Great Performances 40th Anniversary Brochure



In celebration of the series’ 40th anniversary, GREAT PERFORMANCES hosts an all-star homecoming on the stage of the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Through performance and remembrance, a stellar roster of diverse alumni share their personal stories of what GREAT PERFORMANCES means to them as America’s only ongoing primetime stage for all varieties of the performing arts. Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, Don Henley, David Hyde Pierce, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, New York City Ballet’s Peter Martins, Patti Austin with Take 6, Met Opera star Elina Garanca, and Michael Bublé are among the guest stars gathering to applaud the four decades of performing arts that have been available to “viewers like you” across America.



Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in March 2012, the beloved dance festival Jacob’s Pillow shows no signs of resting on its laurels. Narrated by director-choreographer Bill T. Jones, Dancing at Jacob’s Pillow: Never Stand Still chronicles the remarkable story of how of how an abandoned farm in western Massachusetts evolved into an international modern dance mecca. Richly illustrated with performances, the overview also features insightful interviews with leading dance figures including Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Suzanne Farrell and the iconic Merce Cunningham.

Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty marks the popular choreographer’s return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer’s masterworks that includes Nutcracker! and the international blockbuster Swan Lake featuring a cast of all-male swans. With rich gothic imagery, Bourne retells the timeless fairy tale of a princess cursed to sleep for one hundred years to create a supernatural love story that spans across the decades.

At an age when most artists’ best work is behind them—renowned choreographer Paul Taylor remains a vibrant, relevant and powerful force. Recorded during the Paul Taylor Company’s 2012 summer tour, Paul Taylor Dance Company In Paris showcases two of Taylor’s masterworks: Brandenburgs, featuring music from J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No.3 and No.6; and Beloved Renegade, his 2008 ballet inspired by the life and work of Walt Whitman set to Francis Poulenc’s Gloria.



In fall 2013, the original ‘game of thrones’ comes to GREAT PERFORMANCES in a lavishly produced miniseries The Hollow Crown from executive producers Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris. This epic film adaptation fuses four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V – into a continuing chronological narrative, and features riveting performances by Shakespeare veterans Jeremy Irons, Patrick Stewart, and David Suchet, as well as up-and-coming stars Ben Whishaw (The Hour), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey).



GREAT PERFORMANCES continues to be the primetime destination for the best in classical music with the world’s greatest orchestras, conductors and soloists. Be sure to join GP this summer when the Vienna Philharmonic returns to the magnificent gardens of Schonbrunn Palace for another magical summer night concert under the baton of guest conductor Lorin Maazel. And in opera, American composer Jake Heggie takes on the Melville classic Moby Dick in San Francisco Opera’s acclaimed new production starring tenor sensation Jay Hunter Morris as the obsessive Captain Ahab.



In Barrymore, stage and screen legend Christopher Plummer portrays the illustrious—and notorious—John Barrymore in an acclaimed film adaptation of William Luce’s play, capturing the famously combative star in a desperate last attempt to recreate his celebrated performance as Richard III. Stephen Sondheim’s breakthrough musical Company delights audiences once again in a New York Philharmonic gala concert performance starring Neil Patrick Harris as a perennial bachelor whose network of not-so-helpful married friends and lovers includes Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone, Christina Hendricks, Anika Noni Rose, Jon Cryer and Martha Plimpton. And on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, GP presents a special encore the landmark production starring Hugh Jackman in a star-making performance.



In the picturesque Italian seaside village of Portofino, international sensation Andrea Bocelli serenades audiences with an all-new concert special Love in Portofino, featuring popular love songs from the Mediterranean and across the world. Rock & roll royalty Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) and Boz Scaggs join forces to form their own new super group The Dukes of September, delighting audiences with high octane new performances of their greatest hits, along with other chart-topping favorites from the 60s and 70s. And the legendary Barbra Streisand makes an historic homecoming Back to Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center arena, marking Streisand’s first hometown concert since childhood. Also featured are special guests Il Volo, Chris Botti and Jason Gould, who joins his superstar mom for an emotional duet.


GREAT PERFORMANCES at The Met – Season Seven (2013)

GREAT PERFORMANCES at the Met returns to PBS for a seventh season of 12 lavish productions, presenting classic favorites alongside rarely performed gems, and featuring the world’s leading stars of opera. The new season offers several bold new productions, including Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and a provocative production of Verdi’s Rigoletto set in 1960s Las Vegas. Season highlights also include two Met Opera premieres: Thomas Adès’ The Tempest (with the composer at the podium) and a new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.

L’ELISIR D’AMORE (Donizetti) – New Production – PRIMETIME
Maurizio Benini; Anna Netrebko (Adina), Matthew Polenzani (Nemorino), Mariusz Kwiecien (Belcore), Ambrogio Maestri (Doctor Dulcamara)

Bartlett Sher (Production); Michael Yeargan (Set Designer); Catherine Zuber (Costume Designer); Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Designer)

OTELLO (Verdi)
Semyon Bychkov; Renée Fleming (Desdemona), Johan Botha (Otello), Michael Fabiano (Cassio), Falk Struckmann (Iago)

Elijah Moshinsky (Production); Michael Yeargan (Set Designer); Peter J. Hall (Costume Designer); Duane Schuler (Lighting Designer); Eleanor Fazan (Choreographer)

THE TEMPEST (Adès) – New Production
Thomas Adès; Audrey Luna (Ariel), Isabel Leonard (Miranda), Iestyn Davies (Trinculo), Alek Shrader (Ferdinand), Alan Oke (Caliban), William Burden (King of Naples), Toby Spence (Antonio), Simon Keenlyside (Prospero)

Robert Lepage (Production); Jasmine Catudal (Set Designer); Kym Barret (Costume Designer); Michel Beaulieu (Lighting Designer); David Leclerc (Video Designer)

Harry Bicket; Lucy Crowe (Servilia), Barbara Frittoli (Vitellia), Elīna Garanča (Sesto), Kate Lindsey (Annio),
Giuseppe Filianoti (Tito)

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (Production); Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (Set & Costume Designer); Gil Wechsler (Lighting Designer)

UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (Verdi) – New Production
Fabio Luisi; Karita Mattila (Amelia), Kathleen Kim (Oscar), Stephanie Blythe (Ulrica), Marcelo Álvarez (Gustavo III), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Anckarström)

David Alden (Production); Paul Steinberg (Set Designer); Brigitte Reiffenstuel (Costume Designer); Adam Silverman (Lighting Designer); Maxine Braham (Choreographer)

AIDA (Verdi)
Fabio Luisi; Liudmyla Monastyrska (Aida), Olga Borodina (Amneris), Roberto Alagna (Radamès), George Gagnidze (Amonasro), Štefan Kocán (Ramfis), Miklós Sebestyén (The King)

Sonja Frisell (Production); Gianni Quaranta (Set Designer); Dada Saligeri (Costume Designer); Gil Wechsler (Lighting Designer); Alexei Ratmansky (Choreographer)

Fabio Luisi; Deborah Voigt (Cassandra), Susan Graham (Dido), Marcello Giordani (Aeneas), Dwayne Croft (Coroebus), Kwangchul Youn (Narbal)

Francesca Zambello (Production); Maria Bjørnson (Set Designer); Anita Yavich (Costume Designer); James F. Ingalls (Lighting Designer); Doug Varone (Choreographer)

MARIA STUARDA (Donizetti) – New Production
Maurizio Benini; Joyce DiDonato (Maria Stuarda), Elza van den Heever (Elisabetta), Francesco Meli (Leicester), Joshua Hopkins (Cecil), Matthew Rose (Talbot)

David McVicar (Production); John Macfarlane (Set & Costume Designer); Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Designer); Leah Hausman (Choreographer)

RIGOLETTO (Verdi) – New Production – PRIMETIME
Michele Mariotti; Diana Damrau (Gilda), Oksana Volkova (Maddalena), Piotr Beczala (Duke of Mantua), Željko Lučić (Rigoletto), Štefan Kocán (Sparafucile)

Michael Mayer (Production); Christine Jones (Set Designer); Susan Hilferty (Costume Designer); Kevin Adams (Lighting Designer); Steven Hoggett (Choreographer)

PARSIFAL (Wagner) – New Production
Daniele Gatti; Katarina Dalayman (Kundry), Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal), Peter Mattei (Amfortas), Evgeny Nikitin (Klingsor), René Pape (Gurnemanz)

François Girard (Production); Michael Levine (Set Designer); Thibault Vancraenenbroeck (Costume Designer); David Finn (Lighting Designer); Peter Flaherty (Video Designer); Carolyn Choa (Choreographer); Serge Lamothe (Dramaturg)

Marco Armiliato; Eva-Maria Westbroek (Francesca), Marcello Giordani (Paolo), Robert Brubaker (Malatestino), Mark Delavan (Gianciotto)

Piero Faggioni (Production); Ezio Frigerio (Set Designer); Franca Squarciapino (Costume Designer); Gil Wechsler (Lighting Designer); Donald Mahler (Choreographer)

GIULIO CESARE (Handel) – New Production
Harry Bicket; Natalie Dessay (Cleopatra), Alice Coote (Sesto), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), David Daniels (Giulio Cesare), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Guido Loconsolo (Achilla)

David McVicar (Production); Robert Jones (Set Designer); Brigitte Reiffenstuel (Costume Designer); Paule Constable (Lighting Designer); Andrew George (Choreographer)

Download the Great Performances 40th Anniversary Brochure.