Ruben Blades joins Gustavo Dudamel for salsa opera

Singer-songwriter Ruben Blades is joining Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel to perform the Panamanian's salsa opera "Maestra Vida," along with more than 140 musicians and actors in central Caracas.

Tens of thousands were expected for Sunday's concert at the former Carlota airport featuring the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony and Latin-Caribbean Orchestra under Dudamel's baton.

The 64-year-old Blades says he's living a dream with only the second performance of a work he recorded in 1980 with the Puerto Rican Willie Colon.

Dudamel directs the Los Angeles Philharmonic but told The Associated Press that just because he was raised on Mozart and Mahler doesn't mean he doesn't also have "salsa in his veins."