculty provides students with the highest quality performing arts education with a multitude of performance opportunities in a state-of-the-art facility.  More than 2000 students attend classes in four division-- the Conservatory of Music, the School of Performing Arts, the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, and the Academy. Colburn students from all the divisions perform over 200 free public concerts and recitals each year and engage in extensive outreach initiatives in LAUSD schools. For more information about The Colburn School and its programs, visit:

About KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit

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