Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Philip Glass, And Christopher Hampton To Explore 19th And 20th Century America At War Through Film And Opera In Fall 2007

"PBS and WETA Washington, DC, announced today one of the most comprehensive community engagement initiatives ever created by public television to accompany the national airing of Ken Burns's film, THE WAR, an exploration of World War II told through the experience of individuals in four American towns. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is funding the community engagement effort, including the local programming and other initiatives. The project will include grants to public television stations in all 50 states to produce local programming as well as community engagement and educational outreach initiatives.

THE WAR, a co-production of Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC, is a seven-episode, 14-hour film directed and produced by Burns and his long-time co-producer, Lynn Novick. The film will premiere on Sunday, September 23, 2007, on PBS.

"We could not be more pleased with the level of outreach PBS, WETA and CPB have committed to our project," Ken Burns said. "World War II consumed the entire country, but in very different ways. We are hopeful that through local programming many of the stories of the war that go above and beyond what could be included in any one film are documented and that people throughout the country have an opportunity to share their experiences."

John Boland, PBS Chief Content Officer, said, "Community engagement is a major part of what public television stations do everyday. PBS is unique among broadcasters because our local stations can tap into their deep community roots to give even greater meaning to national programming, and this is happening on an unprecedented scale with THE WAR. Our goal is to create a national discussion about the experience of World War II -- really about the human experience of war -- by allowing people throughout the country to speak directly to their family members and neighbors and share their stories through the work of their local public television stations."

WETA, the Washington, DC, PBS station, will award the CPB-funded grants to public television stations in all 50 states. WETA is expected to announce the grant recipients this March. In collaboration with a diversity of local community groups, public television stations will reach out to a broad range of veterans and their families to capture the stories that make up the rich mosaic of America. In total, public television stations will target thousands of individual stories to be shared locally on-air, online and through community events and activities." ...

PBS and WETA Washington, DC, Announce Unprecedented National Community Engagement Campaign to Accompany Ken Burns's Film on World War II Press Release February 22, 2007



An opera by Philip Glass
Libretto by Christopher Hampton
Music by Philip Glass

Fri. October 5, 8 pmWed. October 10, 7:30 pmSun. October 14, 2 pmTue. October 16, 8 pmThu. October 18, 7:30 pmSat. October 20, 8 pm

It was a turning point in American history, and the climax of a powerful personal drama about two proud men. After four years and the loss of 600,000 lives, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to his Union counterpart, General Ulysses S. Grant, in Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, bringing the Civil War to an end.

The intense emotions of this landmark day and the historic weeks leading up to it are compellingly conveyed by the hypnotic music of Philip Glass in this highly anticipated world premiere. The dazzling creative team includes Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton (librettist), two-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe (director) and acclaimed champion of new music Dennis Russell Davies (conductor).

Robert E. Lee: Dwayne Croft
Ulysses S. Grant: Andrew Shore*
Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies*
Director: George C. Wolfe*
Set Designer: Riccardo Hernandez*
Costume Designer: Paul Tazewell*

*San Francisco Opera debut

San Francisco Opera Web-site

German World War II tower on Jersey coast.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons. With thanks.


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