Great Performances “The Magic of Spirituals”

Friday, Feb. 24 At 8 P.M.

Glimpse behind the curtain at opera legends Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, featuring performance clips and new interviews with opera star Angel Blue, Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and more.

About the episode

Discover the behind-the-scenes story of Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, in Great Performances: The Magic of Spirituals, as part of Black History Month.

With legendary African American contralto Marian Anderson in attendance, many wondered if the two singers would compete or join forces and sing together. Showcasing extended excerpts of Norman and Battle in performance, the documentary examines the preparation required and the historic concert’s enduring impact.

New interviews and reminiscences are featured from the concert’s producer Peter Gelb (currently Met Opera General Manager), soprano Angel Blue, author and playwright Darryl Pinckney, arranger and composer Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, Harlem Gospel Singers’ founder Queen Esther Marrow, Fisk Jubilee Singers Musical Director Paul T. Kwami, and jazz and opera singer Jocelyn B. Smith.

Select this program when you support Arizona PBS and receive a concert CD and a pair of headphones.

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