PBS Great Performances to Air ELLIS ISLAND: THE DREAM OF AMERICA WITH PACIFIC SYMPHONY
Great Performances and Pacific Symphony, led by music director Carl St.Clair, pay tribute to America's history with a performance of composer Peter Boyer's Grammy-nominated contemporary classical work "Ellis Island: The Dream of America," at a free, public screening in Orange County, June 29, 8:00 p.m. at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University.
Great Performances - Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony celebrates the historic American immigrant experience and premieres nationwide Friday, June 29 at 10:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month. The program will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.
Using texts from the Ellis Island Oral History Project and historic Ellis Island images in combination with an original orchestral score, "Ellis Island" features seven, first-hand stories of immigrants dramatically interpreted by guest stars Barry Bostwick, Camryn Manheim, Michael Nouri, Lesley Fera, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Samantha Sloyan and Kira Sternbach. Over 40 percent of the U.S. population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, and immigration remains at the forefront of global news. Great Performances - Ellis Island captures the emotions, elation and uncertainties of America's epic immigrant experience.
The special was recorded by Great Performances before capacity audiences, including nearly 40 recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2017 during Pacific Symphony's 17th American Composers Festival. Peter Boyer's "Ellis Island: The Dream of America" premiered in 2002 to great acclaim. It has since received nearly 200 performances by more than 80 orchestras and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2005.
A co-production of Pacific Symphony and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with PBS SoCal, Great Performances - Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony was directed for stage and television by Matthew Diamond and produced by John Walker; with Shawn Murphy as audio producer, production design by Matt Steinbrenner, lighting design by Bob Barnhart and projection design by Perry Freeze. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
Pacific Symphony president, John Forsyte commented, "This screening of the U.S. broadcast premiere of Peter Boyer's 'Ellis Island: The Dream of America with Pacific Symphony' on PBS' Great Performances is the culmination of a year that has been marked with brilliant artistic milestones. In April the orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut to critical acclaim. And the following month the Symphony was warmly received during its first-ever tour of China." He continued, "These significant landmarks, along with the national PBS special, are broadening Pacific Symphony's audiences while increasing its national and international reputation. We thank Paul Musco and Musco Center for the Arts for providing world-class facilities to Pacific Symphony for this special occasion."
Tickets for June 29th Screening
The June 29 screening program will include brief interviews with composer Peter Boyer and Nasser Kazeminy, Chairman of the Ellis Island Honors Society. Complimentary general admission tickets can be obtained by calling the Pacific Symphony box office at (714) 755-5799. Orders placed by June 21 will be mailed out. Orders after that date will be held for will call at the Musco Center box office. After the 8:00 p.m. screening there will be a meet-and-greet with the composer Peter Boyer in the lobby. This event will be available to everyone who attends the screening.