This opera recounts the true story of the World War I Christmas Eve truce. For one magical evening on December 24, 1914, French, German and Scottish soldiers laid down their arms and joined in a spontaneous celebration reflecting the peace, fellowship and humanity of the season. Based on the Academy Award-nominated film Joyeux Noel, this two-act production was commissioned by the Minnesota Opera and premiered in November 2012 to national acclaim, including a Pulitzer Prize for Music for composer Kevin Puts. With a libretto by Mark Campbell, Silent Night is sung in French, English, German, Italian and Latin with English subtitles.
The fictional Sherlock Holmes was a scientist who used chemistry, bloodstains and minute traces of evidence to catch criminals. In an era when eyewitness reports and “smoking gun” evidence were needed to convict criminals, Sherlock Holmes’ crime-scene methods were revolutionary. Forensic scientists, crime historians and Sherlockian experts reveal for the first time the astonishing impact Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation had on the development of real-life criminal investigation and forensic techniques. With a mix of interviews, dramatic reconstruction and archives, the program tells the story of the impact and legacy of the most famous crime fighter in history.
We’ve long been fascinated by super heroes, but why? According to Bill Rosemann, an editor at Marvel comics, it’s because they are relatable. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Rosemann about what makes a super hero super and why they’ve captivated us for decades. Rosemann also talks about Marvel’s newest character, Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American character from New Jersey who is Muslim.
Then, in the second half of this hour on Focus, Meadows talks with Mark Hughes, a comic book aficionado and contributing writer for Forbes. We’ll talk with him about the rise of the super hero on screen and how companies like DC and Marvel have expanded their stories across the media landscape.
As the world warms, the threat from rising sea levels poses an alarming potential for disaster. Some models now project a one-meter sea level rise over the next century, which could displace millions of people, from Florida to Bangladesh, and require trillions of dollars' investment in coastal infrastructure. But these models don't reflect recent findings that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an ever faster rate. What explains this alarming acceleration, and just how can we figure out what's happening inside a gigantic wall of ice? In collaboration with National Geographic, NOVA follows the exploits of acclaimed photojournalist James Balog and a scientific team as they deploy time-lapse cameras in risky, remote locations in the Arctic, Alaska and the Alps. Their goal is to create a unique photo archive of melting glaciers that could provide a key to understanding their runaway behavior. They're grappling with blizzards, fickle technology and perilous climbs up craggy precipices to anchor cameras that must withstand sub-zero temperatures and winds up to 170 mph. In this high-action adventure, NOVA investigates the mystery of the mighty ice sheets that will affect the fate of coastlines around the world.
Sir James Galway has quite rightly been called a “living legend of the flute,” one of the most recognizable classical musicians performing today. He’s coming to Urbana Thursday for a performance with his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and he’ll be Kevin kelly's guest on the Tuesday edition of Live and Local. We’ll also hear about this weekend’s production by Illini Student Musicals of The Wedding Singer at the University of Illinois.
Hear My Train a Comin’ unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell while sourcing an extensive archive of photographs, drawings, family letters and more to provide new insight into the musician’s personality and genius.
A pioneering electric guitarist, Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942 — Sept. 18, 1970) had only four years of mainstream exposure and recognition, but his influential music and riveting stage presence left an enduring legacy. Hear My Train A Comin’ traces the guitarist’s remarkable journey from his hardscrabble beginnings in Seattle, through his stint as a U.S. Army paratrooper, unknown sideman to R&B stars such as Little Richard, Joey Dee and the Isley Brothers and his discovery and ultimate international stardom.
Presented as part of a year-long celebration around his 70th birthday year, the two-hour Hear My Train a Comin’ uses Hendrix’s own words to tell his story, illustrated through archival interviews and illuminated with commentary from family, well-known friends and musicians including Paul McCartney, band members Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, long-time sound engineer Eddie Kramer; Steve Winwood, Vernon Reid, Billy Gibbons, Dweezil Zappa and Dave Mason.
The film also features revealing glimpses into Jimi and his era from the three women closest to him: Linda Keith (the girlfriend who introduced Jimi to future manager Chas Chandler), Faye Pridgon (who befriended Hendrix in Harlem in the early 1960s) and Colette Mimram (one of the era’s most influential fashion trendsetters who provided inspiration for Hendrix’s signature look and created such memorable stage costumes as the beaded jacket Hendrix famously wore at Woodstock). The film details the meteoric rise of the Experience, the creation of his groundbreaking music, the building of Electric Lady Studios, his state-of-the-art recording facility in Greenwich Village and concludes with poignant footage from his final performance in Germany in September 1970, just 12 days before his death at age 27.
U.S. Army Captain Luis Montalvan was a highly decorated member of the U.S. military when he returned home from two tours of duty in Iraq. The trauma he encountered overseas, however, started to take its toll as he settled back into his life stateside. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Montalvan about his struggle to return to civilian life after his time in the service and how Capt. Montalvan’s relationship with his service dog “Tuesday,” restored him both psychologically and spiritually.
Then for the last few minutes of this hour on Focus, we’ll hear about University Laboratory High School’s radio documentary project. WILL’s Dave Dickey, who has been with the project since its inception, and a student who participated in this year’s production, Sunjay Koshy, joins host Jim Meadows. Short stories that accompany an hour-long radio documentary will air at the end of Focus all this week, and the full production that features the stories of several veterans of the U.S. military from central Illinois will air next Monday, Nov. 11, in its entirety during the show.
Are you a veteran, or someone who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, who’s found solace in a pet? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus.
GREAT PERFORMANCES partnered with San Francisco Opera, one of the nation’s leading opera companies, to record Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s adaptation of the classic Herman Melville novel Moby Dick. Filmed fresh from his headline-making appearance as a last-minute replacement in the title role of Siegfried in the Met Opera’s epic Ring Cycle, Jay Hunter Morris starred as the obsessive Captain Ahab, delivering a bravura performance.
We’ll present A Classical All-Hallows Eve. Join host Vincent Trauth for the most funereal, dark, lugubrious, and perhaps even ‘scary’ classical music around. On the program…Liszt’s Totentanz, Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead, Chopin’s Funeral March and others.