Great Performances - Season 42

PBS Premiered Nov 04, 1972 In Season




Episode Guide

  • Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
    Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" ballet, about a young woman (Hannah Vassallo) who endures a decades-long slumber, is given a Gothic spin by choreographer Matthew Bourne, who also starts the story in 1890 and has it span the 20th century.
  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2015
    Conductor Zubin Mehta leads the Vienna Philharmonic in its traditional open-air concert at Austria's Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. Pianist Rudolf Buckbinder is featured on Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor and Alfred Grünfeld's "Soirée de Vienne," which was inspired by the waltzes of Johann Strauss. Other selections include Richard Strauss' "Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare"; Christian Sinding's "Rustle of Spring"; and Johann Strauss II's "Wiener Blut" waltz.moreless
  • Madama Butterfly
    Madama Butterfly
    Episode 17
    A cinematic adaptation of Puccini's 1904 opera "Madama Butterfly,". The work tells the story of a Nagasaki geisha (Mirella Freni) who is abandoned by the U.S. Navy officer (Placido Domingo) she loves. Directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. Herbert von Karajan conducts the Vienna Philharmonic. Suzuki: Christa Ludwig. Sharpless: Robert Kerns. Goro: Michel Senechal. Yamadori: Giorgio Stendoro.moreless
  • Dudamel Conducts a John Williams Celebration With the LA Phil
    Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic celebrate composer John Williams. The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets help perform "Olympic Fanfare and Theme," from the 1984 Olympics; and violinist Itzhak Perlman joins for three selections from "Schindler's List." Interspersed throughout the performance: a conversation between Williams and Dudamel; and archival interview footage. Also: pieces from "Catch Me if You Can," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Star Wars." Natalie Portman hosts.moreless
  • Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs: The Dukes of September

    Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers, and Boz Scaggs join forces super group The Dukes of September for this concert, taped at Lincoln Center in New York City. The performers pay tribute to the R&B style that inspired them as some of their greatest hits.

  • Driving Miss Daisy
    Driving Miss Daisy
    Episode 15
    A production of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Driving Miss Daisy," about a 72-year-old woman in mid-20th century Atlanta who, after her son takes away her car keys, forges a bond with her black chauffeur. Filmed in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

    The program features highlights from the 1992 concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan's debut album. A variety of performers sing Dylan's songs, culminating with a performance by Dylan himself. Includes scenes from backstage as well as clips of Dylan from the last 30 years and interviews with the night's performers.

  • Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell
    Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, featuring Edie Brickell, perform in Riverside, Cal. Included: "Katie Mae"; "Jubilation Day"; "Get Along Stray Dog"; "Yes She Did"; "Love Has Come for You"; "The Crow"; "Fighter"; "Hunger"; "Atheists Don't Have No Songs"; "The Great Remember"; "Sun's Gonna Shine"; "When You Get to Asheville"; "Pretty Little One"; "Auden's Train"; "The Dance at the Wedding"; "Remember Me This Way"; "Another Round-So Long Now"; and "Daddy Played the Banjo."moreless
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra: Andris Nelsons Inaugural Concert
    Conductor Andris Nelsons' first concert leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The program features soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who each perform selections from the Wagnerian and Italian verismo repertoires. Recorded September 27, 2014.
  • Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell in Concert

    Multi-talented performer Steve Martin presents an evening of Blue Grass and American Roots music along with Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Featured songs are from Martin and Brickell’s album “Love Has Come For You" (the title song won a 2014 Grammy in the American Roots song category), his album with the Steep Canyon Rangers "Rare Bird Alert," and Martin's solo album "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo."

  • Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live in Concert
    Annie Lennox performs songs from her 2014 "Nostalgia" album in this concert from L.A., including "Memphis in June," "Georgia on My Mind," "I Put a Spell on You," "Summertime" and "Mood Indigo," in addition to "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Why." Also on tap: "I Cover the Waterfront"; "Strange Fruit"; "God Bless the Child"; "September in the Rain"; and "The Nearness of You."moreless
  • Sting: The Last Ship

    Singer Sting sings songs from his latest album, The Last Ship, introducing a musical play of the same name that will open on Broadway later this year. The songs tell a narrative of Sting's boyhood home, the shipbuilding community of Wallsend, outside Newcastle in Northeast England.

  • Mark Morris Dance Group: L'Allegro, Il Penseroso ed il Moderato
    A performance of choreographer Mark Morris' acclaimed "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato," set to Handel's Baroque masterpiece of the same name, at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Mikhail Baryshnikov hosts.
  • National Theatre: 50 Years on Stage

    A look back at ten of the most celebrated shows in the fifty-year history of Great Britain's National Theatre. Segments of each production are restaged for this event. Performances include Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from Rosengrantz and Gildenstern are Dead and Dame Judi Dench singing "Send in the Clowns" in an exerpt from A Little Night Music.

  • Bryan Adams in Concert
    Bryan Adams performs his greatest hits and selections from his 2014 "Tracks of My Years" album, including the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" and Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody." Also: "Run to You"; "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"; "Cuts Like a Knife"; "Summer of '69"; "Heaven"; "It's Only Love"; "Straight From the Heart"; and "All for Love."moreless
  • Barrymore
    Episode 11

    Christopher Plummer recreates the role he originated on the Broadway stage in this film adaptation. Set in 1942, during the final months of his life, the great actor John Barrymore is trying to find backers for a Broadway comeback. But times and tastes have changed, and his excesses have taken their toll on him through the years.

  • La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema
    Memorable themes from Italian cinema written by such composers as Luis Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota are performed by the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of Alan Gilbert, with Josh Groban, Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell. The concert includes selections from "Amarcord" (Rota); "The Anonymous Venetian" (Cipriani); "Cinema Paradiso" (Morricone); "City of Women" (Bacalov); "Profumo di Donna" (Armando Trovajoli); and "Mondo Cane" (Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero).moreless
  • Great Performances at the Met: Eugene Onegin (2014)

    The Metropolitan Opera opened their 2013-2014 season in September, 2013 with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, the story of a love triangle set in 1800s Russia. Performers include Mariusz Kwiecien as Onegin, Anna Netrebko as Tatiana, the woman who loves him, and Piotr Beczala as Onegin's friend turned rival.

  • American Voices With Renée Fleming
    An overview of the Renée Fleming-hosted American Voices festival, which took place in November 2013 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and featured Eric Owens, Dianne Reeves, Alison Krauss, Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles, Sutton Foster and Kim Burrell imparting tips to beginners in one-on-one mentoring sessions. The artists also took part in a concert that also featured Kurt Elling, Josh Groban, Norm Lewis and the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Steven Reineke.moreless
  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2014

    The Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's concert returns for its 30th broadcast on PBS. As always, musical selections are from the Strauss family and their contemporaries. A performance by the Vienna State Ballet is featured, set in the recently renovated City Palace. Hostess Julie Andrews gives viewers a tour of a few of Vienna's famous sites, including the Wiener Musikverein Concert Hall, the Porcelain Museum and The Sigmund Freud Museum.

  • Pavarotti: A Voice for the Ages
    Highlights from the career of tenor Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), including "Nessun dorma"; arias from "La Bohème," "Rigoletto" and "Aida"; "Mamma"; "O Sole Mio"; and duets with Bono, Eric Clapton, Sting and Vanessa Williams.
  • From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2015
    The Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, and the Vienna State Ballet celebrate the New Year at Vienna's Musikverein with a concert that features selections by the Strauss family. Julie Andrews hosts.
  • Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn

    Legendary singer Barbra Streisand comes home in this concert, filmed in October 2012, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The multimedia performance includes video montages of Streisand's childhood and early career. Streisand sings 27 songs, with guests, Italian pop vocal trio Il Volo, trumpeter Chris Botti and Streisand's son Jason Gould, joining in.

  • Barbra Steisand: Back to Brooklyn
    Barbra Streisand performs at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, where she's backed by a 60-piece orchestra and joined by Il Volo, Chris Botti and son Jason Gould. Selections include "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)," "The Way We Were-Through the Eyes of Love," "Don't Rain on My Parade," "Evergreen," "People," "Somewhere," "Some Other Time" and "Happy Days Are Here Again," as well as "Make Our Garden Grow" with Il Vote, Botti, Gould and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.moreless
  • Encore! Great Performances at the Met
    Memorable arias and duets from the first eight seasons of "Great Performances at the Met" are spotlighted, including performances by Natalie Dessay, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Jonas Kaufmann and Deborah Voigt, who also hosts. Other performers include Piotr Beczala, Diana Damrau, Mariusz Kwiecien, Peter Mattei, Anna Netrebko, René Pape, Matthew Polenzani, Patricia Racette, Sondra Radvanovsky and Bryn Terfel.moreless
  • Stephen Sondheim's "Company" with the New York Philharmonic

    The New York Philharmonic's 2011 staging of composer and lyricists Stephen Sondheim's award-winning Company features an all-star cast led by Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby. Celebrating his 35th birthday as a single man, Bobby gets plenty of relationship advice from his 10 best friends, who are also five couples.

  • Cats
    Episode 6
    Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats," starring Elaine Paige as faded "glamor cat" Grizabella; John Mills as Gus, the Theatre Cat, and Ken Page as Old Deuteronomy. The performance includes Paige's showstopping turn on the ballad "Memory." Filmed and staged for TV at London's Adelphi Theatre in August 1997.
  • Moby Dick From San Francisco Opera

    Herman Melville’s novel is brought to musical fulfillment with this multi-media opera from composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer.

  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!
    Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform selections from their 2014 "Cheek to Cheek" album at the Lincoln Center's Rose Theater in New York City.
  • 40th Anniversary Celebration

    Great Performances celebrates 40 years on public television with this eclectic concert. A stellar line-up of artists who have been featured through the years return to perform and reminisce about this program that gives viewers a front-row seat to the performing arts. Recorded in November 2012 at Lincoln Center.

  • Star-Spangled Spectacular: The Bicentennial of Our National Anthem
    Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Marin Alsop, perform at this salute to "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Baltimore's Pier Six Pavilion. Also on tap: Little Big Town; Pentatonix; STOMP; and Train. The program includes ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine; and a fireworks display. John Lithgow and Jordin Sparks host.moreless
  • Henry V
    Henry V
    Episode 4

    Ascending to the throne left by his father, Henry IV, the former Prince Hal, now King Henry V, must battle the French as well as his inner demons. This is the fourth and final film in the series, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays.

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry V
    The "Hollow Crown" chronicle concludes with Shakespeare's "Henry V," in which the young monarch (Tom Hiddleston) sets out to conquer France. The cast includes Anton Lesser as Exerter; Paterson Joseph as York; and John Hurt as the Chorus.
  • Rejoice With Itzhak Perlman
    Violinist Itzhak Perlman and cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot perform liturgical and traditional works with the Klezmer Conservatory Band and Rejoice Chamber Orchestra, including "Yism'Khu," "A Dudele," "A Yidishe Mame" and "Sheyibone Beys Hamikdosh." Other selections include "Rumenische Doyne," "Shoyfer Shel Moshiakh" and "Adir Hu-Moyshe Emes." Also: reminiscences from Joel Grey, Neil Sedaka and Elie Wiesel.moreless
  • Die Fledermaus
    Die Fledermaus
    Episode 3
    Johann Strauss's "Die Fledermaus," performed by the Vienna State Opera in German with English subtitles. Maestro Karl Bohm conducts. Gundula Janowitz, Eberhard Wachter. Adele: Renate Holm. Alfred: Waldemar Kmentt.
  • Henry IV, Part 2
    Henry IV, Part 2
    Episode 3

    The third film in the series, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays, Henry IV, Part 2 continues the story of King Henry IV, his son, Prince Hal, and the Prince's companion Falstaff.

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2
    Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part 2" chronicles the rise of Prince Hal (Tom Hiddleston), who at the start of the history play is again on the outs with his father, the increasingly frail Henry IV (Jeremy Irons). In other events, the Lord Chief Justice (Geoffrey Palmer) attempts to separate the licentious Falstaff from the prince; and Henry IV faces yet another rebellion. Michelle Dockery appears as Lady Percy.moreless
  • Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2014
    Conductor Christoph Eschenbach leads the Vienna Philharmonic in its traditional open-air concert at Austria's Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, which features pianist Lang Lang on Richard Strauss' "Burleske" and Mozart's "Turkish March." Other selections include "Mazeppa" by Franz Liszt; the "Benvenuto Cellini" overture by Hector Berlioz; "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" by Richard Strauss; and the "Wiener Blut" waltz and "Furioso-Polka" by Johann Strauss II.moreless
  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1

    The second in the film series, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays, Henry IV, Part 1 tells the story of King Henry and his rebellious son, Prince Hal.

  • Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl
    Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Verdi's "Requiem Mass" at the Hollywood Bowl. The performance features soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, tenor Vittorio Grigolo and bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.
  • The Hollow Crown: Richard II

    Richard II, the story of a King who loses his crown, is the first in the Great Performances film series, The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays.