Actor Aldis Hodge Lends His Voice to California Philharmonic’s Season Opener in LA
Hodge reflects on extra-special performance taking place during African-American Music Appreciation Month
The best of California Philharmonic is better than ever and will be on full display throughout its 2018 summer season at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall which kicks off on June 24 with “Made In America.”
In a first for Cal Phil, the orchestra will pay heed to America with a powerful and patriotic performance of Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.”
Film and television star Aldis Hodge, whose ever-growing list of credits include “Straight Out Of Compton,” the “Die-Hard” movie franchise, and the unprecedented Oscar-nominated feature, “Hidden Figures,” will narrate “Lincoln Portrait;” reading excerpts from some of Abraham Lincoln’s greatest documents, including the Gettysburg Address, while accompanied by the orchestra.
The fact that Hodge is making his debut on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage during African-American Music Appreciation Month, which was originally called Black Music Month, makes this performance even more special.
Though, as noted by Hodge, every month is an important time to appreciate “music from Black Americans who have created and contributed greatly to shaping American culture and the American influence internationally.”
“As for this opportunity, it is quite an honor, indeed,” Hodge, who dabbled with the violin in his early 20s, said while referring to his debut performance with Cal Phil. “Chiefly because, given the current times, as an artist, it’s principally paramount to partake in any means of representation that positively acknowledges the value of the underrepresented or particularly targeted cultures.”
“Being that I’m in no way exempt from such prejudices targeted towards black people that seem to be accepted as normalcies today,” continued Hodge who explained that he is preparing for this performance the same way he does when he approaches a character for a film, with the first and last thing he aims to achieve being truth in his choices and honesty in his delivery. “I’m happy to be included in a production that stands as an opportunity for me to maintain my responsibility as an artist.”
On working with Maestro Victor Vener, Hodge said “He’s been great to work with and has really good vibes.”
“And I must admit it’s pretty cool to say,” teased Hodge, “Sorry, can’t grab coffee this afternoon, I’ve got rehearsal with the Maestro!”
“Made In America” also features Dvorak’s most famous work “New World Symphony” which was inspired by African-Americans spirituals and Native American rhythms.
Broadway star Kevin Earley also joins Cal Phil during the don’t-miss season opener dazzling audiences with selections from Sinatra’s greatest hits including “New York New York,” “Come Fly with Me,” and “My Way.”
Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall performances start at 2 p.m., with the intimate pre-concert “Talks With The Maestro” at 1 p.m. in BP Hall.