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Great Performances

Aida's Brothers and Sisters: Black Voices In Opera (W.tT.) (#2508)

With Jessye Norman performing at the Clinton inaugural, Kathleen Battle appearing as the Vatican's Easter Mass soloist and Simon Estes singing Wotan at New York's Metropolitan Opera, contemporary audiences may take for granted the prominence of African-American singers in opera. Yet it was just 50 years ago that Marian Anderson was barred from Washington's Constitution Hall, and black opera performers have trod a stony path to reach the pinnacle of today's success. Framed by archival clips and new musical sequences, "Aida's Brothers and Sisters" tells the story of African-Americans in opera from the legendary Paul Robeson to present-day students at the Harlem School for the Arts. [88 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
10-12+
Curricular Areas
The Arts
Series Length
252 episodes
Average Episode Length
97 minutes
Record Rights
Sch/until 3/24/16; ncc; simul. ;7-day cached rights
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http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/

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Series Description: GREAT PERFORMANCES, the longest-running performing arts anthology on television, continues to feature the best in the performing arts.

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  • Dance In America: Garth Fagan's 'griot New York (#2008)

    Choreographer Garth Fagan joins forces with musican Wynton Marsalis and sculptor Martin Puryear to become a "GRIOT" or African storytellerand to symbolically explore the African-American experience with a series of dramatic vignettes. [86 minutes]

  • Les Miserables In Concert (#2110)

    Irish singer and acotr Com Wilkinson re-creates his original role of Jean Valjean in this special 10th anniversary concert performance of the international musical success "Les Miserables." Recorded last October at London's Royal Albert Hall, the program features a company of more than 250 performers from 14 countries, including stars from many of the show's worldwide productions, among them Philip Quast (Javert), Lea Salonga (Eponine), Ruthie Henshall (Fantine), Judy Kuhn (Cosette), Michael Maguire (Enjolras) and Michael Ball (Marius). David Charles Abell conducts the 100-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert concludes with a special version of "Peoples' Song" sung by an international cast of 17 "Valjeans." [123 minutes]

  • Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing (#2207)

    Acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson celebrates his America's rich tradition of concert song with friends Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Harolyn Blackwell, Jerry Hadley, pianists John Browning and Craig Rutenberg, and the Jay Ungar Trio (THE CIVIL WAR). Hampson spotlights enduring classics by Stephen Foster, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and others. [86 minutes]

  • The Story of Gospel Music (#2209)

    The story of gospel is the story of inspiration, struggle and hope evolving from the traditions and experiences of African Americans in slavery times to the present. This documentary unveils the history of gospel music from its origins in the formation of the black church to the call-and-response models, Negro spirituals as presented by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers, blues influences from songwriters like Thomas Dorsey, and today's "traditionists," i.e. the Rev. James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar and Edwin Hawkins. Included are performances by gospel artists Cissy Houston, Mahalia Jackson, Tremaine Hawkins, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Fairfield Four, and The Clark Sisters among others. [86 minutes]

  • San Francisco Opera Gala Celebration (#2304)

    The San Francisco Opera returns to the beautifully renovated War Memorial Opera House to open its 75th season with a spectacular concert. With Beverly Sills as host and Sir Derek Jacobi as master of ceremonies, this once-in-a-life-time event reunites performers with breakthrough roles they performed at the San Francisco Operea. The evening, conducted by SFO music director Donald Runnicles, features Placido Domingo, Jerry Hadley, James Morris, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Carol Vaness and Samuel Ramey, among many. [89 minutes]

  • The College of Comedy with Alan King (#2305)

    American comedy veteran Alan King hosts a university forum exploring the historical principles of stand-up comedy. Joining King to discuss comedy influences are Tim Conway, Buddy Hackett, Paul Rodriguez and comedy writer/performer Judy Gold. In an unconventional masterclass, King and company pay tribute to anecdotes and analysis, fielding questions from the studio audience. [56 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (1998) (#2306)

    Continuing its holiday tradition, GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the stately splendor of Vienna's Musikverein for the 23rd annual broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Day celebration, hosted by Walter Cronkite. Zubin Mehta will lead the renowned orchestra in a selection of buoyant Strauss Family waltzes, including the "Dynamiden," by Joseph Strauss, and timeless favorite, the "Blue Danube," by his brother, Johann. Also featured are festive ballets danced by the Vienna State Opera Ballet, with choreography by Christian Tichy and costumes by Christof Cremer. [86 minutes]

  • Creating Ragtime (#2307)

    This behind-the-scenes look the Broadway adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's best-selling novel examines the process of bringing RAGTIME to a new Broadway theatre. Whoopi Goldberg hosts this backstage look at what promises to be a major event of the upcoming Broadway season. [56 minutes]

  • Porgy & Bess: An American Voice (#2308)

    The historic saga of George and Ira Gershwin's immortal American opera is traced from the publication of the novel "Porgy" by Dubose Heyward in 1925, the premiere of the opera in 1935, and the many legendary productions that followed through the decades. Kitty Carlisle Hart, Francis Gershwin Godowsky and scholars share their insights and memories. Ruby Dee narrates this retrospective which features interviews and clips of past cast members from the various productions of "Porgy and Bess," including Leontyne Price, William Warfield, Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll, Grace Bumbry, and Williard White. [86 minutes]

  • The New Jersey Performing Arts Center Opening Nigh (#2309)

    The electrifying power of gospel music is deeply rooted in the history of African-American culture, and this program traces the key composers and performers who have transformed the audience for gospel music from church congregations to the international mainstream. Among the featured performers are Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, James Cleveland, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Cissy Houston, the Dixie Hummingbirds, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Shirley Caesar and the Caravans. [86 minutes]

  • Frank Sinatra: The Very Good Years (#2310)

    This program presents the best numbers from 13 one-hour television specials spanning the prime of Sinatra's career. The program includes such favorites as "My Way," "I've Got The World On A String," "Come Fly With Me," "There Used To Be A Ball Park," The Lady Is A Tramp," and many, many more. [86 minutes]

  • The Art of Singing: Golden Voices, Silver Screen (#2311)

    From Caruso to Callas, GREAT PERFORMANCES explores the rich film legacy of opera's greatest stars in "The Art of Singing: Golden Voices, Silver Screen." A highlight of GREAT PERFORMANCES' 25th anniversary season, the two-hour special, hosted by celebrated American baritone Thomas Hampson, offers a remarkable evening of rarely seen treasures. Among the nuggets: newly remastered footage of Met favorite Beniamino Gigli in a 1927 "Cavalleria Rusticana"; Rosa Ponselle's MGM screen test, long considered lost, for a never-filmed "Carmen"; and Maria Callas in her now legendary Lisbon "La Traviata. [116 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Variety and Virtuosity: American Ballet Theatre Now (#2312)

    Introduced by the legendary Natalia Makarova, a glittering array of the international dance stars of American Ballet Theatre perform in a program designed to showcase their virtuosity. Interwoven with performances ranging from classical works through romantic and contemporary ballets are backstage visits with many of the principal dances and the companys Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. [86 minutes]

  • Swan Lake (#2313)

    Matthew Bournes triumphant modern reinterpretation of SWAN LAKE, has thrilled both critics and audience alike. Featuring a royal family that echoes the tabloid travails of todays Buckingham Palace, Tchaikovskys classic score now tells the tale of a young prince whose lifelong obsession with swans ultimately provides him with a release. Bourne replaces the ballets famous corps or tutued females swans with a robust flock of bare-chested males, making their appearance less an ethereal vision and more an unsettling nightmare. Not only does the swan symbolize the freedom and love denied the Prince, but the missing father figure. [116 minutes]

  • Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself (#2314)

    Sam Shepard has been called the greatest American playwright of his generation. This performance documentary examines the enduring power of Shepard's plays, his collaboration with other theatre artists, and his vision of the mythical landscapes of America and its people. Among the Shepard colleagues featured in interviews are actors Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Lois Smith as well as fellow playwright Edward Albee. [56 minutes]

  • Sam Shepard's "True West" (#2315)

    John Malkovich and Gary Sinise star in the first dramatic work by playwright Sam Shepard produced for television. The play, which first aired on PBS in 1984 as part of the AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE series, is a contemporary comedy/drama set in a rural California community about 40 miles outside of Los Angeles. The drama focuses on the relationship between two brothers -- one a fairly successful screenwriter and the other a down-and-out desert rat and burglar. Theaction begins when the disreputable brother unexpectedly shows up at their mother's house, tended by the straitlaced brother while she's away. The story turns on the reversal of roles after the shady brother "sells" an old-fashioned western story to a Hollywood producer and then tries to convince his more talented brother to write the script. [116 minutes]

  • The Elixir of Love (#2316)

    Taped at the Lyon National Opera, Donizetti's comic opera buffa features opera's couple of the moment, Robert Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu, as the true-hearted peasant Nemorino and the beautiful, rich Adina. Set in a sun-drenched southern Italian village in the 1930's, this charming and tender tale tells how romance is ushered along with the assistance of an exotic elixir of love more commonly known as red wine. [146 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night (1998) (#2401)

    Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in a special centenary salute to composer George Gershwin. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald sing selections from "Porgy and Bess,"encoring with an animated rendition of "It Ain't Necessarily So. " Frederica von Stade performs familiar classics like "Fascinating Rhythm" and "The Man I Love." The evening concludes with "An American in Paris" and the rousing "Strike Up the Band." [116 minutes]

  • Cats (#2403)

    The most famous stage musical of all time, seen by more than 50 million people in more than 27 countries and translated into 14 languages, has its world television premiere on PBS. The production, under the personal supervision of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, has been restaged for television and recorded with a specially augmented 76-piece orchestra. Elaine Paige, John Mills and Ken Page star. [149 minutes]

  • Pavarotti and Friends (#2404)

    Jon Bon Jovi, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Vanessa L. Williams, Stevie Wonder, Trisha Yearwood and the Spice Girls and popular Italian artists join opera tenor and United Nations Messenger of Peace Luciano Pavarotti for a special concert to benefit the children of war-torn Liberia. Pavarotti and friends gather at an outdoor amphitheater to perform a diverse repertoire of favorites from classical and popular music. The concert is directed for television by filmmaker Spike Lee. [86 minutes]

  • "A Streetcar Named Desire" from the San Francisco Opera (#2405)

    The world premiere of Andre Previn and Philip Littrell's operatic re-conception of "A Streetcar Named Desire." Maestro Previn conducts the three-hour presentation of the new work. American soprano Renee Fleming stars as Blanche. Also appearing are Rodney Gilfry as Stanley, Elizabeth Futral as Stella and Anthony Dean Griffey as Mitch. [174 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (1999) (#2407)

    Walter Cronkite hosts this annual holiday concert from Vienna's Musikverein Hall. Guest conductor Lorin Maazel leads the renowned Vienna Philharmonic in a lilting selection of cherished waltzes from the Strauss family musical dynasty. [86 minutes]

  • The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty (#2408)

    Before his legendary years with Oscar Hammerstein II, composer Richard Rodgers partnered with another collaborator, lyricist Lorenz Hart, to create a sophisticated, innovative style that profoundly influenced the course of the American musical theater. Though their plays are not well-remembered, songs from them have become classics. Modern performers in period costume recreate standards like "My Funny Valentine," "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "Where or When." Interviews and archival film clips document this creative partnership, and the events that led to its eventual dissolution. [56 minutes]

  • The Noel Coward Story (#2409)

    Sir John Gielgud, Sir John Mills, Elaine Stritch and Lynn Redgrave are among the colleagues and confidantes who introduce viewers to the personality behind the capricious public image of renowned playwright, cabaret composer and actor Noel Coward. From his image as a 1920s "enfant terrible" through his wartime career, his contacts with the royal family, and his emigration from Britain, this performance profile offers an intimate look at the legendary wit that produced such plays as "Private Lives" and "Blithe Spirit," and explores Coward's evolution into one of the most internationally famous entertainers of this century. [116 minutes]

  • Dance In America: A Hymn for Alvin Ailey (#2410)

    Joining forces to create a tribute to the late Alvin Ailey, legendary choreographer/dancer Judith Jamison, performance-artist/actress Anna Deavere Smith and filmmaker Orlando Bagwell create a blend of theater and dance. The program features the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing Jamison's choreography to Smith's synthesis of the dancers' memories of working with Ailey. It also incorporates archival footage and interviews with friends and family to tell the story of a man who transformed the experience of his life and his culture to become an American modern dance trailblazer. [56 minutes]

  • Swingin' with Duke: Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (#2412)

    As a gifted pianist, arranger and bandleader, Duke Ellington forged a distinctive sound in jazz and swing that thrilled audiences with its romance, sensuality and elegance. But, as one of America's finest popular composers, Ellington gave the world much more, including such standards as "Take the A Train," "Sophisticated Lady," "Mood Indigo" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." In honor of Ellington's 100th birthday, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents jazz master Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a concert tribute celebrating all the varied aspects of Ellington's music. Also includes archival footage of Ellington, biographical sketches and clips from original performances. [86 minutes]

  • The Making of "Turandot" at the Forbidden City (#2413)

    Filmed over the course of two months, "The Making of 'Turandot' at the Forbidden City" offers an in-depth backstage view of a remarkable production of Puccini's Turandot. Featuring over 350 extras, dancers and acrobats, this collaboration between conductor Zubin Mehta and Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Red Sorghum) was staged in front of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Palace at the Forbidden City in Beijing. Also featured are cast members Sharon Sweet, Guiseppe Giacomini and Christina Gallardo-Domas. [56 minutes]

  • "Turandot" at the Forbidden City (#2414)

    In 1998, Beijing was the scene of an unprecedented and historic cross-cultural event: the premiere of Chinese director Zhang Yimou's Maggio Musicale production of "'Turandot' in the Forbidden City," the spectacular true-life setting of Puccini's immortal opera fairy tale. With music director Zubin Mehta once again conducting a production involving the talents of over 1,000 performers, artists and craftspeople, the international telecast features Giovanna Casola as Princess Turandot, Sergej Larin as Calaf and Barbara Fritttoli as Liu. [116 minutes]

  • Parsifal: The Search for the Grail (#2415)

    The Grail -- the cup, legend has it, from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper -- remains one of the most powerful symbols in Western culture; and Richard Wagner's "Parsifal" is the most famous opera to dramatize the Grail's eternal mystique. In this performance documentary by filmmaker Tony Palmer, Placido Domingo performs highlights from "Parsifal's" score. Joining him is Violeta Urmana as the enchantress Kundry. Valery Gergiev conducts the Kirov Orchestra and Choir. Also featured are the European locations that served as inspirations to Wagner, as well as a rare interview with Wagner's grandson Wolfgang. [86 minutes]

  • A Long Day's Journey Into Night (#2416)

    In the summer of 1939, at the age of 50, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill began work on what he called "a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood," finally summoning the courage to write an autobiographical masterpiece that confronted the truth about his own family. In this powerful interpretation from Canada's Stratford Festival, filmmaker David Wellington's film adaptation of O'Neill's searing drama maintains the production's theatrical intimacy, featuring shattering performances by William Hutt as James Tyrone, Martha Henry as his wife, Mary, Peter Donaldson as James Jr. and Tom McCamus as O'Neill's alter ego, Edmund. [176 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night (1999) (#2501)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its five-season tradition of presenting the opening night concert from Carnegie Hall. The 1999 concert features one of the most sought-after international orchestras, the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic, led by guest music director Lorin Maazel. The evening's planned program features works of Richard Strauss: "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," a suite from "Der Rosenkavalier" and "Thus sprach Zarathustra," more popularly known as the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." [86 minutes]

  • The Gershwins' "Crazy for You" (#2502)

    In 1992, the American Broadway musical made an all-singing and all-dancing comeback with the premiere of "Crazy for You," an adaptation of the 1930 George and Ira Gershwin hit "Girl Crazy. "Crammed with such timeless standards as "I Got Rhythm," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Embraceable You," "Crazy for You" garnered three Tony Awards. Re-staged by New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse and taped for television, the effervescent production follows Bobby Child, a stage-struck playboy who travels to a desolate Nevada mining town to rescue a bankrupt theater. Of course, romance blooms along the way. [146 minutes]

  • My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies (#2503)

    A stellar gathering of illustrious leading ladies takes command of Carnegie Hall to perform their signature hits and personal favorites from the Broadway musical. Sharing the spotlight are Nell Carter, Linda Eder, Jennifer Holliday, Anna Kendrick, Judy Kuhn, Priscilla Lopez, Andrea McArdle, Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, Liza Minnelli, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O'Donnell, Faith Prince, Elaine Stritch and Karen Ziemba, with a special appearance by the Rockettes. The evening's repertoire features a dazzling array of classic numbers from Show Boat, Guys and Dolls, Gypsy, Man of La Mancha, Company, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Annie, Dreamgirls and many others in a thrilling concert in which Broadway's current leading ladies join ranks with veteran stars. Julie Andrews is the host. [87 minutes]

  • Andrea Bocelli: Sacred Arias (#2504)

    Tenor Andrea Bocelli makes a pilgrimage to Rome, the Eternal City, for a holiday concert featuring a selection of sacred arias. Beneath the gilt, statuary and flickering candles of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, a Roman basilica on the Piazza della Minerva, Bocelli lifts his voice to new inspirational heights in "Ave Maria," both the Schubert and Gounod versions; Franck's "Panis Angelicus"; and Rossini's "Domine Deus." Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. [56 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (2000) (#2506)

    On the historic occasion of the new millennium, host Walter Cronkite looks back on the Vienna of 1900 in From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2000. From the city's famed Musikverein Concert Hall, Riccardo Muti conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Strauss waltzes, polkas and marches as Cronkite takes atmospheric side-trips to the astonishing Vienna that greeted the 20 th centurya mere six months after Johann Strauss' death on June 3, 1899. "It was a remarkable place," says Cronkite, "a true jewel in the European crown. The list of influential figures there was amazing. In music, there was Gustav Mahler, Franz Lehar, Richard Strauss. Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele were painting, Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos were revolutionizing architecture. Not to mention Dr. Sigmund Freud. Vienna's far-reaching influence on the 20th century sets the stage for a joyous celebration of the future's promise." In addition to "Wine, Women and Song," the concert includes the "Persian March" ( written for His Imperial Majesty the Shah of Persia) and the "Process" and "Eljen a Magyar! ("Long Live Hungary!") Polkas. Once again The Vienna Stage Opera Ballet will be featured in dance sequences set to excerpts from Johann Strauss' only opera, "Ritter Pazman" ("Knight Pasman") and the "Marien-Klaenge" Waltz. Renato Zanella choreographs the dances, with costumes designed by Christian Lacroix. Vienna's famed Kinsky Palacea true baroque jewelserves as the setting for both ballets. An estimated international audience of more than 800 million will join in the 90-minute stereo simulcast festivities. Celebrated conductor Muti, who last led the New Year's concert in 1997, is music director of La Scala, Milan, and former music director ( for 12 years) of the Philadelphia Orchestra. [86 minutes]

  • Central Park (#2507)

    Jointly commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera and GREAT PERFORMANCES, this triptych of one-act operas partners three of the theater's most celebrated playwrights with three acclaimed young composers, utilizing New York City's Central Park as its unifying theme. Original librettos by Wendy Wasserstein, A.R. Gurney and Terrence McNally are paired respectively with new scores by Deborah Drattell, Michael Torke and Robert Beaser. With Central Park's illusory wilderness as inspiration, each opera dramatizes the illusions found within a variety of situations: the observance of a religious ritual, the distorted reality of the elderly and the desperate plight of the dispossessed. [116 minutes]

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (#2509)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES presents Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's enduringly popular musical favorite. Beginning its life in 1967 as a 20-minute "pop cantata" for a school Easter concert, Joseph was revived and expanded in the mid-70s and eventually made its way to Broadway in 1982. This lively interpretation of the biblical story of Joseph of Canaan has gone on to charm audiences around the world with its excitement, energy and eclectic musical variety. Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins star. [116 minutes]

  • The College of Comedy with Alan King II (#2511)

    Alan King hosts THE COLLEGE OF COMEDY II, with guests George Wallace, Caroline Rhea, Brad Garrett, Kathy Najimy and Carl Reiner. King interviews these guests in front of a live audience that gets the chance to interact with the guests. [56 minutes]

  • Berlin Philharmonic Europakonzert: Ode to Joy 2000 (#2512)

    A long-awaited new era of freedom was ushered into Europe when the Berlin Wall was finally opened in November 1989. To mark the occasion, there was little disagreement over what music would best mark the occasion -- Beethoven's 9th Symphony, "Ode to Joy." Now, just over 10 years later, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado, will perform the 9th Symphony for their annual May Day concert, recapturing the spirit of exultation that swept the world when one of the vestiges of World War II was finally vanquished. The concert will also include Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev as well as vocal soloists Eike Wilm Schulte, Violeta Urmana, Angela Neoke and Thomas Moser. [86 minutes]

  • The Art of Piano (#2513)

    This program contains a wealth of archival material, much of it never before seen. Viewers can study, close-up, the hands of Artur Rubinstein, Glenn Gould and Vladimir Horowitz as they play, then compare them with rare clips of Alfred Cortot, Edwin Fischer, Wilhelm Backhaus and Benno Moiseiwitsch. Journeying through the major traditions and stylistic currents that have shaped the 20th-century history of the piano, this performance documentary bisects the other important developments that have left their mark on the music: recording techniques, instrument manufacture, Hollywood films and even the psychology of the world's virtuoso performers. Also featured are contemporary pianists and conductors, discussing the styles and significance of techniques and performances. [116 minutes]

  • Play On! (#2514)

    Picture Harlem during the heyday of swing, then add a little Shakespeare to the songs of Duke Ellington. The result? A new musical that has delighted audiences around the country since its Broadway premiere. Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," "Play On!" follows the show-stopping adventures of a young woman posing as a man to pursue her dream of being a songwriter. Taped at the Pasadena Playhouse, written by Cheryl West and directed by Sheldon Epps, the production features such Ellington classics as "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Mood Indigo," "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" and many others. Heading the cast are Natalie Venetia Belcon as Vy (and later Vy-Man), Richard Allen as Rev, Raun Ruffin as Duke and Nikki Crawford as Lady Liv, with orchestrations by Ellington collaborator Luther Henderson and choreography by Ellington's granddaughter Mercedes Ellington. [116 minutes]

  • La Forza Del Destino (#2515)

    Giuseppe Verdi's original 1862 version of La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny), especially written to debut at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre, differs in many respects from his 1869 revision. Writing originally for a Russian audience, Verdi felt no need to smooth over the opera's revenge drama with a Catholic sense of forgiveness; he instead held true to the logic that destiny will always catch up with the wrongdoer. Re-staged once more at the Mariinsky in a format true to its premiere, Verdi's tempestuous tale of family loyalties divided by romance stars Galina Gorchakova as Leonora, Nikolai Putilin as Carlo and Gegam Grigorian as Alvaro in a thrilling new production conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Elijah Moshinsky. [172 minutes]

  • Can't Stop Now (#2516)

    Few dancers imagine a professional life beyond 40, but one company embraces the rich potential of the older dancer as its focus. Under artistic director Jiri Kylian, the Nederlands Dans Theatre 3 (NDT3) breaks stereotypical limitations and pushes the boundaries of dance. This program features six NDT3 dancers: former Nureyev protg Gary Chryst of the Joffrey Ballet; Sabine Kupferberg of the Stuttgart Ballet; international soloist Gerard LeMaitre; Martine van Hamel of American Ballet Theatre; Jeanne Solan of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company; and Karen Kain of the National Ballet of Canada. Through performances and interviews, each of the dancers reveals an individuality and expressiveness that can only come from the mature dance artist. [56 minutes]

  • La Traviata from Paris (#2601)

    "La Traviata," Giuseppe Verdi's immortal opera favorite, has been newly-recorded for television in the story's true-life Paris settings. Tenor Jose Cura stars as Alfredo with soprano Eteri Gvazava performing the role of the tragic Violetta, who sacrifices all in the name of love. [144 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2000 (#2603)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES once again partners with Carnegie Hall for a seventh gala opening night concert. The concert features pianist Maurizio Pollini accompanied by the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Christoph Von Dohnanyi. The evening's repertoire includes Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 and Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 2. [116 minutes]

  • Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens - A Life In Animation (#2604)

    Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner and other all-star "Toons" join forces to celebrate their creator, Chuck Jones, America's living legend of animation. Jones' animated "great performers" do it all: grand opera (Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in " What's Opera, Doc?"), innovative dance (Mama Bear in "A Bear for Punishment") and soul-stirring drama (Daffy Duck in "The Scarlet Pumpernickel"). The characters and storylines are known worldwide, but this special allows viewers to meet the engaging personality and extraordinary creative mind that made them all possible. With insights from celebrity fans like Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Ron Howard, the work of Chuck Jones provides a delightful opportunity to explore the history of animation with the perspective and wit of the man who has experienced it all. [86 minutes]

  • Paul Simon: You're The One-In Concert from Paris (#2605)

    Earlier this year Paul Simon returned to the recording studio to create a new collection of songs exploring the human spirit. With the warmth and wisdom that have long been his trademarks, this latest work, titled "You're the One," further showcases the maturation of this beloved singer/songwriter. It now provides the framework for this concert special, recorded live on stage at Paris' famed Olympia Theatre. The evening finds the artist, at age 59, still in top form. Fronting his guitar-driven 10-piece band, he offers a generous portion of Simon classics and selections from the new album, including the internationally flavored title track. [85 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (2001) (#2607)

    No holiday season would be complete without the annual New Year's Day concert from Vienna's majestic Musikverein Hall with host Walter Cronkite, the Vienna Philharmonic and guest conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The repertoire features a selection of beloved Strauss waltzes and performances by the Vienna State Opera Ballet. [86 minutes]

  • Copland's America (#2608)

    The 100th birthday of Aaron Copland -- "the dean of American composers" -- is celebrated in a one-hour performance-documentary honoring the music that for many has come to embody the American spirit. Tracing the development of Copland's wide-ranging work for the concert hall, theater and film, the program also features his landmark ballets for Agnes de Mille and Martha Graham. In performance sequences with baritone Thomas Hampson and clarinetist Richard Stolzman, Jonathan Sheffer conducts the Eos Orchestra in new renditions of such Copland classics as "Appalachian Spring" and " Fanfare for the Common Man." To create a sense of Copland's life and times, documentary footage of 20th-century America is interspersed with insights from contemporary composers John Corigliano, Eliot Goldenthal and David Del Tredici, and from Copland biographer Howard Pollack. [56 minutes]

  • The College of Comedy with Alan King III (#2609)

    School is back in session for another unconventional master class on the art of comedy. Continuing the format established in the past two seminars on the technique of tickling an audience, "Professor" Alan King hosts a third university forum exploring the historical (and hysterical) principles of stand-up comedy. Taped with a Los Angeles student audience at Caltech, this semester's featured guests are Bill Maher ("Politically Incorrect"), Rita Rudner (Peter's Friends), Larry Gelbart (creator of "M*A*S*H*") and legendary stand-up Shecky Greene. With King as elder statesman, these master comedians pay tribute and compare experiences through anecdotes, analysis and more than a few well-timed zingers. [56 minutes]

  • My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs (#2610)

    This program celebrates the troubadours whose elegant tunes and graceful lyrics remain as potent today as at the time of their creation. Taped at Performance City Center, New York, the program features the songs of Cole Porter, Frank Loesser, Lerner & Loewe, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as the newer Broadway voices of Jonathan Larson, Elton John and Barry Manilow. Julie Andrews tops the lineup of remarkable cast members, including Michael Crawford, Linda Eder, Peter Gallagher, Robert Goulet, Heather Headley, Nathan Lane, Rebecca Luker, Barry Manilow, Marin Mazzie, Bebe Neuwirth, Adam Pascal, Ron Raines, Chita Rivera, Brent Spiner, Three Mo' Tenors and Tom Wopat. Also featured are the American Theater Orchestra and the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir. [86 minutes]

  • Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth (#2611)

    Born in London but raised in the old Hollywood studio system, Elizabeth Taylor remains a silver-screen icon, the last of Hollywood' s royalty. It is a role she discusses openly and charmingly in GREAT PERFORMANCES' Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth. Premiering Wednesday, April 4 at 8 p.m. (ET), the telecast originally aired in Great Britain last May, shortly after Taylor, 68, received her Damehood from the Queen A favorite leading lady of Tennessee Williams, she dazzled as Shakespeare's Kate, won a richly deserved Oscar as Albee's Martha, and has glided effortlessly through Marlowe and Maeterlinck, Sondheim, Hellman and Coward. She is also one of the most famous women in the world and remembered for her seven marriages, jewelry, flamboyant lifestyle and social activism. Joined by Shirley MacLaine, Rod Steiger and Angela Lansbury, the ever glamorous Taylor shares reminiscences of Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, James Dean and Paul Newman, the pain and pleasure of two Oscars, and her dawning sense of responsibility at the onset of the AIDS crisis. Other highlights of England's Other Elizabeth include extended sequences from a number of her most famous films, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Place in the Sun, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, as well as tantalizing archival footage from Taylor' s home movies and an outtake from a star-turn on her favorite soap opera, General Hospital. Of her performance in Virginia Woolf, the New York Times' Stanley Kauffmann wrote "The best work of her career_ Sustained and urgent_ She gets vocal variety, never relapses out of her role, and she charges it with the utmost of her powers which is an achievement for any actress, great or little." Jeanine Basinger, a member of Wesleyan's Film Studies Department featured in the telecast, agrees. "I think the average person doesn't think about how difficult it is to give a really explosive and emotional performance in film," she tells. "You stop in the middle of the scene, start over, do it again. You have your emotion constantly taken away from you. The kind of physical, mental and emotional control it takes to give a raw, explosive, angry performance like Elizabeth Taylor gives in Virginia Woolf is exceedingly difficult." [56 minutes]

  • Don Giovanni Unmasked (#2612)

    Featuring one of the world's most sensational young baritones, Russia's Dmitri Hvorostovsky, this one-hour adaptation of Don Giovanni retells the Mozart masterpiece from the point of view of Don Giovanni's servant, Leporello. Taking the form of a film within a film, it is simultaneously set in two separate eras -- 1930s Hollywood and 17th- century Spain. Opening in 1930, the program presents Leporello as the host of a movie, set in 1620 Seville, that reveals the longstanding secret of his master's identity. Through the intricate use of special effects, Hvorostovsky performs the roles of Leporello and Don Giovanni, transcending time and space to offer a tantalizing new perspective on Don Giovanni and his ultimately tragic romantic escapades. [56 minutes]

  • Jesus Christ Superstar (#2613)

    This contemporary television adaptation is based on the recent London revival of Superstar, which also played Broadway last year. However, don't expect "a revival of a rock opera with everyone in bellbottom pants leaping about," according to Andrew Lloyd Webber. Redefined for the late 1990's, director Gale Edward's production of Superstar is set amidst the excitement of modern urban chaos. Revolutionary street gangs against a backdrop of multilingual graffiti-- a dark police-state world of plotting and betrayal-- violating, in-your-face media-- and a macabre show-girl Vegas setting for King Herod- this is the gritty world in which the drama of Jesus, Judas and Pilate unfolds. Edward's adaptation re-delivers the original excitement of Jesus Christ Superstar to a contemporary audience, capturing both the drama inherent in the story of Jesus' betrayal and the fast-paced, fragmented excitement of our time. To be sure, it is Webber and Tim Rice's musical, but it is Superstar with an edge. [116 minutes]

  • Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (#2614)

    So elaborate was Rudolf Nureyev's vision of the Cervantes classic that his lavish film ballet ultimately required the facilities of a gigantic Australian airplane hangar to produce. Choreographed and co-directed by Nureyev, the film had its Sydney premiere in 1973, a London Royal Gala presentation in 1974 and a brief run in New York. Despite rave reviews, prints gradually fell out of circulation and grew scarce. For nearly 30 years, incomplete copies were scattered across two continents; the film developed a reputation as a fabled lost treasure. After a painstaking five-year process, Nureyev's Don Quixote has been reassembled, digitally remastered and restored to its original glory. Starring Nureyev as Basilio, the production also features Nureyev's co-director Sir Robert Helpmann as Don Quixote and Lucette Aldous as Kitri. The film will be preceded by a short piece on the life of Rudolf Nureyev and his making of "Don Quixote." [116 minutes]

  • "Little Women" from the Houston Grand Opera (#2618)

    Adapted many times for stage and screen, Louisa May Alcott's family favorite now comes to the opera house in this commission by the Houston Grand Opera, featuring a score and libretto by the celebrated young American composer Mark Adamo. Conducted by Patrick Summers, " Little Women" is the poignant coming of age chronicle of the four March sisters -- Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy -- in 19th century New England. The production features mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Novacek and Joyce DiDonato as Jo and Meg, with tenor Chad Shelton as Jo's long-suffering suitor Laurie. Also featured are sopranos Margaret Lloyd as Amy and Stacey Tappan as Beth, and mezzo-soprano Gwendolyn Jones as Alma March. [116 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Holo Mai Pele (#2619)

    Several years ago, the renowned dance company Halau o Kekuhi began recreating the legend of Pele and Hi`iaka for modern audiences. The work, Holo Mai Pele (Pele Travels) is a dynamic blend of traditional Hawaiian chant and dance. This remarkable performance comes to public television for the first time in an exciting adaptation for "Dance in America." [56 minutes]

  • Recording "The Producers": A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks (#2701)

    The biggest hit to land on Broadway -- taking home 12 Tony Awards this past spring -- is "The Producers," Mel Brooks' stage adaptation of his 1968 Oscar-winning movie classic. GREAT PERFORMANCES goes behind the scenes as Brooks adds his personal commentary to the all-day original cast album recording session, with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick taking their cues from Tony-winning director Susan Stroman. [86 minutes]

  • Joshua Bell - West Side Story Suite from Central Park (#2702)

    New York City's Central Park is the setting as Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell pays tribute to one of the most enduring musicals of the 20th century, Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Under the baton of conductor William Eddins, the world-renowned New York Philharmonic accompanies the acclaimed young American violinist as he offers new renditions of some of the musical theater's most enduring songs, including "Somewhere," "Tonight," and "Maria," in soaring new arrangements by Tony Award-winning orchestrator William David Brohn. The concert also includes performances of Bernstein's " Lonely Town" and "Glitter and Be Gay" by the Tony-winning sensation Kristin Chenoweth, as well as interviews and documentary footage created exclusively for the telecast. [56 minutes]

  • The Art of Violin (#2703)

    This program covers a vast panorama of the world's most celebrated 20th century violinists, including Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Eugene Ysaye, and many others. Thanks to a treasure trove of rare footage, today's audiences can now re-experience the unique sound and style of each of these influential artists. Complementing this rich archival material is a cross section of contemporary virtuosos, including Itzhak Perlman, Ida Haendel, Hilary Hahn, Ivry Gitlis, and Mstilav Rostropovitch, providing insight on the tradition of the violin and its 20th century masters. [116 minutes]

  • The Nutcracker from the Royal Ballet (#2704)

    Since its first production in St. Petersburg more than a century ago, The Nutcracker's charming story, dazzling choreography and magnificent score have combined to make it one of the most popular and enduring ballets the world over. Treasured not only by traditional ballet audiences but by generations of children who have participated in its productions, this perennially beloved tale of holiday enchantment now comes to GREAT PERFORMANCES in Sir Peter Wright's unique version from the beautifully restored Covent Garden Opera. The acclaimed cast includes Ivan Putrov as the Nutcracker, Alina Cojocaru as Clara and Sir Anthony Dowell as the toy and clockmaker Herr Drosselmeyer. [116 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (2002) (#2705)

    Once again, GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the legendary Austrian music capital to continue its New Year's Day concert broadcasts from Vienna's majestic Musikverein hall. With veteran "From Vienna" host Walter Cronkite presiding over the festivities, the celebration features the world-renowned Seiji Ozawa as guest conductor, leading the Vienna Philharmonic in a buoyant selection of Strauss family waltzes. Complementing the telecast's ballroom repertoire will be performances by the Vienna State Opera Ballet, including perennial favorite "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" with soloist dancer Vladimir Malakhov. In a special addition to this year's telecast, the historic Viennese Spanish Riding School leads Austria's famed Lipizzaner horses in several equestrian ballets. [86 minutes]

  • Dance In America: from Broadway -- Fosse (#2706)

    With a theatrical and cinematic legacy that includes "Damn Yankees," "The Pajama Game," "Sweet Charity," "Pippin," "Cabaret," "Chicago" and "Dancin'," the genius of Bob Fosse will always cast a long shadow over Broadway and Hollywood. Winner of the 1999 Tony Award for "Best Musical," the all-dancing, all-singing Fosse was created by those who worked most closely with him, including co-director and co-choreographer Ann Reinking and Fosse's wife, the late Gwen Verdon. Now, in a PBS Showcase event, DANCE IN AMERICA presents the award-winning musical starring Reinking and Ben Vereen, recorded live in performance from Broadway. Celebrating Fosse's brilliance with the most important dance numbers from his greatest shows, movies and early television work, "From Broadway -- Fosse" is a show-stopping tribute to one of the past century's most influential forces on Broadway. [116 minutes]

  • Kurosawa (#2707)

    Hailed by critics as one of the top filmmakers of the 20th century, Japanese director Akira Kurosawa is especially distinctive as the only non-Westerner on this elite list. In 1990, he received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement. However, only a few of his films are even familiar to American audiences -- one of those being "The Seven Samurai," due mostly to the 1960 Hollywood Western remake "The Magnificent Seven." Now, three years after Kurosawa's death, this GREAT PERFORMANCES special explores the filmmaker's life and work, with the help of his two children, Hisao and Kuzuko. It includes interviews with actors -- including Clint Eastwood and James Coburn -- and archival film footage never before seen in the West. [116 minutes]

  • The Queen's Jubilee Gala: Live From Buckingham Palace (#2708)

    In honor of the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, the historic staterooms and gardens of Buckingham Palace will be opened to the public for a series of spectacular celebratory concerts. With ceremonies and pageants taking place across the land, GREAT PERFORMANCES will have its cameras ready for a live broadcast of the opening day festivities from Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee Weekend. Featuring a host of England's most celebrated performing artists and ensembles, the afternoon's repertoire will be drawn from centuries of British music - from classics by Purcell, Handel, Elgar and Britten to popular favorites by Gilbert and Sullivan, Noel Coward and Andrew Lloyd Webber. [114 minutes]

  • Romeo and Juliet (#2709)

    This new film adaptation of Charles Goudod's opera stars one of classical music's most popular and successful duos, real-life couple Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu as Shakespeare's tragically fated lovers. Shot on location, a spectacular medieval castle and its surrounding countryside provide the setting for this timeless tale of warring families and star-crossed lovers. Conductor Anton Guadagno leads the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra through the opera's best-loved arias and duets in this fresh interpretation of Gounod's enduring masterwork. [86 minutes]

  • Berlin Philharmonic Europakonzert: from Istanbul (#2710)

    From the historic Byzantine Church of the Holy Peace, Hagia Irene, on the grounds of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul comes the latest in this series of annual international concerts with the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic. Led by conductor Mariss Jansons, the program's repertoire features the brilliant young flute virtuoso Emmanuel Pahud in a performance of Mozart's 2nd Concerto for flute and orchestra, which appropriately includes themes from the composer's OTTOMAN opera. [86 minutes]

  • Kiss Me, Kate (#2711)

    The first Broadway revival in nearly 50 years of the musical comedy masterpiece by composer Cole Porter and book writers Sam and Bella Spewack not only enchanted critics and delighted audiences, but went on to triumph as one of the biggest prize-winners of the 2000 season. Taking its inspiration from Shakespeare, "Kiss Me, Kate" recounts the backstage and on-stage antics of two feuding romantic duos during a touring production of The Taming of the Shrew. Sparkling with 18 classic Cole Porter songs - including "Another Op'nin', Another Show, " "Wunderbar," "So in Love," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Too Darn Hot" and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" - "Kiss Me, Kate" epitomizes the Broadway musical comedy at its irresistible best. Directed by Michael Blakemore, this 2000 Tony-winner for Best Revival stars Brent Barrett, Rachel York, Nancy Anderson and Michael Berresse as the bickering couples whose offstage disputes ultimately entangle them with a pair of unexpectedly erudite gangsters and a pompous U.S. army general. [146 minutes]

  • The Making of "The Misfits" (#2801)

    The year 2001 marked the 40th anniversary of The Misfits, Arthur Miller's haunting screenplay about a collection of loners in 1961 Reno, Nevada. Directed by John Huston, the film turned out to be the final work of two Hollywood icons, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, and was nearly the last appearance of yet another, Montgomery Clift. The behind-the-scenes story of the making of The Misfits was fraught with drama - difficult shooting locations, a flamboyant and unruly director, and a crumbling marriage, compounded by an aging leading man and an unstable leading lady. Luckily for film buffs, the production also happened to be documented by photographers from the renowned Magnum Agency, including such acclaimed names as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Inge Morath (who ironically would later become Miller's wife). In an unprecedented arrangement, photographers were given complete access to recording the day-to-day happenings on the set, capturing a fascinating tableau of life imitating art and vice versa. With stunning photography and new first-person accounts from surviving cast and crew members, "Making The Misfits" illuminates the twilight moments of this fabled Hollywood production. [56 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2002 (#2802)

    One the world's foremost concert halls, Carnegie Hall continues its tradition of glittering opening nights with a program devoted to some of the most popular gems of the classical repertoire - the works of the French composer Maurice Ravel. Virtuoso pianist and world-renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim leads the preeminent Chicago Symphony Orchestra in renditions of pieces that perennially remain audience favorites. Barenboim himself takes the stage as soloist in the Piano Concerto in G Major before assuming the podium for Ravel's famed compositions, including the lively "Rapsodie espagnole" and " Alborada del gracioso," with their stirring Spanish dance rhythms, and the elegiac "Pavane for a Dead Princess." And no Ravel evening could be complete without the mesmerizing melody and relentless crescendo of the orchestral showcase "Bolero." [86 minutes]

  • "The Merry Widow" from the San Francisco Opera (#2804)

    In a Parisian whirl of elegant ladies, eligible bachelors, Maxim's can-can dancers and ever-flowing champagne, Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow has long delighted audiences with its effervescent tale of suitors seeking the coveted hand of wealthy widow Hanna Glawari. Now Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein applies her comedic brilliance to new dialogue for Lehar's musical favorite. This charming English-language production from the San Francisco Opera features an internationally acclaimed cast, including Yvonne Kenny, Bo Skovhus, Angelika Kirchschlager and Gregory Turay. The production is directed for the stage by Lotfi Mansouri and features heralded Cincinnati Pops maestro Erich Kunzel making his debut as guest conductor. [146 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (2003) (#2805)

    Continuing a beloved holiday tradition, "Great Performances" travels to the legendary musical capital of Vienna for its annual New Year's Day celebration. With host Walter Cronkite presiding over the festivities, guest conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt leads the renowned Vienna Philharmonic in delightful Strauss Family waltzes including " On The Beautiful Blue Danube," and rousing favorites like "Radetzky March" fill the splendid Musikverein. Also featured will be performances by the Vienna State Opera Ballet. [86 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Born to Be Wild: The Leading Men of American Ballet Theatre (#2806)

    The depth of the male dancing at American Ballet Theatre today is unprecedented in the history of American ballet. Artistic director Kevin McKenzie has gathered dancers from around the world to form a cadre of artists who challenge themselves and each other, as well as the choreographers who make new dances that explore and extend their abilities. This performance documentary features Jose Manuel Carreno (Cuba), Angel Corella (Spain), Vladimir Malakhov (Ukraine) and Ethan Stiefel (USA). The culmination of the program is a piece specially commissioned from prominent American dancemaker Mark Morris. [56 minutes]

  • Renee Fleming and Bryn Terfel: Music Under The Stars (#2807)

    Internationally acclaimed Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and American soprano Renee Fleming have teamed with veteran Broadway conductor Paul Gemignani to record a superb selection of show-stopping Broadway songs. Performing solos and duets from contemporary productions such as Ragtime and Sweeney Todd as well as numbers from classic shows such as Porgy and Bess, The King and I and The Music Man, Terfel and Fleming are captured in concert at Terfel's annual Faenol Festival in North Wales. For one summer evening, the beautiful Welsh countryside rings out with the sound of Broadway at its very best. [56 minutes]

  • The Great American Songbook Hosted By Michael Feinstein (w.t.) (#2808)

    From Al Jolson to Elvis Presley, with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, from the Gilded Age to the Jazz Age, from New Orleans' bordellos to New York's Great White Way, from small town America to Tin Pan Alley, in nightclubs and vaudeville, on radio and records and the silver screen. This is a visual history of music in America as seen and heard in some of the greatest films ever made. With songs by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers, Lawrence Hart, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and Fats Waller. This is the true story of the first fifty years of popular American music on screen. [86 minutes]

  • 30th Anniversary: A Celebration In Song (#2809)

    Over the course of some 600 programs, one of the ongoing highlights of GREAT PERFORMANCES has been a diversity of song - songs from opera, Broadway, popular music, jazz and American folk. Consequently, GP's archive of performance specials has resulted in a historic record of some of the world's leading contemporary performers in their prime. In addition, several Dance in America programs have been based on the work of celebrated choreographers who have taken their inspiration from both popular and traditional song. In this 30th anniversary celebration, GREAT PERFORMANCES looks back at some of the series' most thrilling moments in music and dance. [86 minutes]

  • Duetto: The Concert at the Roman Colosseum (#2810)

    In recent years, audiences around the world have rediscovered the power and romance of the classical tenor voice. Two of today's most acclaimed new operatic tenors, Argentinean Marcelo Alvarez and Italian Salvatore Licitra, have appeared with some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, where Licitra received tremendous acclaim as a last-minute substitute for Pavarotti. Now, these two commanding singers join forces for a spectacular open-air concert outside the ancient Colosseum in Rome. Backed by a full orchestra and chorus, Alvarez and Licitra perform classical numbers by Puccini, Fuare, Bizet and Bach, as well as newly composed operatic ballads written especially for them by some of the most talented writers and arrangers working in music today. [89 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Lar Lubovitch's "Othello" from San Francisco Ballet (#2811)

    Modern dance master Lar Lubovitch has created a vibrant new interpretation of Shakespeare's classic tale of passion and jealousy, ambition and betrayal, with his dance in three acts, "Othello." A synthesis of classical and modern movement, Lubovitch's original choreography is complemented by a powerful score by Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal, heightening the emotional volatility of the central characters as the ballet's tragedy unfolds. Desmond Richardson, one of America's premiere dance talents, performs in San Francisco Ballet's production as Othello, with Yuan Yuan Tan as Desdemona and Parrish Maynard as the treacherous Iago. Extraordinary sets by George Tsypin, projections by Wendall K. Harrington and costumes by Ann Hould-Ward complete a production that the San Francisco Chronicle hailed as "a major new chapter in American ballet as well as a spectacular addition to the international repertory." [86 minutes]

  • The Three Pickers: Legends of American Music (#2812)

    The popular soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' movie hit O Brother, Where Art Thou? has demonstrated the widespread appeal of what folk music aficionados have treasured for years - the uniquely American music called bluegrass. It was more than 50 years ago that banjoist Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys and transformed the band with his rapid "three-finger style" of picking, giving the music one of its most distinctive qualities in the process. GREAT PERFORMANCES showcases bluegrass' driving forces of the past half-century when Scruggs is joined on stage for the first time by both Doc Watson (guitar) and Ricky Skaggs (mandolin). Joining the celebration are notable banjo-picking devotees to participate in performances of classic bluegrass hits like "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and other signature tunes. [56 minutes]

  • Elton John at the Royal Opera House (#2813)

    Rock superstar Elton John has been one of the world's most prolific and successful singer-songwriters since his first Top 10 hit, "Your Song," more than three decades ago. Now, with a recent concert at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, John has established the "Elton John Scholarship Fund" at Britain's Royal Academy of Music, where he himself once attended on scholarship. With a 90-piece orchestra, a five-piece electric band and a choir of Royal Academy students conducted by acclaimed film score composer James Newton-Howard, John performs rousing renditions of many of his greatest songs, including "Philadelphia Freedom," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Burn Down the Mission," and "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)." [56 minutes]

  • Berlin Philharmonic Europakonzert: from Palermo (#2814)

    Performed in a different European city each year, the incomparable Berlin Philharmonic's annual "Europakonzert" commemorates the orchestra's 1882 founding while celebrating the cultural life of the European community. From the elegant Teatro Massimo opera house in Palermo, Sicily, the 2002 concert features sensational violinist Gil Shaham joining conductor Claudio Abbado in a performance of Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto, Op. 77. Also featured on the program is one of the most beloved works in the symphonic repertoire, Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," as well as the dramatic overture to Giuseppe Verdi's "Sicilian Vespers." And leaving the opera house on an intermission stroll, GREAT PERFORMANCES offers viewers a tour of Palermo, showcasing the glorious architecture, lively markets and musical heritage that have made it one of Italy's most vibrant cities. [116 minutes]

  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Inaugurates Walt Disney Concert Hall (#2901)

    The fall of 2003 brings a landmark event in the city of Los Angeles -- the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. America's newest cultural icon and architectural wonder, and a symbol of renewal for downtown L.A., the hall will be the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. GREAT PERFORMANCES showcases highlights from three consecutive evenings of gala performances comprising the grand opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leading Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring), as well as works by Haydn, Ives and John Adams. With special guest Audra McDonald and others, the program also features highlights from the rich tradition of symphonic music in Hollywood cinema, under the baton of composer and conductor John Williams. [86 minutes]

  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (#2902)

    Still "doin' fine" after 60 years, Rodgers & Hammerstein's landmark American musical "Oklahoma!" is reborn in this film version of the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain's award-winning production. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, this acclaimed production set box office records during its run in London, and again on Broadway, with critics and audiences alike captivated by its fresh new take on a venerable classic. Luckily for television audiences, the magic of the original London cast was captured in a deluxe film adaptation just prior to the show's move from the RNT to the West End, including a sensational, star-making performance by "X-Man" Hugh Jackman as Curly. Also featured are original cast members Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Maureen Lipman ("The Pianist") as Aunt Eller, and 2002 Best Supporting Actor Tony-winner Shuler Hensley as the menacing yet hauntingly sympathetic Jud Fry. [182 minutes]

  • Berlin Philharmonic Europakonzert: from Lisbon (#2903)

    Performed in a different European city each year, the incomparable Berlin Philharmonic's annual "Europakonzert" commemorates the orchestra's 1882 founding while celebrating the cultural life of the European community. From the historic Mosteiro dos Jeronimos in Lisbon, Portugal, the 2003 concert features conductor Pierre Boulez and pianist Maria Joao Pires performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, KV 466. In addition, Boulez leads the Berlin in performances of Bartok's monumental Concerto for Orchestra and Debussy's Fetes from "Trois Nocturnes." Also featured in the telecast is a brief tour of the monastery and its surrounding grounds, offering fascinating historical and cultural background to the concert's setting. [86 minutes]

  • Harry Connick,Jr.: Only You (#2904)

    In a young career already marked by many firsts, music wunderkind Harry Connick, Jr. continues to redefine boundaries-no small feat in a resume that includes over 20 million albums sold, three Grammy awards and nominations for Tony, Emmy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Cable Ace Awards. Yet despite his many achievements as musician, singer, composer and actor, Connick isn't one to coast on past triumphs, and is constantly reaching new heights as a versatile and gifted entertainer. In this concert of material from "Only You," his upcoming Columbia Records album of standards from the 50s and 60s, Connick makes his first return to GREAT PERFORMANCES since his GP, primetime television debut in 1990. Among the classics that Connick remakes as his own are "Crazy," "Once in My Life," "The Very Thought of You," and "My Blue Heaven." [56 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2004 (#2905)

    Continuing its holiday tradition, GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the stately splendor of Vienna's Musikverein for the 23rd annual broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Day celebration, hosted by Walter Cronkite. Zubin Mehta will lead the renowned orchestra in a selection of buoyant Strauss Family waltzes, including the "Dynamiden," by Joseph Strauss, and timeless favorite, the "Blue Danube," by his brother, Johann. Also featured are festive ballets danced by the Vienna State Opera Ballet, with choreography by Christian Tichy and costumes by Christof Cremer. [86 minutes]

  • Degas and the Dance (#2906)

    No artist has ever been more closely associated with images of ballet dancers than French Impressionist Edgar Degas. Degas' obsession with color, movement, and lithe bodies of ballerinas fuel Degas and the Dance, a film examining his art and inspiration deriving from dance. Best known as "the painter of dancers," Degas captures the human figure in all its various modes with a choreographic eye. The works generally focuses on a single dancer rather than the spectacle on the stage. The telecast showcases the exhibition from which it is based, as well as re-creations of Degas' studio with actor Peter Badger portraying the artist. [56 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Acts of Ardor Two Dances By Paul Taylor (#2907)

    The Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to DANCE IN AMERICA with this program featuring two contrasting works. Inspired by the Great Depression, "Black Tuesday" recalls an era when Hollywood movies and popular music offered a glamorous antidote to the hard times facing America. Referring to popular period dance forms and performed to Tin Pan Alley songs of the era, the work reflects the harsh reality and escapism of the times in alternately grim and optimistic terms. " Promethean Fire" has been greeted with rave reviews and audience ovations, with some critics conjecturing that the piece represents Taylor's response to September 11. Set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with orchestrations by Leopold Stokowski, the dance's complex and elegant structure is suffused in majestic passion, its bursts of fury and frustration ultimately radiating with a sense of humanity and renewal. [86 minutes]

  • Concert for George (#2908)

    Rock music's most celebrated musicians gathered at London's Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002, to pay tribute to one of their own, the legendary George Harrison, on the one-year anniversary of his death. On that magical night, Harrison's closest friends gathered to perform a collection of his music. Far more than a concert film, "Concert for George" is a soulful cinematic tribute to a musician whose vision transcended the ordinary and whose talents contributed to a revolution in the music industry. Under the musical direction of Harrison's longtime friend Eric Clapton, the film captures an emotional gathering of musicians, including Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Preston and Ringo Starr. Truly a rare moment in music history, this documentary showcases these legends of music not likely to perform together on the same stage again. [116 minutes]

  • Dance In America: "The Dream" with American Ballet Theatre (#2909)

    A comical tale of fairies, mismatched lovers and a mischievous sprite, Sir Frederick Ashton's enduring one-act ballet "The Dream" has delighted audiences since its premiere in 1964. Set to the ethereal music of Felix Mendelssohn, the ballet is a charming interpretation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. To celebrate the centennial of Ashton's birth, DANCE IN AMERICA presents American Ballet Theatre's acclaimed staging, starring Ethan Stiefel, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo. Hosted by Pierce Brosnan. [56 minutes]

  • Keeping Score: Mtt On Music: The Making of a Performance, Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony (#2910)

    In this behind the scenes documentary, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas takes viewers on a guided tour of one of the towering achievements in classical music, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Thomas, who describes Tchaikovsky as "one of the great melody writers of all time," explores each of the symphony's four movements, providing insightful commentary on the powerful and vibrant emotions embodied in the composer's music. In addition, we meet individual members of the San Francisco Symphony, who explain the challenges and joys of the music Tchaikovsky penned for their instrument -- including the violin, oboe, bassoon, piccolo, bass and timpani. [86 minutes]

  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 In Performance: The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas (#2911)

    In this program, Michael Tilson Thomas ascends the podium to lead the San Francisco Symphony in a complete performance of Tchaikovsky's 4th from Davies Symphony Hall. All four movements are performed without interruption, reflecting the culmination of Thomas's study of the score and his work with the Symphony musicians. [56 minutes]

  • From Acropolis: A Salute to the Games with the Berlin Philharmonic (#2912)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its tradition of showcasing the world's preeminent orchestras with the Berlin Philharmonic opening concert for Greece's Hellenic Festival, the five-month cultural celebration featuring music, theater and dance in celebration of the 2004 summer Olympic Games in Athens. From the spectacular Herodes Atticus amphitheatre, against a backdrop of ancient Athens, conductor Sir Simon Rattle leads the Berlin in a concert featuring Johannes Brahms'stowering Piano Concerto No. 1, with renowned conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim as soloist. The program examines modern day Athens and its connection to the origin of the games, as well as its role as the birthplace of democracy. [86 minutes]

  • All-Star Piano Extravaganza: The Verbier Festival & Academy Concert (#2913)

    In just a decade, Switzerland's annual Verbier Festival has become one of the premiere international musical celebrations, attracting a who's who of world-renowned artists to the Swiss countryside, in the shadow of the Alps, for more than two weeks of classical music performances. This year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the festival, a group of the world's greatest pianists gathered to play arrangements of classical favorites for four to 16 hands on one to eight pianos. Pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, James Levine, Mikhail Pletnev and Staffan Scheja perform works by Mozart, Wagner, Rimsky-Korsakov, Smetana, Sousa and Gottschalk. Also featured is Bach's Concerto in A minor for four pianos, performed with the Verbier Birthday Festival Orchestra: Renaud Capucon, Sarah Chang, Ilya Gringolts, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Christian Tetzlaff, Nikolaj Znaider, Yuri Bashmet, Nobuko Imai, Mischa Maisky, Boris Pergamenschikow and Patrick de Los Santos. Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic for The New York Times, hosts the program. [56 minutes]

  • Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival (#2915)

    A spectacular gathering of musicians perform rock, blues and jazz with the legendary guitarist. [116 minutes]

  • Hayley Westenra: Live from New Zealand (#2916)

    With her first international album release Pure, (released in the U.S. in April 2004), and having already sold more than one million copies abroad, 17-year-old vocal sensation Hayley Westenra is quickly reaching new heights of international stardom. Born into a family of singers, the New Zealand native in the past two years has become the fastest-selling local artist in the country's history. Produced by Giles Martin with this father, the legendary Beatles producer, Sir George Martin, Pure finds Westenra exploring the worlds of pop, traditional Maori choral singing, as well as fresh takes on numbers from the classical repertoire, showcasing the pitch-perfect talent that has already earned her appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. [74 minutes]

  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (#2917)

    Among the classics of musical theater, one of the most cherished productions is one that was originally created for television. Cinderella stars Julie Andrews and features a cast that includes Kaye Ballard, Alice Ghostly, and Edie Adams. An enchanting musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale, it was watched by and astounding 100 million viewers during its 1957 network premiere, but amazingly, the film has not been seen or in fact, available in any format since that initial telecast. Now, Great Performances will present the restored original film for the first time in nearly half a century. Cinderella herself, Julie Andrews, hosts the program, recalling fond memories and backstage stories from the landmark show that includes classic Rodgers & Hammerstein songs like "In My Own Little Corner," "Ten Minutes Ago," and "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" [86 minutes]

  • John Lennon's Jukebox (#3001)

    This program is a glimpse inside the musical development of one of the 20th century's greatest songwriters: John Lennon's personal, portable jukebox from the early 1960s. Its track list, scrawled in Lennon's own handwriting, cataloged 41 records of American soul, R&B and rock 'n' roll -- the songs that inspired his rock 'n' roll dreams and that ultimately shaped the Beatles' sound. "Narrated" by Lennon himself, via archival radio interviews, this performance-documentary takes the jukebox on tour to meet some of the artists whom Lennon strove to emulate as a young rocker. On the way, viewers are treated to visits with The Isley Brothers, whose screaming vocals resurfaced in "Twist and Shout"; blues guitarist Bobby Parker, whose classic guitar lick figured in "I Feel Fine"; Delbert McClinton, whose harmonica inspired Lennon's arrangement of "Love Me Do"; and Donovan, whose folk fingerpicking style Lennon employed in "Dear Prudence." Also on hand are Gary "U.S." Bonds, Fontella Bass, John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful, Steve Cropper of Booker T. & The MGs, songwriters Leiber & Stoller, and pop superstar Sting, reflecting on the music that Lennon absorbed and then transformed to become himself one of rock's most influential figures. [56 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2004 (#3002)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to its tradition of gala opening night concerts from Carnegie Hall, marking the start of the hall's 114th season. Special guests Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming join the Philadelphia Orchestra and its new music director, Christoph Eschenbach. The 90-minute concert program features three works by Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20; Four Last Songs, with Renee Fleming as soloist; and Don Quixote, Op. 35, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. [116 minutes]

  • Josh Groban Live at the Greek (#3003)

    Following 2002's Josh Groban in Concert, the first primetime special showcasing the young vocal phenomenon, Great Performances presents a concert featuring Groban at Los Angeles' spectacular outdoor Greek Theatre, performing selections from his critically acclaimed second album, Closer. Sepcial guests join Groban for performances of songs like "You Raise Me Up" and "My Confession," which have helped make him one of the brightest stars in popular music today. [86 minutes]

  • Bill Irwin: Clown Prince (#3004)

    Actor, playwright, director, choreographer, clown -- the remarkable Bill Irwin defies categorization. Over several decades, Irwin's diverse career has included original works for Broadway, roles in television and film, and his recent season in residence at New York's Signature Theatre Company. Now, "Bill Irwin, Clown Prince" explores how Irwin creates his unique brand of theater with highlights from some of his most groundbreaking and entertaining work. Featured are sequences from the Tony Award-winning productions of Fool Moon and Largely New York, The Regard of Flight, and As Seen On TV; Irwin's role alongside Steve Martin and Robin Williams in Beckett's Waiting for Godot; and Mr. Fox: A Rumination, the story of the rise and fall of George Fox, America's first celebrity clown. Featuring interviews with Williams, Julie Taymor, Brendan Fraser and film critic Richard Schickel, among others, and with a nod to some of the legends that have inspired Irwin, such as Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, the program is a feast for Irwin fans and a celebration of the career of one of the most beloved physical comedians working today. [56 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2005 (#3005)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES continues its time-honored holiday tradition with its 21st annual New Year's Day visit to Vienna with host Walter Cronkite. This year, Lorin Maazel returns as guest conductor to lead the renowned Vienna Philharmonic in a program of delightful Strauss Family waltzes from the majestic Musikverein; and international ballet star Vladimir Malakhov joins the Vienna State Opera Ballet as soloist and choreographer in performances from two of Vienna's architectural splendors, the Belvedere and Coburg palaces. In a special addition to this year's program, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents Vienna's delectable treats and idyllic retreats: the creation of Viennese apfelstrudel from apple blossom to serving table, and a tour of the city's famous woodland, set to Johann Strauss II's "Tales From the Vienna Woods." [86 minutes]

  • Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" In Concert (#3006)

    Broadway and operetta join hands as the New York Philharmonic presents a semi-staged performance of the satirical, effervescent musical Candide by Leonard Bernstein, the composer and conductor who was so intimately associated with the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein protege Marin Alsop will lead the production, and Broadway actor-director Lonny Price will stage the musical, much as he did for the Philharmonic's Emmy Award-winning, semi-staged production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 2000. The cast, drawn equally from the classical and musical-theater worlds, features soprano Kristin Chenoweth as Cunegonde, tenor Paul Groves as Candide, tenor Stanford Olsen as Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski, Patti LuPone as the Old Lady and Sir Thomas Allen as Pangloss/Martin. The Westminster Symphonic Choir, Joseph Flummerfelt, director, will also participate. [114 minutes]

  • One Night with Rod Stewart (#3007)

    For three decades now, Rod Stewart has been an iconic force in the realm of popular music. Through a stellar catalog of classic songs -many of which he's written or co-written - he's earned his place in the pantheon of genuine musical legends. His infinitely expressive voice, sly wit and a truly electrifying stage presence have earned Rod Stewart a place in the hearts and lives of millions of fans worldwide. Now, for the first time, the legendary rock `n' roller performs some of his best-known hits and newfound "Great American Songbook" classics at the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London. The special gala concert, hosted by Dame Edna, features Rod accompanied by the 60-piece BBC concert orchestra, the London Community Gospel Choir and his own band and backing singers. The concert also captures Rod with Chrissie Hynde, his former Faces mate, Ron Wood, and a stunning new musical discovery, Amy Belle. [73 minutes]

  • The Little Prince (#3009)

    Children and adults alike have long been drawn to Antoine de Saint-Exupery's small book "The Little Prince," in which the curious title character relates his encounters with the solitary inhabitants of other planets -- including a king, a businessman, a drunkard, and his own beloved rose -- to a pilot crash-landed in the Sahara Desert. Featuring a score by Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman (Emma, Chocolat) which the Houston Chronicle called "unrelentingly appealing," this new film adaptation was created especially for television and is directed by Francesca Zambello, based on the world-premiere production staged by the innovative Houston Grand Opera in 2003. Saint-Exupery's enduring tale is brought to life by Teddy Tahu Rhodes, reprising his Houston role as The Pilot, and the winners of an extensive talent search contest for the leading children's roles, 15-year-old Mairead Carlin as The Rose and 11-year-old Joseph McManners as The Little Prince. [86 minutes]

  • Operatunity (#3010)

    In early 2002, the English National Opera took on an unprecedented challenge: to conduct a nationwide search to find someone with no operatic experience who could be coached to sing in Verdi's Rigoletto on the stage of the London Coliseum, side by side with world-class performers. The result is "Operatunity," the compelling human story of six, then ultimately two, raw talents whose operatic dreams finally meet reality. First, a casting call across all of England introduces viewers to a colorful array of characters with secret passions for Puccini, Wagner and Mozart. Regional auditions lead to a London workshop where the final six participants - including an investment banker, a supermarket cashier and a blind mother of three -are selected and receive coaching in vocal and dramatic technique, as well as physical training and the fundamentals of stagecraft. Finally, "Operatunity" follows two star discoveries from the nerve-wracking final days before performance to curtain-up and the exhilaration of their operatic debut, combining real-life drama with the high theatrical drama and emotional intensity of grand opera. [56 minutes]

  • Dance In America: "Swan Lake" with American Ballet Theatre (#3011)

    In early 2002, the English National Opera took on an unprecedented challenge: to conduct a nationwide search to find someone with no operatic experience who could be coached to sing in Verdi's Rigoletto on the stage of the London Coliseum, side by side with world-class performers. The result is "Operatunity," the compelling human story of six, then ultimately two, raw talents whose operatic dreams finally meet reality. First, a casting call across all of England introduces viewers to a colorful array of characters with secret passions for Puccini, Wagner and Mozart. Regional auditions lead to a London workshop where the final six participants - including an investment banker, a supermarket cashier and a blind mother of three -are selected and receive coaching in vocal and dramatic technique, as well as physical training and the fundamentals of stagecraft. Finally, "Operatunity" follows two star discoveries from the nerve-wracking final days before performance to curtain-up and the exhilaration of their operatic debut, combining real-life drama with the high theatrical drama and emotional intensity of grand opera. [116 minutes]

  • From Shtetl to Swing (#3013)

    Between 1880 and 1924, two and a half million Jews had reached the breaking point. Fleeing persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe, they kissed their small-town "shtetls" goodbye and emigrated to America. America would completely reshape Jewish identity, and Jewish popular entertainment would take 20th-century American music on a joy ride to beat the band. Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart, Benny Goodman, Al Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, Molly Picon, Eddie Cantor, Gene Krupa, Harold Arlen, Artie Shaw a these Lower East Side New York City kids all became cultural pioneers, eager to shake off their past yet taking full advantage of their Yiddish musical heritage. What emerged was a cross-pollination of Jewish and African-American musical influences -two traditions born out of exile and longing, both charged with energy and humor, defying all the rules with exciting freedom. Written and directed by Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir, "From Shtetl to Swing" reveals how these musical heritages blossomed into a completely new, diverse musical lexicon that gave voice to the American melting pot. Harvey Fierstein hosts. [56 minutes]

  • Cream Reunion Concert (#3014)

    Releasing just four albums as a group, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton left an indelible mark on the worldwide music scene. From 1966 to 1968, with hits like "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Badge," Cream dominated the charts with a bluesy, masterful approach to the psychedelic rock of the late 1960s, selling 35 million records and inspiring virtually every new rock group of the day with dreams of stadium success. Much to the disappointment of their legions of fans, the group disbanded after only three years, playing their final concert together in 1968 at London's Royal Albert Hall to despairing cries of "God save the Cream!" It took 37 years, but in May 2005, Royal Albert Hall was once again the scene for the group's much anticipated reunion, described by the Washington Times as "... a unique moment in music history. It was a long time coming, but worth the wait." [86 minutes]

  • Great Performances Michael Buble Caught in the Act (#3015)

    Inspired by the swinging big band sound of his grandfather's generation, 29-year-old Canadian phenomenon Michael Buble has won the hearts of a new generation of fans with his charisma, stage presence, and superbly seductive voice. Inviting inevitable comparisons to a young Frank Sinatra, Buble's unique approach to an eclectic array of popular standards reveals a keen musical intuitiveness that has rapidly distinguished him. "Buble reinterprets every song he touches, "writes The Chicago Sun Times, "making them accessible to new, younger, hipper audiences who are realizing big band isn't just for grandma and grandpa." This concert special captures Michael Buble working his vocal magic on a diverse selection of songs from his current hit album, Michael Buble: It's Time, such as "Feeling Good," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Song for You," "Save the Last Dance forMe," and "Home." [86 minutes]

  • South Pacific in Concert from Carnegie Hall (#3016)

    "South Pacific" reached new heights when -- for one enchanted evening -- Carnegie Hall presented a magnificent concert production with a dream cast headed by Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jason Danieley, Lillias White and Alec Baldwin. Directed for the concert stage by Walter Bobbie, with musical director Paul Gemignani conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the performance was acclaimed by The New York Times as "a state of nearly unconditional rapture," praising the production for locating "the show's real staying power in its operatic respect for love as a force that hurts, teases, destroys and ennobles." [116 minutes]

  • Renee Fleming: Sacred Songs and Carols (#3101)

    This American soprano is internationally hailed as one of the truly magnificent voices of our time. [56 minutes]

  • My Name Is Barbra (#3102)

    [57 minutes]

  • The Nightingale (#3103)

    Igor Stravinsky's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale has been produced for television in an extraordinary animated interpretation by filmmaker Christian Chaudet. Stravinsky's score, inspired by Andersen's tale of a Chinese emperor enraptured with the beautiful singing of his treasured nightingale, comes to life as never before in a vibrant explosion of live performance and computer animation. With the orchestra and choir of the Opera National de Paris under the direction of James Conlon, the production features the on-screen performances of Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri seamlessly interwoven with Chaudet's dazzling visual effects. [54 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2006 (#3104)

    GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the stately splendor of Vienna's Musikverein hall for its 22nd-annual New Year's Day celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic and host Walter Cronkite. Guest conductor Mariss Jansons will lead the world-renowned orchestra in a selection of buoyant Strauss Family waltzes, including the beloved "Blue Danube, " the jubilant "Take Aim!" march and the "Voices of Spring" waltzes. Also to be featured are two festive ballets danced by both the Vienna State Opera and the Hamburg State Opera Ballet with choreography by John Neumeier. [86 minutes]

  • Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road (#3105)

    Sir Paul McCartney returns to Studio 2 at London's Abbey Road studios, where most of The Beatles's recordings were made, for an intimate journey through his songwriting history, from his very first Beatles song to the work on his new album, "Chaos And Creation in the Backyard," in this unique program. Using a selection of vintage instruments from his own collection -- including the bass played by Bill Black on Elvis Presley's original recording of "Heartbreak Hotel, " and the Mellotron and mixing desk used by The Beatles -- Paul re-visits his back catalog in new and revealing ways in front of an intimate studio audience. McCartney re-interprets old songs, reveals new ones, plays some great cover versions and enlists the audience's help in a demonstration of "in the moment" songwriting and arranging. Songs performed in the special include "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Band on the Run" and "Lady Madonna." [56 minutes]

  • Color Me Barbra (#3106)

    [56 minutes]

  • Andrea Bocelli: Amore Under The Desert Sky (#3107)

    The Tuscan-born Andrea Bocelli continues to seduce audiences everywhere with the moving melodies and passionate performances that first enthralled American viewers in his 1997 PBS special Andrea Bocelli: Romanza in Concert. Setting the standard for "crossover" classical tenors, Bocelli debuted on GREAT PERFORMANCES in 1999's Sacred Arias and has since become one of the most famous and beloved singers in the world. This new special was recorded in Lake Las Vegas from a concert venue that literally floats in the resort's signature 320-acre lake. With sweeping views of the area's Ponte Vecchio-style bridge and Mediterranean-themed village as a backdrop, Bocelli performs songs from his forthcoming album Amore such as "Autumn Leaves" and "It's Impossible." Also featured will be duets with 2001 Tony-award winner, Heather Headley (Aida), and David Foster (among others). [81 minutes]

  • Dance in America: Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (#3108)

    DANCE IN AMERICA follows the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during a pivotal period in its history, one that has the company venturing abroad as well as establishing new roots at home. The documentary marks a moment of both growth and reflection, as the troupe travels to Russia after an absence of nearly 20 years, moves into a state-of-the-art custom facility, called by The New York Times "the largest in the country devoted exclusively to dance," and creates a new ballet entitled Love Stories, choreographed by longtime AAADT artistic director Judith Jamison in collaboration with hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and modern dance maverick Robert Battle. Under the steadfast leadership of Jamison, the making of a new dance and a new home serve as symbols of the remarkable foundation that Ailey built, and of the vibrancy that defines the company today. Directed by filmmaker Phil Bertelsen, "Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater" tells the story of what it takes to keep dance modern, art relevant and a legacy alive. [56 minutes]

  • Garrison Keillor's Independence Day Special: A Prairie Home Companion at Tanglewood (#3109)

    Independence Day broadcast, featuring Keillor, his Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and special guests. [116 minutes]

  • Bruce Springsteen - The Seeger Sessions Live at St. Lukes (W.T.) (#3110)

    A concert presentation from "The Boss's" current tour. Recorded at St. Luke's in London's East End, rocker Bruce Springsteen performs an intimate concert of songs selected from his new album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, a collection of folk standards and spirituals popularized by folk legend Pete Seeger. The Boss's UK concert performances have thrilled the critics, with The Independent raving "...an astonishingly rich evening... his music has rarely sounded more spontaneous or vitalizing than this." Songs featured include "John Henry," "Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep," "Pay Me My Money Down," "We Shall Overcome" and many more. [56 minutes]

  • Jewels from the Paris Opera Ballet (#3112)

    Showcases groundbreaking choreographer George Balanchine's splendid masterpiece. [86 minutes]

  • The Vienna State Opera 50th Anniversary Reopening Concert (#3113)

    This concert features Placido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Bryn Terfel & Angelika Kirchschlager. [86 minutes]

  • Mozart at 250: The Salzburg Festival Celebration (#3114)

    All 22 of the composer's operas and other major compositions, featuring several leading opera stars. [86 minutes]

  • Liza with a "Z" (#3115)

    In the wake of her bravura Oscar-winning triumph in the 1972 movie version of the Kander & Ebb musical "Cabaret," 26-year-old Liza Minnelli re-teamed with legendary director-choreographer Bob Fosse for a once-in-a-lifetime event. Recorded before a live audience at New York's Lyceum Theatre, LIZA WITH A 'Z' features its young star dancing up a storm and belting standards like "Bye Bye Blackbird," "God Bless the Child," and "Son of a Preacher Man," along with now-classic Kander & Ebb hits, including the special's title song tongue-twister, "Say Liza (Liza with a 'Z')," offering galvanizing proof that Liza was just as dynamic on television as on the big screen. The special was hailed in 1972 by Kay Gardella of THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS as "sensational with an 'S'," yet it languished unseen for more than three decades after its premiere. GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the vaults of classic TV spectaculars with a restored and digitally remastered LIZA WITH A 'Z.' The Emmy-winning special completed Fosse's unprecedented Triple Crown of garnering the Oscar, Tony, and Emmy all within the same year. [56 minutes]

  • We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady of Song (#3116)

    This all-star concert for Ella Fitzgerald features Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. [86 minutes]

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  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2006 (#3201)

    Acclaimed pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and acclaimed Mozart specialist, Dorothea Roschmann join the Cleveland Orchestra. [86 minutes]

  • A Tribute to James Taylor (#3203)

    David Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Sting and Bruce Springsteen honor this musical craftsman. [87 minutes]

  • Garrison Keillor's New Year's Eve Special (#3205)

    Live broadcast featuring regulars and special guests, from the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. [173 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2007 (#3206)

    Walter Cronkite hosts as the renowned Vienna Philharmonic performs waltzes and timeless favorite. [86 minutes]

  • Sting: Songs From the Labyrinth (#3207)

    Sting's performs the timeless songs of John Dowland, 400 years after the composer's death. [56 minutes]

  • Barenboim On Beethoven (#3209)

    Pianist, conductor and recording artist Daniel Barenboim performs the Beethoven piano sonata cycle. [116 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Dancing in the Light: Six Historic Works by African American Choreographers (#3210)

    Explore the role that African American dancers have played in the development of modern dance. [56 minutes]

  • Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story (#3211)

    America's pre-eminent soul music record label, its visionaries and its music are showcased. [116 minutes]

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  • Nureyev: The Russian Years (#3212)

    Explore Rudolf Nureyev's meteoric career and his daring quest for personal and artistic freedom. [86 minutes]

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  • The Israel Philharmonic 70th Anniversary Gala Concert (#3214)

    Maestro Zubin Mehta and the orchestra perform classics such as Maurice Ravel's "La Valse." [116 minutes]

  • Great Moments at the Met: Viewer's Choice (#3215)

    A showcase of fans' favorite televised Met moments, chosen through online voting. [87 minutes]

  • The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny from LA Opera (#3216)

    Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald stars in a new production of one of the great 20th-century operas. [146 minutes]

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  • Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Chicago (#3301)

    Clapton and the world's leading guitar gurus return to the stage for a new gathering in Chicago. [127 minutes]

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  • Vivere: Andrea Bocelli Live In Tuscany (#3302)

    The superstar returns to his native Italy for a concert of his greatest hits along some new songs. [119 minutes]

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  • Garrison Keillor's New Year's Eve Special 2007 (W.T.) (#3303)

    An unattached swinger is transformed into a tentative monogamist in this groundbreaking musical. [146 minutes]

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  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2008 (#3304)

    Walter Cronkite hosts the celebration, as conductor Georges Pretre leads the Vienna Philharmonic. [86 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Celebrates Berlin (#3305)

    The Berliner Philharmoniker performs under the baton of music conductor Sir Simon Rattle. [116 minutes]

  • Martina McBride: Live In Concert (#3306)

    The small-town girl with the big voice performs old favorites, new songs and crossover hits. [83 minutes]

  • James Taylor: One Man Band (#3307)

    The beloved singer-songwriter performs favorites such as "Fire and Rain" and "Carolina in My Mind." [85 minutes]

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  • Peter & The Wolf (#3308)

    Orchestra instruments tell the story of a boy who frees his small village from a menacing wolf. [56 minutes]

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  • Dance In America: Wolf Trap's Face of America (#3309)

    Highlights of new works by top choreographers and musicians, made to celebrate our national parks. [86 minutes]

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  • The New York Philharmonic: Live from North Korea (#3311)

    Lorin Maazel leads the orchestra in Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in this historic concert from Pyongyang. [116 minutes]

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  • Maestro: Portrait of Valery Gergiev (#3312)

    A look at the acclaimed conductor of the London Symphony and St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater. [56 minutes]

  • Cyrano de Bergerac (#3313)

    Oscar winner Kevin Kline stars in the romantic tale of a gifted poet with an unusually large nose. [146 minutes]

  • King Lear (#3314)

    Sir Ian McKellen stars in the enduring, haunting work presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company. [174 minutes]

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  • Chess in Concert (#3315)

    Adam Pascal and Josh Groban headline a musical about romance and an international chess tournament. [146 minutes]

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  • Pavarotti: A Life In Seven Arias (#3401)

    The renowned tenor's childhood, early career in Italian opera houses and rise to fame are examined. [86 minutes]

  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein (#3402)

    The San Francisco Symphony celebrates Bernstein's amazing music, including songs from "On the Town." [86 minutes]

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  • Hit Man: David Foster and Friends (#3404)

    The legendary producer is celebrated with performances by Celine Dion, Josh Groban and other stars. [119 minutes]

  • Dance In America: San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker (#3405)

    A dazzling interpretation of the holiday story, set during the city's 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition. [116 minutes]

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  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2009 (#3406)

    The Vienna Philharmonic performs a rousing set of Strauss Family favorites led by Daniel Barenboim. [86 minutes]

  • The Metropolitan Opera Opening Night Starring Renee Fleming (#3407)

    Soprano Renee Fleming performs in Verdi's La Traviata, Massenet's Manon and Strauss's Capriccio. [146 minutes]

  • The Police Certifiable (#3408)

    This Buenos Aires concert captures Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and Sting on their farewell tour. [56 minutes]

  • In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams (#3409)

    Follows the cast and creative team from the musical's small start to its Tony Award-winning status. [56 minutes]

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  • Harlem in Montmartre (#3412)

    "Harlem in Montmartre" tells the story of the jazz age in Paris between the first and second World Wars, exploring an often neglected era in African-American cultural history. After peace was signed at Versailles, many black Americans remained in Europe rather than return to the brutal segregation and racism of America. Over the next two decades, they created an expatriate community of musicians, entertainers and entrepreneurs, primarily congregating in Paris's hilly Montmartre neighborhood. Some achieved enduring fame, while others have faded into history. Inspired by the book by William A. Shack and utilizing rare archival material from both France and America, this documentary features footage of such key figures as James Reese Europe, Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Bricktop, Eugene Bullard, Django Reinhardt, and many more. [86 minutes]

  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night's Concert 2009 (#3413)

    Daniel Barenboim directs and performs in a show set on the grounds of Austria's Schoenbrunn castle. [86 minutes]

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  • Passing Strange (#3414)

    Spike Lee captures this Broadway musical about an African-American youth pursuing a bohemian life. [146 minutes]

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  • Macbeth (#3415)

    This production starring Patrick Stewart relocates the bloody action to an underground netherworld. [175 minutes]

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  • Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration From Madison Square Garden (#3501)

    Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie and more join the legendary folk artist. [83 minutes]

  • Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert (#3503)

    Gustavo Dudamel conducts performances of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and John Adams' City Noir. [116 minutes]

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  • Andrea Bocelli & David Foster: My Christmas in Concert (#3505)

    Foster and the soaring singer perform holiday hits with Natalie Cole, Mary J. Blige and the Muppets. [111 minutes]

  • La Boheme - The Movie (#3506)

    Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon star as the doomed lovers in Giacomo Puccinis' enduring story. [116 minutes]

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  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2010 (#3507)

    Actress Julie Andrews hosts as the Vienna Philharmonic performs festive Strauss Family favorites. [86 minutes]

  • Dance In America: Ny Export: Opus Jazz (#3508)

    A new version of Jerome Robbins' 1958 hit "NY Export: Opus Jazz," filmed all over New York City. [56 minutes]

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  • Hamlet (#3509)

    Shakespeare's tortured prince receives a contemporary spin. David Tennant and Patrick Stewart star. [206 minutes]

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  • La Danse: Le Ballet De L'opera De Paris (#3510)

    A look inside the Paris Opera Ballet showcases rehearsals and a dazzling selection of performances. [176 minutes]

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  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2010 (#3511)

    Franz Welser-Most conducts a performance from the gardens of Austria's Imperial Schonbrunn Palace. [56 minutes]

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  • Renee Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg (#3512)

    The American soprano and Russian baritone visit the most spectacular locations of St. Petersburg. [86 minutes]

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  • Sondheim! The Birthday Concert (#3513)

    The New York Philharmonic's gala all-star salute to a true Broadway legend, Stephen Sondheim. [116 minutes]

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  • Billy Joel Live at Shea Stadium (#3514)

    The superstar performs at New York City's Shea Stadium in 2008 with Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney. [119 minutes]

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  • Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival 3 (#3515)

    The guitar superstar teams with Jeff Beck, B.B. King, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow and more in Chicago. [116 minutes]

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  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Pierre Boulez Conducts Mahler's 7th (#3601)

    The Windy City's internationally renowned orchestra performs Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 7." [86 minutes]

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  • Celebracion! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Florez (#3602)

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic and tenor Juan Diego Florez perform overtures and Latin American songs. [116 minutes]

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  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2011 (#3603)

    Franz Welser-Most and the Vienna Philharmonic perform Strauss Family favorites. [86 minutes]

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  • Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert On Broadway (#3604)

    Connick performs standards, show tunes and jazz classics with his trademark New Orleans style. [86 minutes]

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  • Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends (#3605)

    Natalie Cole, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Seal and more perform with the prolific producer. [88 minutes]

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  • Carnegie Hall 120th Anniversary Concert (#3606)

    The New York Philharmonic, violinist Gil Shaham, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax perform. [86 minutes]

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  • Jackie Evancho: Dream with Me in Concert (#3607)

    The ten year-old girl with the extraordinary big voice performs "Pie Jesu" and "O Mio Babbino Caro." [79 minutes]

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  • Placido Domingo: My Favorite Roles (#3609)

    The celebrated tenor reflects on his favorite roles from opera houses around the world. [86 minutes]

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  • A Concert for New York (#3610)

    Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection is performed in honor of the victims of September 11, 2001. [96 minutes]

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  • Let Me Down Easy (#3611)

    In this theatrical exploration, Anna Deavere Smith performs as an eclectic range of people. [116 minutes]

  • Memphis (#3612)

    The story of a radio DJ in the 1950s whose love of music transcends racial lines and airwaves. [144 minutes]

  • Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (#3613)

    This lavish production celebrated the 25th anniversary year of Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece. [189 minutes]

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  • The Hollow Crown: Richard II (#3614)

    The foolish, young Richard initiates his downfall by banishing two men as a resolution to their feud [174 minutes]

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1 (#3615)

    Prince Hal, the heir to the throne, joins King Henry to defeat rebels at the Battle of Shrewsbury. [144 minutes]

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2 (#3616)

    Falstaff is sent to recruit soldiers. Rebel forces are overcome and Prince Hal becomes King Henry V. [144 minutes]

  • Rigoletto from Mantua (#3701)

    Filmed in Mantua, Italy, this production of "Rigoletto" stars Placido Domingo and Julia Novikova. [145 minutes]

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  • Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk - A Celebration of New Orleans Blues (#3702)

    The versatile British actor and star of "House" showcases his musical side in New Orleans. [56 minutes]

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  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2012 (#3703)

    Join Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic for the largest world-wide event in classical music. [86 minutes]

  • Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin (#3704)

    The concert's all-Gershwin repertoire includes "An American in Paris" and "Rhapsody in Blue." [56 minutes]

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  • Tony Bennett: Duets II (#3705)

    The crooner's second duets album features Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and Norah Jones. [86 minutes]

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  • Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration - PBS Arts (#3708)

    The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and more perform in the scenic Berkshires region. [116 minutes]

  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night 2012 (#3709)

    The Vienna Ballet and the orchestra celebrate dance in music by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and more. [86 minutes]

  • Twilight: Los Angeles (#3710)

    Anna Deavere Smith stars in a one-woman/multi-voiced production about the 1992 Los Angeles riots. [86 minutes]

  • Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies (#3711)

    The little girl with a big voice sings "My Heart Will Go On" and great songs from the silver screen. [90 minutes]

  • Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino (#3713)

    The superstar performs classical favorites, pop standards and Brazilian jazz in Portofino, Italy. [101 minutes]

  • Great Performances' 40th Anniversary Celebration (#3714)

    An all-star homecoming features Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce and other guests. [86 minutes]

  • Paul McCartney's Live Kisses (#3801)

    The iconic musician performs "Always," "Bye Bye Blackbird" and more in this intimate concert. [56 minutes]

  • Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris (#3802)

    Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America's indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists' best work is behind them, Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances as well as his classics. Recorded during the Taylor Company's 2012 performances at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents two of Taylor's enduring masterworks. Brandenburgs, first performed in 1988 to music from Bach's Brandenburg concertos #3 and # 6; and his 2008 ballet Beloved Renegade set to music of Francis Poulenc. Set to Poulenc's "Gloria," Beloved Renegade is inspired by the life and work of poet Walt Whitman, and depicts the experiences of an artist described in a line from Whitman's Leaves of Grass: "I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the soul." The dance unfolds with various scenes reminiscent of episodes in Whitman's life. [56 minutes]

  • Magical Mystery Tour Revisited (#3803)

    The behind-the-scenes story of the making of the 1967 film also looks at "the summer of love" era. [56 minutes]

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  • The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour (#3804)

    "I Am the Walrus," "Hello, Goodbye" and the misadventures of the Beatles highlight this 1967 film. [56 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2013 (#3805)

    Ring in the New Year with host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein. [86 minutes]

  • Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (#3806)

    Interviews and performance footage highlight why Broadway is fertile territory for Jewish artists. [86 minutes]

  • Paul Simon's Graceland Journey (#3807)

    Paul Simon reunites with musicians in South Africa and reflects on his acclaimed album "Graceland." [116 minutes]

  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2013 (#3808)

    "Wagner & Verdi" are celebrated in the magnificent gardens of Austria's Imperial Schonbrunn Palace. [86 minutes]

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry V (#3809)

    Henry V settles onto the throne. The French Ambassador brings a challenge from the French Dauphin. [144 minutes]

  • Moby Dick from San Francisco Opera (#3810)

    Jay Hunter Morris stars as obsessive Captain Ahab in this acclaimed adaptation of the classic novel. [146 minutes]

  • Stephen Sondheim's Company with the New York Philharmonic (#3811)

    Neil Patrick Harris stars as in legendary composer Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking musical. [146 minutes]

  • Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn (#3812)

    Barbra Streisand performs an extensive selection of songs and is joined by Il Volo and Chris Botti. [176 minutes]

  • Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages (#3813)

    The 50th anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti's career debut is celebrated with "Nessun dorma" and more. [87 minutes]

  • Dukes of September (#3814)

    Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers and Boz Scaggs perform hits. [84 minutes]

  • Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell (#3815)

    Comedy legend Steve Martin showcases his bluegrass banjo playing with vocalist Edie Brickell. [87 minutes]

  • Rejoice with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot (#3816)

    Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman and celebrated cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot perform together. [56 minutes]

  • American Voices with Renee Fleming (#3817)

    Acclaimed vocal artists celebrate the artistry, technique and challenges of professional singing. [86 minutes]

  • Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still (#3901)

    Performances and interviews highlight the story of Jacob's Pillow as an international dance center. [56 minutes]

  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (#3902)

    London's National Theatre's production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical stars Hugh Jackman. [176 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2014 (#3903)

    The Vienna Philharmonic perform Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the Vienna City Ballet. [86 minutes]

  • Barrymore (#3904)

    Christopher Plummer portrays the illustrious John Barrymore on the stage of a Broadway theater. [86 minutes]

  • National Theatre: 50 Years On Stage (#3905)

    The Royal National Theatre in London celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special gala performance. [116 minutes]

  • Sting: The Last Ship (#3906)

    The story of the demise of the shipbuilding industry in 1980s Newcastle features music by Sting. [86 minutes]

  • Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (#3907)

    A star-studded concert tribute to the American music icon features Tom Petty, Johnny Cash and more. [82 minutes]

  • Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (#3908)

    Choreographer Matthew Bourne presents a highly theatrical production of the timeless fairy tale. [114 minutes]

  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2014 (#3909)

    The Vienna Philharmonic performs in the magnificent gardens of Austria's Imperial Schonbrunn Palace. [86 minutes]

  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live! (#3910)

    The legendary singer and the pop diva perform swinging selections from their latest collaboration. [56 minutes]

  • Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl (#4001)

    Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform a concert of Verdi's towering Requiem Mass. [114 minutes]

  • Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem (#4002)

    A star-studded line-up of entertainers celebrate the 200th anniversary of the national anthem. [116 minutes]

  • Cats (#4003)

    "Cats," one of musical theater's biggest blockbusters, returns for an encore presentation. [116 minutes]

  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2015 (#4004)

    Julie Andrews hosts an evening of Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the Vienna State Ballet. [86 minutes]

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