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Great Performances Celebrates 50th Anniversary Season Beginning in September on PBS

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New season features Josh Groban Radio City concert, Richard III starring Danai Gurira from The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park and more

This September, Great Performances raises the curtain on its 50th anniversary season with a diverse slate of programming spanning performing arts genres beginning in September. Programs include the recent cross-disciplinary ballet and spoken word performance Great Performances: Black Lucy and the Bard from Nashville Ballet, now available to stream; opera is featured in the world broadcast premiere of Great Performances: Intimate Apparel also available to stream; drama takes center stage in Great Performances: Richard III from The Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park; classical music is explored in the fourth season of the music documentary series Great Performances: Now Hear This; and much more. To mark this milestone, the season will also present an all-star gala concert premiering in spring 2023, for which details will be announced at a later date. This new season of Great Performances airs concurrently with the 17th season of Great Performances at the Met beginning in February 2023.

“Our mission has always been to provide access to world-class performing arts to millions of Americans nationwide,” said Executive Producer David Horn, who has been with the series since 1979. “We are proud of what the series has achieved these past 50 years, and we look forward to many more.”

Since it premiered in 1972 on PBS, this preeminent performing arts series has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Throughout its 50 years, Great Performances has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six George Foster Peabody Awards.

50th Season Programming:

Great Performances: Black Lucy and the Bard

Now streaming at pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Explore Shakespeare’s mysterious love life through the perspective of the “Dark Lady” in this work from Nashville Ballet based on poetry by Caroline Randall Williams and featuring an original score by GRAMMY winner Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi.

Great Performances: Intimate Apparel

Now streaming at pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Experience the story of seamstress Esther who begins writing to a mysterious suitor laboring on the Panama Canal. Featuring a new score by Ricky Ian Gordon and a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, this powerful opera is directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher.

Great Performances: NY Phil Reopening of David Geffen Hall

Premieres Friday, November 4 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

The New York Philharmonic celebrates the reopening of its fully renovated home at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall with a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony conducted by the Phil’s Music Director Jaap van Zweden and featuring soprano Joélle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor Issachah Savage and bass Davóne Tines. Also featured is a new work by Puerto Rican composer Angélica Negrón.

Great Performances: Josh Groban’s Great Big Radio City Show

Premieres Friday, November 25 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings)

World renowned baritone Josh Groban returns to New York City’s legendary Radio City Music Hall performing songs from many musical genres alongside special guest stars including Cyndi Lauper, Denée Benton and New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck.

Great Performances – From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2023

Premieres Sunday, January 1, 2023 on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

PBS favorite Hugh Bonneville returns to host the annual celebratory concert at Vienna’s  Musikverein for a performance of Strauss family waltzes conducted by Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and featuring performances by the Vienna State Ballet.

Great Performances: The Magic of Spirituals (w.t.)

Premieres Friday, February 24 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

This documentary examines the behind-the-scenes story of Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert of spirituals at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, with extensive performance clips and new interviews with opera star Angel Blue, Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and more.

Great Performances: Movies for Grownups Awards with AARP the Magazine

Premieres Friday, February 17 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Celebrating the best films and performances of 2022 that resonate with older viewers, these Awards honor and encourage filmmaking a grownup state of mind.

Great Performances: Remember This

Premieres Spring 2023 on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Adapted from the play by Clark Young and Derek Goldman, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn stars as World War II Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski in this genre-defying one-man story of a reluctant hero and Holocaust witness.

Great Performances: Now Hear This – Series 4

Premieres Spring 2023 on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

In this fourth series of the critically acclaimed classical music series, host Scott Yoo returns to explore the wonders and challenges of creation and inspiration. Featuring stories of genius, madness and virtuosic composer-performers, this season spotlights the music of Robert Schumann, Isaac Albéniz, Astor Piazzolla and others as well as the cultural influences of Spain and Latin America.

Great Performances: 50th Anniversary Celebration (w.t.)

Premieres Spring 2023 on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Enjoy an all-star gala celebration concert to mark the Great Performances’ golden anniversary on PBS.

Great Performances: Richard III

Premieres Spring 2023 on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

From the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park, Tony nominee Robert O’Hara directs this bold new production staged at the outdoor Delacorte Theater starring Danai Gurira.

Great Performances: Vienna Summer Night Concert 2023

Premieres Summer 2023 on PBS, pbs.org/gperf and the PBS Video app

Continuing the annual tradition, the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic is joined by a guest soloist to perform an open-air concert under the direction of a guest conductor from the gardens of Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace.

 

Great Performances is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer, Mitch Owgang is supervising producer and Joan Hershey is senior producer; Stephanie Dawson, Bill Kabel and Julie Leonard are producers; Allison Hoag is production assistant, Julia Corbett is associate producer for digital content and Harris Pacey is senior production coordinator. David Horn is executive producer. Great Performances is available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Series funding for Great Performances is provided by The Joseph & Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Thea Petschek Ierovolino Foundation,  Jody and John Arnhold, the Abra Prentice Foundation, LLC, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Seton J. Melvin Charitable, the Jack Lawrence Trust, Leni and Peter May, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus and Lorraine A. Egan and the late Richard To Egan. Corporate support for the Vienna Philharmonic Concerts is provided by Rolex.

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