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Arts & Culture

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Ellis Island: The Dream Of America With Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony performs "Ellis Island: The Dream of America" by composer Peter Boyer at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Courtesy of Joshua Sudock
Pacific Symphony performs "Ellis Island: The Dream of America" by composer Peter Boyer at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Stream now with KPBS Passport or tune in Friday, July 3, 2020 at 9:30 p.m. on KPBS 2

Features Dramatic Performances by Barry Bostwick, Camryn Manheim, Michael Nouri and Other Guest Stars

THIRTEEN’s 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 “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” a Grammy-nominated contemporary classical work celebrating the historic American immigrant experience.

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 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.

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Join The Conversation:

GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter. #GreatPerformancesPBS

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @StatueEllisFdn on Twitter. #EllisIslandImmigrant

Credits:

A co-production of Pacific Symphony and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with PBS SoCal. 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. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.