The two concerts at The Smith Center is the first event to celebrate Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary in 2023
Written By Debbie Hall
Photo by Chris Lee, Courtesy of The New York Philharmonic
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony will be celebrated when the Las Vegas Philharmonic performs the classic Looney Tunes nostalgia at Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center on Jan. 7.
Emmy Award winner George Daugherty will be conducting, and along with his husband, Emmy Award winner David Ka Lik Wong, both created the program. Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, performed by major orchestras, has been touring the world since 1990. After living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, George and David now call Las Vegas home.
Looney Tunes, the animated series produced by Warner Bros., started in 1930 with its partner series, Merrie Melodies, through 1969. The two series introduced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester the Cat, the Tasmanian Devil (Taz), Tweety, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, Granny, Lola Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, and Yosemite Sam.
Thousands of original cartoons were produced, including 16 iconic Looney Tunes focusing on music, including the symphony and opera. These 16 cartoons will be projected on the big screen, including What’s Opera, Doc?, The Rabbit of Seville, and Corny Concerto, while the Las Vegas Philharmonic will perform the original scores.
“I am thrilled to make our debut in the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas, with the fabulous Las Vegas Philharmonic, an orchestra that I admire. I am the biggest fan of the conductor and musical director Donato Cabrera,” explains George. “I think The Smith Center is one of the most extraordinary concert venues in the world.”
As a resident of Las Vegas, George loves the Strip, but he wants to spread the word that there is so much more to Southern Nevada. “This is a world-class city with a world-class orchestra, concert hall venue, Nevada Ballet Theatre, two opera companies, and museums.”
George has conducted over 250 American and international orchestras and earned a Primetime Emmy Award, five other Emmy nominations, and numerous other awards for his work in television and film. He has been a frequent guest conductor of The New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Danish National Symphony, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romand, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. George has conducted The Los Angeles Symphony at The Hollywood Bowl 22 times and the National Symphony 20 times at Wolf Trap. He has been a frequent guest conductor at the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Symphony Orchestra and with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in London. He has toured throughout the United Kingdom, plus the United States and Canada conducting A Royal Christmas for Dame Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and the Royal Ballet.
A noted conductor of ballet and opera, he has conducted for American Ballet Theatre, Bavarian Staatsoper and Ballet, La Scala Ballet, Teatro Regio di Torino, and numerous other companies. He has been the music director of Ballet Chicago, Chicago City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, and Ballet San Jose. George and producing partner David received Primetime Emmys as executive producers of ABC’s animation-and-live action production of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, which George also directed, wrote, and conducted. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Music Direction. George and David were also executive producers and writers of the PBS/Sesame Workshop children’s series Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat. Both received Emmy nominations for “Rhythm & Jam,” their series of ABC network music education specials.
George Daugherty, David Ka Lik Wong, and IF/X Productions, in support of The Las Vegas Philharmonic, underwrote this concert. Warner Bros. Presents “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” is a 125-minute show with one 20-minute intermission. The concert will perform in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 7. Tickets begin at $21 and are available at lvphil.org.