Natalie Portman hosts the gala opening night concert and Itzhak Perlman is the special guest in a tribute to John Williams, the prolific film composer. Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director conducts.
Race relations in America, told through a complex relationship between a widow and her chauffeur. Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Driving Miss Daisy, a 2010 hit on Broadway, comes to television with five-time Tony Award winner and three-time Academy Award nominee Angela Lansbury and two-time Tony Award winner and Academy Award winner James Earl Jones as Daisy Werthan and Hoke Colburn, respectively. Actor Boyd Gaines (a four-time Tony Award winner) reprises his Broadway role as Boolie Werthan.
Valery Gergiev conducts the double bill, which is a co-production with Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera. Anna Netrebko stars as the title character in Iolanta, with Piotr Beczala and Aleksei Markov as Vaudémont and Robert, two rivals for her love. Nadja Michael sings the central role of Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, with Mikhail Petrenko as her mysterious and menacing new husband.
When Anna Deavere Smith’s drama Twilight: Los Angeles premiered in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, it made national news for its unique and unflinching look at the fallout from the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Not only did Smith capture the tumultuous aftermath of the Rodney King trial verdict, she created a searing, innovative and truly American piece of theater.
The start of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons’ tenure with the orchestra features two of the conductor’s close colleagues: his wife, the acclaimed Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais, and the outstanding German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, each singing selections from the Wagnerian and Italian verismo repertoires. The inaugural concert was filmed in September 2014.
Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo stars as the tortured poet unlucky in love in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann on Great Performances at the Met. Offenbach based the opera on three stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann. The production is by Broadway director Bartlett Sher. Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the broadcast.