‘Great Performances’ highlights opera trailblazer Birgit Nilsson

“Great Performances” returns to Sunday afternoons with matinee shows from legendary female performers and a peak behind the curtain at their lives.

On Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m., celebrate the life of Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson, the face of opera from the 1950s-70s. This performance-documentary showcases her greatest roles, including “Elektra” and “The Ring Cycle,” plus interviews with Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Nina Stemme, Jonas Kaufmann and more.

With her unforgettable voice, Nilsson was best known for her groundbreaking turns in Wagner, Strauss and Puccini operas such as “Tristan und Isolde,” “Turandot,” “Die Frau Ohne Schatten” and “Tannhäuser.” Showcasing her powerful voice paired with her outsized personality and wit, this illuminating documentary about Nilsson’s life in the arts features rare television and archival footage highlighting her remarkable talents.

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