From Andrea Andermann comes a visually and musically spectacular production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, filmed last September on breathtaking locations in and around the Renaissance splendor of Mantua, Italy, in the places and hours specified in the libretto. Starring tenor Placido Domingo in the traditionally baritone role of 16th-century court jester Rigoletto, Julia Novikova as his innocent daughter Gilda, Vittorio Grigolo as the womanizing Duke and Ruggero Raimondi as the assassin Sparafucile, the production is directed by Marco Bellocchio, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Zubin Mehta.
In the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the private life and public career of Joan Baez, this film examines her history as a recording artist and performer as well as her unwavering journey as the conscience of a generation. Following her 2008/2009 world tour, the filmmakers captured Baez in performance and in intimate conversations with individuals whose lives parallel hers. From a reunion with Vaclav Havel in Slovakia to a stop in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to revisit the scene of her trip to the war-torn city, to Nashville, Tennessee, where she joined Steve Earle (collaborator on Baez’ 2008 Grammy-nominated album Day After Tomorrow ), the film allows viewers an unprecedented level of access to Baez, who is joined in the film by Bob Dylan, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Reverend Jesse Jackson, among others. Rich archival footage is woven into the story, allowing viewers to experience scenes from her life, including Baez as a teenager performing at the historic Club 47, Martin Luther King Jr. outside a California prison where he offered his support after she was jailed for staging a protest and her controversial visit to North Vietnam during the war. The grit of the film is Baez’ power as a musician, from her tentative teenage years in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, coffee houses to the remarkable 50-year career that followed.
The Kansas City Symphony performs patriotic music in the annual holiday concert at Union Station, which is capped off with a fireworks display. This is an encore of The Memorial Day 2011 concert.