‘Premier Stage at UNCSA,’ a six-episode weekly series on PBS NC, begins airing Dec. 7

UNCSA is launching “Premier Stage at UNCSA,” a new weekly series on PBS NC beginning Thursday, Dec. 7. The series will give viewers an exclusive look at the stunning performances by UNCSA students and faculty and go behind the scenes to learn about their creative process.

The premiere episode, “‘Symphonie Fantastique’ with Guillermo Figueroa,” features the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra performing Berlioz’s masterpiece conducted by Figueroa, and subsequent episodes include work across several conservatories at UNCSA including opera, dance, solo and chamber music works, and more. Viewers can experience the power of a symphony orchestra, an opera set in outer space, groundbreaking dance choreography, and the stirring sounds of solo piano and woodwinds.

The production of “Premier Stage at UNCSA” was made possible by a generous grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

"We are thrilled to be bringing the incredible talent of our students and faculty at UNCSA to even more people throughout North Carolina and beyond with 'Premier Stage' on PBS NC,” said Chancellor Brian Cole. “The series offers an enriching visual narrative that transcends the stage and extends an open invitation for audiences to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of our artistic community. It not only showcases the remarkable performances by our gifted students and esteemed faculty but also peels back the layers to reveal the intricate creative processes that breathe life into each production.”

“As North Carolina's public broadcasting network, we are committed to celebrating the arts within our local communities and bringing live performances to our audience across the state,” said James Mieczkowski, development producer at PBS North Carolina. “‘Premier Stage at UNCSA’ is a powerful showcase of artistic expression and appreciation across multiple disciplines and we are thrilled to bring these performances to the screen."

Viewers will be able to watch the first and subsequent episodes weekly on PBS NC on Thursdays, starting Dec. 7, at 10 p.m. then again Friday mornings at 4 a.m. Episodes will also be available weekly on the North Carolina Channel on Mondays, starting Dec. 11, at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 1 and 9 a.m. The show will be available to stream via the PBS app the day of their episode premiere starting at 6 a.m.

“Premier Stage at UNCSA” will include:

“'Symphonie Fantastique' with Guillermo Figueroa”

“‘Symphonie Fantastique’ with Guillermo Figueroa” / Photo: Wayne Reich

  • Episode One, “‘Symphonie Fantastique’ with Guillermo Figueroa, airs on Dec. 7 and features acclaimed conductor Guillermo Figueroa as he leads the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra in a complete performance of Hector Berlioz's masterpiece, “Symphonie Fantastique,” which tells a musical story of an unrequited love affair and features giant bells loaned to UNCSA by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
"Orlando Paladino"

Fletcher Opera's “Orlando Paladino” / Photo: Allison Lee Isley

  • Episode Two, “Opera in Space,” airs on Dec. 14 and features the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at UNCSA performing Joseph Haydn's opera “Orlando Paladino” with a twist, setting the story of love and madness in outer space and featuring a visit to the Gates of Hell, as imagined and brought to life by students in the School of Design and Production. Viewers will enjoy stunning voices and innovative design while gaining insight into the process of performing, directing and adapting a historically significant work.
"Today's Voices in Dance"

UNCSA's “The Next Stop Is…” by choreographer Tom Gold / Photo: Peter Mueller

  • Episode Three, “Today's Voices in Dance,” airs on Dec. 21 and features UNCSA dancers performing contemporary and ballet works including “The Next Stop Is…” by choreographer Tom Gold and “Shostakovich Suite” by School of Dance Dean Endalyn T. Outlaw. The episode takes viewers behind the scenes of the rehearsal process for these works, while exploring how today’s dancers and choreographers are evolving the art form.
"Dancing Through Time"

“Travelogue” by Merce Cunningham / Photo: Peter Mueller

  • Episode Four, “Dancing Through Time,” airs on Dec. 28 and explores the connection between past and present in contemporary dance with Merce Cunningham's “Travelogue,” which was last performed in 1979 before its performances at UNCSA in April 2023, presented in collaboration with the Merce Cunningham Trust and in agreement with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and John Cage Trust. The piece is reconstructed by UNCSA with the original choreography and featuring music by John Cage and design by Robert Rauschenberg. “Travelogue” is juxtaposed with the premiere of School of Dance Associate Dean Brenda Daniels' “The Bloom of Youth.”
“The Art of Piano”

Still from “The Art of Piano”

  • Episode Five, “The Art of Piano,” airs on Jan. 4, 2024, and follows three piano students and faculty member Dmitri Vorobiev as they dive into learning and rehearsing works that challenge and move them. Audiences will get an inside look at their performances achieved through the mentorship unique to conservatory training.
“Women Writing for Woodwinds”

Still from “Women Writing for Woodwinds”

  • Episode Six, “Women Writing for Woodwinds,” airs Jan. 11, 2024. UNCSA woodwind faculty members spotlight the work of female composers through compelling performances and commentary. This episode features impactful pieces for woodwind chamber groups by Isabella Leonarda, Valerie Coleman and Alyssa Morris.

The series was executive produced by Claire Machamer and produced by School of Filmmaking alumni Connor Ryan and Adam Witmer, who also served as the director of photography. Interim Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications Katherine Johnson, the director of media relations and communications at UNCSA, was the associate producer. Filmmaking alumnus Rohit Lila Ram was the line producer. Post-production services were provided by HansenHouse Media, a post-production company founded by Filmmaking alumnus Jack Hansen.

About PBS North Carolina 

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third largest public media market, PBS North Carolina educates, informs, entertains and inspires its audience on air, online and in person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery and four over-the-air channels: PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, PBS North Carolina serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state emergency services. To learn more about PBS North Carolina, visit pbsnc.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

November 30, 2023