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.
James Levine leads Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (“The Master-Singer of Nuremberg”) in its first Great Performances at the Met broadcast. Michael Volle is the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, starring with Johan Botha as Walther, Annette Dasch as Eva, Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser, Hans-Peter König as Pogner, Paul Appleby as David, and Karen Cargill as Magdalene. Renée Fleming hosts.
The concert of her Grammy-nominated album features Lennox’s takes on iconic American compositions by such artists as Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Billie Holiday and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, as she pays tribute to some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, interpreting compositions that have moved her, stripping them down to their emotional and musical core and making them her own.
Mark Morris’s signature work comes to television for the first time, hosted by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris garnered international fame for this piece, set to George Frideric Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with poetry by Milton. This performance was filmed July 2014 at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.