Showcasing a diverse variety of renowned artists and performing arts companies is what Great Performances does best, and this past year was no exception. From new productions of timeless classics to innovative performances by emerging artists, the long-running series brought viewers the best of the best.
With the Great White Way still dark, Great Performances raised the curtain on its fourth annual “Broadway’s Best” lineup, shining a spotlight on the best of Broadway with One Man, Two Guvnors (with the effervescent James Corden in his Tony Award-winning performance); Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles; Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn; and Lea Salonga in Concert. A Fiddler on the Roof “Cast-Off” tournament on Facebook — where people voted for their ultimate dream cast of the musical — engaged 30% more fans than last year’s “Showtune Showdown,” proving tournaments like this are a great way to engage with dedicated viewers.
Violinist and conductor Scott Yoo returned to explore beloved works by classical composers in a second season of Now Hear This. Speaking of classical, Great Performances traveled back in time to visit the remarkable performances of soprano Maria Callas, pianist Vladimir Horowitz and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s historic 1973 tour to China.
“Beethoven in Beijing [is] a treat… It’s an uncharacteristically historic episode in the long-running series.” – Wall Street Journal
In April, PBS and The WNET Group launched #PBSForTheArts, a campaign celebrating the resiliency of arts in America during COVID-19. Fans were treated to new adaptations of Romeo & Juliet and Anton Checkov’s Uncle Vanya — both filmed in theater spaces under COVID-19 restrictions – and received an inside look at how arts organizations nationwide innovated during the shut-down in The Arts Interrupted.
Fan favorite Andrea Bocelli returned with a new special straight from Malta. A clip of the tenor performing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” amassed more than 800,000 video views and 6,001 comments on Facebook, a record for the Great Performances page!
And don’t forget about the incredible concert performances broadcast to your homes: the Vienna Philharmonic dazzled us into 2021 with a performance from the world-famous Musikverein, and returned with classic melodies in the summer from the Schönbrunn Palace Gardens. Great Performances delivered a salute to the early years of Fleetwood Mac, and once again teamed up with The Recording Academy® for a GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends, and for the 5th time, partnered with AARP The Magazine for the Movies for Grownups Awards.
Recorded prior to the pandemic, Great Performances at The Met presented Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer and The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. During the production shutdown, Metropolitan Opera stars including Renée Fleming, Jonas Kaufman, Lise Davidsen, Aleksandra Kurzak & Roberto Alanga and Anna Netrebko performed signature arias and duets in intimate concerts from a variety of international locations.
“The Met Stars Live in Concert series has been an invaluable way to keep artists and opera lovers connected when they both sorely needed it.” – Peter Gelb, Metropolitan Opera General Manager
To learn more about Great Performances‘ robust offerings, visit their website.