The BEST episodes of Great Performances

Every episode of Great Performances ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Great Performances!

Great Performances, a television series devoted to the performing arts, has been telecast on PBS since 1972. The show is produced by WNET in New York City. It is one of the longest running performing arts anthologies on television, second only to Hallmark Hall of Fame. Great Performances presents concerts, ballet, opera, an occasional documentary, and plays. The series has also won many television awards, including an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and an Image Award, with nods from the Directors Guild of America and the Cinema Audio Society.

Last Updated: 2/4/2023Network:PBS
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Les Misérables in Concert
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10.00
2 votes

#1 - Les Misérables in Concert

Season 24 - Episode 10 - Aired 3/1/1996

In celebration of the megahit musical's 10th anniversary, a dream team of Les Miz singers unites at Royal Albert Hall to perform such beloved numbers as 'I Dreamed a Dream', 'Master of the House', and 'Who Am I'. The evening, which features Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, Lea Salonga as Eponine, and Philip Quast as Javert, culminates in an encore of 17 Valjeans from around the world singing 'Do You Hear the People Singing' in their native languages.

Great Performances at the Met: Iphigénie en Tauride
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1 votes

#2 - Great Performances at the Met: Iphigénie en Tauride

Season 38 - Episode 15 - Aired 5/29/2011

Mick Fleetwood & Friends
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1 votes

#3 - Mick Fleetwood & Friends

Season 48 - Episode 19 - Aired 6/5/2021

Experience an all-star concert honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and founding member Peter Green at the London Palladium featuring artists including Pete Townshend, Steven Tyler, David Gilmour, Noel Gallagher, Christine McVie and more.

Watch Now:Amazon
Now Hear This - Scarlatti: Man Out of Time
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1 votes

#4 - Now Hear This - Scarlatti: Man Out of Time

Season 47 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/4/2019

Join Scott in Spain and Morocco to discover the greatest composer you’ve never heard of: Domenico Scarlatti. He was the finest keyboard player in Europe, hired by the Queen of Spain as her personal instructor. Scarlatti incorporated the sounds of Spain – Moorish, Jewish, Gypsy, folk, dance and guitar – to create a new musical language that inspired generations of musicians after him.

Watch Now:Amazon
Great Performances at the Met: La Fille du Régiment
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1 votes

#5 - Great Performances at the Met: La Fille du Régiment

Season 46 - Episode 26 - Aired 7/7/2019

Watch Donizetti’s romantic comedy about a budding military relationship starring Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena in a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks. Special guest Kathleen Turner makes her Met debut. Enrique Mazzola conducts.

Now Hear This - The Riddle of Bach
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1 votes

#6 - Now Hear This - The Riddle of Bach

Season 47 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/27/2019

Scott Yoo goes to Germany to learn Bach’s sonatas and partitas, widely considered among the greatest works ever written for solo violin. There, he discovers a riddle Bach left behind in his portrait. In trying to solve it, Scott discovers that Bach based his melodic style on Vivaldi and his rhythms on the music of the French court, which leads to a spectacular finale in Paris.

Watch Now:Amazon
Now Hear This - Vivaldi: Something Completely Different
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1 votes

#7 - Now Hear This - Vivaldi: Something Completely Different

Season 47 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/20/2019

Scott Yoo crosses Northern Italy, chasing the story of one of the most recorded pieces of music in the world, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and discovers how the composer merged religious melodies, opera and a new level of violin playing to launch a new era of music.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Fred Astaire Songbook
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1 votes

#8 - The Fred Astaire Songbook

Season 19 - Episode 4 - Aired 3/8/1991

Audrey Hepburn hosts this loving look back at Fred Astaire and the composers who wrote legendary songs for him.

Directors: David Heeley
Great Performances at the Met: Elektra
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2 votes

#9 - Great Performances at the Met: Elektra

Season 43 - Episode 15 - Aired 9/18/2016

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts patrice Chéreau’s acclaimed staging of Elektra, with Nina Stemme in the title role on Great Performances at the Met

Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2016
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1 votes

#10 - Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2016

Season 43 - Episode 16 - Aired 9/30/2016

Led by guest conductor Semyon Bychkov for the very first time, the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic returns for its 13th open-air concert, with a program of French orchestral classics, in the magnificent gardens of Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace.

Oedipus Rex
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27 votes

#11 - Oedipus Rex

Season 21 - Episode 15 - Aired 5/26/1993

Directors: Julie Taymor
Great Performances at the Met: Semiramide
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9.50
2 votes

#12 - Great Performances at the Met: Semiramide

Season 45 - Episode 22 - Aired 7/8/2018

Experience Rossini’s masterpiece starring Angela Meade as Queen Semiramide and Elizabeth DeShong as Arsace, the Queen’s fiancé and her own son. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov and Ryan Speedo Green complete the cast. Maurizio Benini conducts.

Great Performances at the Met: Norma
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1 votes

#13 - Great Performances at the Met: Norma

Season 45 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/26/2018

Conducted by Carlo Rizzi, Bellini's ``Norma'' features Sondra Radvanovsky, Joyce DiDonato and Joseph Calleja.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn - The Broadway Musical
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1 votes

#14 - Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn - The Broadway Musical

Season 45 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/24/2017

The festive Roundabout Theatre Company production of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn - The Broadway Musical comes to PBS Friday, November 24 at 9 p.m. (check local listings). The musical continues the Great Performances marathon within the Broadway’s Best lineup on PBS.

Great Performances at the Met: L’Elisir d’Amore
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1 votes

#15 - Great Performances at the Met: L’Elisir d’Amore

Season 45 - Episode 17 - Aired 4/29/2018

In Bartlett Sher’s production, the beautiful and wealthy Adina draws the attention of Nemorino, the poor but good-hearted country boy, as well as Sergeant Belcore, who immediately asks Adina to marry him. To win her love, Nemorino spends all his money on a magic elixir of love sold by the traveling “doctor” Dulcamara. Believing he is irresistible to Adina after drinking the potion, Nemorino feigns indifference, but his actions leave her surprised, hurt and ready to wed Belcore. At the wedding, a single tear on Adina’s cheek is all Nemorino needs to know her true feelings, and at long last, they confess their love for one another. Domingo Hindoyan conducts. Soprano Susanna Phillips hosts.

Hitman: David Foster & Friends
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1 votes

#16 - Hitman: David Foster & Friends

Season 45 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/25/2017

David Foster has generated some of the biggest hits in popular music, and collaborated with a veritable “Who’s Who” of superstars in a career spanning more than three decades. In this special encore presentation, Foster’s achievements, including 14 Grammy Awards, are celebrated in an all-star concert.

Great Performances at the Met: Luisa Miller
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1 votes

#17 - Great Performances at the Met: Luisa Miller

Season 45 - Episode 25 - Aired 8/12/2018

Verdi's "Luisa Miller,'' a tragedy of fatherly love, features Placido Domingo, Sonya Yoncheva and Piotr Beczala.

Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2018
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1 votes

#18 - Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2018

Season 45 - Episode 26 - Aired 8/17/2018

Enjoy the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic’s annual open-air concert from Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace, featuring conductor Valery Gergiev and internationally acclaimed soprano Anna Netrebko as a guest soloist.

She Loves Me
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9.00
2 votes

#19 - She Loves Me

Season 45 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/20/2017

Two feuding store clerks find solace in each other as anonymous romantic pen pals.

Watch Now:Amazon
Great Performances at The Met: Aida
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9.00
1 votes

#20 - Great Performances at The Met: Aida

Season 46 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/20/2019

Conducted by Nicola Luisotti, Aida stars vocal powerhouses Anna Netrebko in the title role and Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris as they go toe to toe in this classic love story featuring a number of Verdi’s most celebrated arias. Aleksandrs Antonenko, Dmitry Belosselskiy and Ryan Speedo Green round out the cast. Sonja Frisell’s production is set in ancient Egypt, where Ethiopian princess Aida has been enslaved, but her royal identity remains a secret. The captured princess is in love with Radamès, the great warrior who dreams of leading the Egyptians to victory over the Ethiopians as a war between the two nations is on the horizon. Trouble arises as the Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter Amneris sets her sights on winning Radamès’s love, but suspects he is infatuated with another woman after the warrior does not return her feelings. A rivalry ensues when Aida confesses her love for Radamès and Amneris vows revenge. Torn between a love for one another and loyalty to their respective countries, Aida and Radamès must battle public duties and private feelings in this epic love story. Isabel Leonard hosts.

Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway
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9.00
1 votes

#21 - Julie Andrews: Back on Broadway

Season 24 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/25/1995

Watch Now:Amazon
Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago
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9.00
1 votes

#22 - Orphée et Eurydice from Lyric Opera of Chicago

Season 46 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/18/2019

Reimagine Christoph Willibald Gluck’s enduringly popular opera based on the famous Greek myth. From Lyric Opera of Chicago in collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet. Starring Dmitry Korchak, Andriana Chuchman and Lauren Snouffer.

Great Performances at the Met: La Donna del Lago
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1 votes

#23 - Great Performances at the Met: La Donna del Lago

Season 42 - Episode 21 - Aired 8/2/2015

Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flórez headline Rossini’s bel canto tour-de-force "La Donna del Lago" on Great Performances at the Met (check local listings). Based on the work by Sir Walter Scott, DiDonato is Elena, the lady of the lake pursued by two men, with Flórez as Giacomo, the benevolent king of Scotland. Michele Mariotti conducts debuting Scottish director Paul Curran’s staging.

Now Hear This - Handel: Italian Style
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9.00
1 votes

#24 - Now Hear This - Handel: Italian Style

Season 47 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/11/2019

Watch Now:Amazon
The Arts Interrupted
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9.00
1 votes

#25 - The Arts Interrupted

Season 48 - Episode 17 - Aired 5/14/2021

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