Great Performances - Season 37

PBS Premiered Nov 04, 1972 In Season




Episode Guide

  • The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2009
    The Vienna Philharmonic performs an outdoor concert in the historic Baroque Park overlooking the Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace. Daniel Barenboim is the orchestra's conductor.
  • Karajan, Or Beauty as I See It
    Documentation of the life and career of Herbert von Karajan, one of the most respected conductors of the 20th centry. Karajan was director of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years, and conducted orchestras across Europe. Many performances are featured, including rehearsals, concerts and rare archived footage.
  • Harlem in Montmartre
    Many African Americans who found themselves in Europe at the end of WWI stayed there because there was less racism than in the United States. Over the next twenty years, until the violence of WWII, they created an expatriate community of musicians, entertainers and entrepreneurs, in Paris' Montmartre neighborhood. This documentary tells the story of this neglected portion of African American cultural history. Inspired by the book Harlem in Montmartre: a Paris Jazz Story by William A. Shack. Narrated by S. Epatha Merkerson.moreless
  • Great Performances at the Met: La Cenerentola
    Gioachino Rossini's operatic version of the classic tale of Cinderella. Maestro Maurizio Benini conducts the Metropolitan Orchestra. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
  • Carnegie Hall 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein
    Featuring selections ranging from the 1944 ballet Fancy Free through West Side Story (1957) to his final opera A Quiet Place (1983), this video offers a virtual sound portrait of Leonard Bernstein's life. This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Programs in 2009.
  • Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration from Madison Square Garden
    Renowned folk artist Pete Seeger turned 90 in May of 2009. To celebrate, more than 40 artists whose music was influenced by Seeger gathered at New York's Madison Square Garden to perform songs inspired by Seeger’s music and political activism. Taped live on May 3, 2009.
  • Great Performances at the Met: Madama Butterfly
    Giacomo Puccini's beloved opera tells the tale of a Japanese geisha betrayed by her American lover. This production was created by Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella, who passed away suddenly in March 2008. Sung in Italian with English subtitles, this performance was taped on March 7, 2009.
  • Great Performances at the Met: La Sonnambula
    Vincenzo Bellini’s opera about a sleepwalking woman forced to prove her undying love for her betrothed. "La Sonnambula" is Latin for "The Somnambulist." The original opera is set in the Swiss Alps. This production depicts modern-day actors staging a production of La Sonnambula in a rehearsal hall. Performed in Italian with English subtitles.moreless
  • Chess In Concert
    Chess In Concert
    Episode 19
    Songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus from the singing group ABBA teamed up with lyricist Tim Rice in 1986 to create this original musical. Set at an international chess tournament during the Cold War, the story features a love triangle between rival Russian and American chess players and the woman both love. This performance was taped live at Royal Albert Hall in London on May 12, 2008.moreless
  • Stevie Wonder: Live at Last
    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown Records, Stevie Wonder performs his first concert recorded for television. Taped in October 2008 at London's 02 Arena, the concert features Wonder's hits from the last 40 years, when he was billed as "Little Stevie Wonder."
  • Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood: Live From Madison Square Garden
    Long-time friends Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood perform songs from their short colaboration in the group Blind Faith as well as songs from Cream (Clapton's group), Traffic (Winwood's group), their solo efforts and other songs. Recorded live at Madison Square Garden in February 2008.
  • In The Heights - Chasing Broadway Dreams
    A behind the scenes look at the Broadway musical In the Heights, a "modern-day West Side Story" set in a latin neighborhood. Cameras follow the relatively unknown cast, led by composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, from a small off-Broadway theater to the show's debut at the Richard Rodgers theater on Broadway.
  • Great Performances at the Met: Orfeo ed Euridice
    Orfeo ed Euridice (English translation: Orpheus and Eurydice) is the most famous opera by comoser Christoph Willibald von Gluck. It is the mythical tale of Orfeo, who enters Hades to retrieve his dead wife. This production is sung in Italian with English subtitles.
  • Great Performances at the Met: La Rondine
    Giacomo Puccini's opera is performed by real-life couple, Angela Gheorghiu and husband Roberto Alagna. Gheorghiu plays an unhappy kept woman who has a fling with an idealistic young man (Alagna) who makes her question her decisions.
  • Great Performances at the Met: Lucia di Lammermoor
    Gaetano Donizetti's opera about love and politics, and a woman who is driven to madness. This production is set in the Victorian era. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
  • King Lear
    King Lear
    Episode 12
    Ian McKellen portrays the tragic monarch in The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Shakespeare's King Lear.
  • Great Performances at the Met: Opening Night Gala Starring Renée Fleming
    The opening gala of the Metropolitan Opera's 2008-2009 season features soprano Renee Fleming in three of her favorite roles. Taped in September, 2008, at the opening of the Met's 125th season. Presented are fully staged acts of the following operas:Act II of Verdi's La Traviata (with Ramon Vargas and Thomas Hampson; Conductor, James Levine) Act III of Massenet's Manon (with Ramon Vargas and Dwayne Croft; Conductor, Marco Armiliato) Final scene of Strauss' Capriccio (with Michael Devlin; Conductor, Patrick Summers)moreless
  • Great Performances at the Met: La Damnation de Faust
    Hector Berlioz's opera about making a deal with the Devil gets an updated look thanks to technology in media. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and Italian tenor Marcello Giordani star as young lovers faced with the persuasive and wicked Méphistophélès, played by Canadian bass-baritone John Relyea. The production is sung in French, with English subtitles.moreless
  • Great Performances at the Met: Salome
    This 1905 opera by German composer, Richard Straus, is based on Oscar Wilde's play telling of the Biblical Salome, who danced for Herod in exchange for the head of John the Baptist. Modern dress is used for this production. Sung in German with English subtitles.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac
    Cyrano de Bergerac
    Episode 8
    Actor Kevin Kline brings Cyrano de Bergerac to life in this Broadway production recorded on stage in performance at the Richard Rodgers Theater, January 3 and 4, 2008. Edmond Rostand's play tells of a swashbuckling poet who pines for the beautiful Roxane, but is too ashamed of his large nose to declare his love.moreless
  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2009
    Julie Andrews hosts as the Vienna Philharmonic performs Strauss favorites and a tribute to Franz Joseph Haydn, as 2009 is the 200th anniversary of his death. Daniel Barenboim conducts.
  • Great Performances at the Met: Doctor Atomic
    John Adams' 1991 opera about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the inventor of the atomic bomb.
  • Dance in America: San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker
    Kristi Yamaguchi hosts as the San Francisco Ballet performs Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. This version of the classic tale is set in 1915 at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition.
  • Domingo, Netrebko & Villazón: Three Stars in Vienna
    Three opera icons--tenors Plácido Domingo and Rolando Villazón, and soprano Anna Netrebko--perform selections from such favorite works as The Merry Widow, Land of Smiles and El Gato Montes. Recorded June 27, 2008 at the Imperial Park of Vienna's Schönbrunn Summer Palace.
  • Hitman: David Foster and Friends
    Prolific composer and record producer David Foster brings together performers that he has worked with in his long career and a few new faces to celebrate an evening of music.
  • Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein
    The 90th anniversary of the birth of composer Leonard Bernstein is celebrated. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony.
  • Pavarotti: A Life in Seven Arias
    A year after his death, Great Performances celebrates the life of Luciano Pavarotti. Rarely seen footage, archival performances, and interviews with friends and colleagues recount Pavarotti's life, career and later status as a worldwide superstar.