Great Performances, a television series devoted to the performing arts, has been telecast on PBS since 1972. The show is produced by WNET in New York City.It is one of the longest running performing arts anthologies on television, second only to Hallmark Hall of Fame. Great Performances presents concerts, ballet, opera, an occasional documentary, and plays. The series has also won many television awards, including an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and an Image Award, with nods from the Directors Guild of America and the Cinema Audio Society.
Scott Yoo crosses Northern Italy, chasing the story of one of the most recorded pieces of music in the world, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and discovers how the composer merged religious melodies, opera and a new level of violin playing to launch a new era of music.
Scott Yoo goes to Germany to learn Bach’s sonatas and partitas, widely considered among the greatest works ever written for solo violin. There, he discovers a riddle Bach left behind in his portrait. In trying to solve it, Scott discovers that Bach based his melodic style on Vivaldi and his rhythms on the music of the French court, which leads to a spectacular finale in Paris.
Join Scott in Spain and Morocco to discover the greatest composer you’ve never heard of: Domenico Scarlatti. He was the finest keyboard player in Europe, hired by the Queen of Spain as her personal instructor. Scarlatti incorporated the sounds of Spain – Moorish, Jewish, Gypsy, folk, dance and guitar – to create a new musical language that inspired generations of musicians after him.
The 1981 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, 42nd Street is the song and dance, American dream fable of Broadway, featuring the iconic songs “42nd Street,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and many more. This all-singing and all-tapping musical extravaganza includes a cast of nearly 60 people. Young Peggy Sawyer is fresh off the bus from small-town America and just another face in the chorus line on Broadway’s newest show. But when the leading lady gets injured, Peggy just might have the shot at the top she’s always dreamed of. Starring Bonnie Langford as Broadway diva Dorothy Brock alongside Tom Lister as the demanding director Julian Marsh, Clare Halse as the ingénue Peggy Sawyer and Philip Bertioli as Billy Lawlor, this revival of director-choreographer Gower Champion’s original production was recorded at the end of its 2018 blockbuster run in London’s West End, with musical staging and new choreography by Tony nominee Randy Skinner (“Dames at Sea”) and directed by Mark Bramble, co-author of the book for the original Broadway and West End productions and director of the 2001 Tony Award-winning revival.
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe star in a Tony Award-winning revival of the beloved musical about a British schoolteacher instructing the royal children of the King of Siam, featuring classic songs including “Hello, Young Lovers” and “Shall We Dance.”
Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant—and the growing competitive presence of a new generation of artists—Rothko takes on his greatest career challenge yet: to create a definitive series of paintings for the Philip Johnson-designed Four Seasons restaurant in architect Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Seagram Building.
For the first time in over four decades, Great Performances presents a Public Theater production recorded live at Free Shakespeare in the Park. After a highly successful, critically acclaimed run at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park, "Much Ado About Nothing" is a bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece featuring Danielle Brooks as Beatrice.
Rejoice with the Tony Award-winning high-heeled hit musical with songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein about an unexpected duo that embraces their differences to create an extraordinary line of shoes.
As the world welcomes a new decade, Great Performances continues the tradition of ringing in the New Year with the Vienna Philharmonic at Vienna’s famous Musikverein. Under the baton of three-time GRAMMY Award-winning guest conductor and Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons, the concert spotlights the talent of the Vienna State Ballet and the Vienna Philharmonic with beloved waltzes by Strauss and more. PBS favorite Hugh Bonneville (Masterpiece: Downton Abbey) returns as host for a third year, touring Musikverein’s archives, which hold the largest collection of Beethoven manuscripts in the world, the Beethoven museum and other locations associated with the legendary composer in honor of his 250th birthday (December 17, 2020).
The AARP Movies for Grownups multimedia franchise was established in 2002 to celebrate and encourage filmmaking with unique appeal to movie lovers with a grownup state of mind—and recognize the inspiring artists who make them.
Go behind-the-scenes of John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated one-man show, Latin History for Morons, a comic but pointed look at how Hispanic culture has been portrayed and repressed throughout American history.
Revisit the legendary career of the pioneering Broadway producer and director, winner of 21 Tony Awards, with this retrospective celebration featuring Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mandy Patinkin, John Kander, Susan Stroman, and Angela Lansbury.
In honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, Tanglewood—the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—dedicated its entire 2018 season to the iconic composer, conductor, performer, educator and humanitarian.
Great Performances continues the cherished tradition of ringing in the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein. Under the baton of guest conductor Christian Thielemann, the celebration features favorite Strauss Family waltzes and the dancing of the Vienna State Ballet. Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham, Hugh Bonneville, returns as host.
Reimagine Christoph Willibald Gluck’s enduringly popular opera based on the famous Greek myth. From Lyric Opera of Chicago in collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet. Starring Dmitry Korchak, Andriana Chuchman and Lauren Snouffer.
Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, Aida stars vocal powerhouses Anna Netrebko in the title role and Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris as they go toe to toe in this classic love story featuring a number of Verdi’s most celebrated arias. Aleksandrs Antonenko, Dmitry Belosselskiy and Ryan Speedo Green round out the cast. Sonja Frisell’s production is set in ancient Egypt, where Ethiopian princess Aida has been enslaved, but her royal identity remains a secret. The captured princess is in love with Radamès, the great warrior who dreams of leading the Egyptians to victory over the Ethiopians as a war between the two nations is on the horizon. Trouble arises as the Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris sets her sights on winning Radamès’s love, but suspects he is infatuated with another woman after the warrior does not return her feelings. A rivalry ensues when Aida confesses her love for Radamès and Amneris vows revenge. Torn between a love for one another and loyalty to their respective countries, Aida and Radamès must battle public duties and private feelings in this epic love story. Isabel Leonard hosts.
The songs of legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s are among the most sublime musical landscapes of human emotion ever created. Mitchell’s unique musical and lyrical gifts are an unprecedented marriage of intimacy and universality, creating a sound that is incomparable, yet relatable to all.
Join Great Performances for an international celebration of Andrea Bocelli’s 60th Birthday. World renowned for being equally at home in the worlds of popular music and opera, Great Performances spotlights both sides of the tenor’s career with a program of well-known arias spectacularly staged at Italy’s Arena di Verona. Also featured are songs from Bocelli’s new album, “Si,” performed at an all-white party in the picturesque Italian coastal town of Porto Venere. Bocelli’s son Matteo joins his father for a special performance of the duet “Fall on Me.”