Great Performances is proud to commemorate Women’s History Month with three special programs celebrating the remarkable achievements of a diverse roster of creative women: Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own, and the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female interpretation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration
Beginning March on PBS (check local listings)
In this special concert, world-renowned artists gather to celebrate the singular artistry and 75th birthday of nine-time Grammy Award winner Joni Mitchell. The all-star lineup features Brandi Carlile; Glen Hansard; Emmylou Harris; Norah Jones; Chaka Khan; Diana Krall; Kris Kristofferson; Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro and Xochi Flores; Graham Nash; Seal; James Taylor; and Rufus Wainwright. Songs performed include “Court and Spark,” “A Case of You,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” and “Both Sides Now.”
Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own
Friday, March 22 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
With her unforgettable voice, era-defining Swedish dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson became the face of opera in the 1950s through the 1970s. She was best known for her signature roles in operas by Wagner, Strauss, and Puccini including Tristan und Isolde, Elektra, Turandot, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Tannhäuser, and Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle). Showcasing her superb soprano voice paired with her outsized personality and wit, this illuminating documentary about Nilsson’s life in the arts features rare television and archival footage highlighting her remarkable talents.
Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Set in a women’s prison, Julius Caesar offers a powerful dramatization of the catastrophic consequences of a political leader’s extension of power beyond constitutional confines through an all-female lens. In this acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production directed Phyllida Lloyd (“The Iron Lady,” “Mamma Mia!”), Shakespeare’s famous discourse on power, loyalty and tragic idealism is heightened against the backdrop of female incarceration.