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Arena Season 1984

Here's where to watch every episode of Arena season 1984. Mouseover or tap an episode to see where to stream it. Click or tap the play icon to stream it on the best available service.
Season 1984, Episode 01 George Orwell Part 3: Homage to Catalonia

S1984 E01

Jan 2, 1984
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George Orwell Part 3: Homage to Catalonia Jan 2, 1984 'I remember saying once to Arthur Koestler "history stopped in 1936", at which he nodded in immediate understanding. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish Civil War ... I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written.' Orwell, like many of his generation, enlisted to fight on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Filmed in Barcelona and on the Huesca front, where he fought, tonight's film tells the story of Orwell's war. It begins as a heroic crusade for a beleaguered socialist state, and ends with disillusion and betrayal, with Orwell fleeing across the Spanish frontier, a wounded and wanted man. Among those appearing are Stafford Cottman, Victor Alba Enrique Ardroer , Ramon Jurado and Professor Bernard Crick

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Season 1984, Episode 02 George Orwell Part 4: The Lion and the Unicorn

S1984 E02

Jan 3, 1984
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George Orwell Part 4: The Lion and the Unicorn Jan 3, 1984 For a brief period after the Spanish Civil War, Orwell was a revolutionary socialist, violently opposed to the coming war with Germany. Tonight's film shows his sudden emergence as a patriot in 1940, his ill-starred career as a producer at the BBC, and later as a columnist on Tribune. The film closes with the end of the war and the writing of Orwell's masterpiece Animal Farm. with Douglas Cleverdon , Lettice Cooper , Tosco Fyvel, Anthony Powell and Malcolm Muggeridge

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Season 1984, Episode 03 George Orwell Part 5: Nineteen Eighty-four

S1984 E03

Jan 4, 1984
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George Orwell Part 5: Nineteen Eighty-four Jan 4, 1984 'I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe that something resembling it could arrive. The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasise that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism if not fought against could triumph anywhere.' The last in this series of Arena films about the life and work of George Orwell begins with the tragic death of his wife Eileen in March 1945. Overcome with grief at his bereavement and despair at the future of Britain under the post-war Labour government, Orwell retreated to the remote Hebridean island of Jura. It was here, crippled with tuberculosis and isolated from the rest of the world, that Orwell cared for his adopted infant son, Richard, and wrote his last novel Nineteen Eighty-four-a nightmare vision of a totalitarian future in which Big Brother controls not only the lives but also the thoughts of his citizens, and love and individual freedom is no more than a distant memory. Among those appearing are Avril Dunn Bill Dunn Susan Watson Sonia Orwell and Richard Blair

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Season 1984, Episode 04 Say Amen Someone

S1984 E04

Feb 4, 1984
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Say Amen Someone Feb 4, 1984 Tonight's Arena Special tells the extraordinary story of two of the legendary figures of American 'gospel' -the music whose emotional impact and burning conviction lie at the heart of much of today's popular music. Thomas A. Dorsey , 'father' and virtual inventor of gospel music, haunted the sinful world of the blues singers as 'Georgia Tom', before turning his music over to God in the early 1920s. In doing so, he remarks, '... I was thrown out of some of the best churches'. Willie Mae Ford Smith suffered similar setbacks, both as a woman evangelist in a predominantly male world and from those who considered her music too spirited to be truly religious. '... You make us sick with that stuff - you might as well be Bessie Smith or one of those Smith sisters!' Tonight's film features some astonishing scenes of gospel revivalism in 'Mother' Smith's Antioch Baptist Church, while the Massed Gospel Choirs Convention honours 84-year-old 'Doctor' Dorsey who crowns the proceedings with an impassioned reading of his classic song 'Precious Lord take my hand'.

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Season 1984, Episode 05 Dame Edna Everage-A Birthday Tribute

S1984 E05

Feb 17, 1984
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Dame Edna Everage-A Birthday Tribute Feb 17, 1984 At 10.5 precisely on 17 February 19**, that grande-dame of Antipodean culture, Edna May Everage, drew her first breath in the modest suburb of Moonee Ponds. On Arena tonight, live by satellite from Sydney, Australia, cultural attache Sir Les Patterson salutes a megastar of the entertainment firmament. On this auspicious day - a day which is rumoured, incidentally, to coincide with the 50th birthday of reclusive impresario Barry Humphries-Sir Les introduces precious fragments from the BBC archive which relive the agony and the ecstasy of 'La Dame aux Gladiolas'. Narration David Dimbleby

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Season 1984, Episode 06 Four Rooms

S1984 E06

Feb 21, 1984
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Four Rooms Feb 21, 1984 NTHONY CARO: 'I wanted to play games with our sense of space ... you experience this room with the eyes and the body too.' HOWARD HODGKIN: 'I tried to evoke a sense of romantic luxury. Sadly in a public place nothing very exciting is meant to go on.' RICHARD HAMILTON : 'I took the idea of a room in an institution as a way of looking at the times we live in.' MARC CHAIMOWICZ: 'There are hints of a liaison between two people, like a frozen frame from a film.' Four leading contemporary artists take on an unusual and imaginative commission, to design and build a room of their own.

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Season 1984, Episode 07 The Theatre of Dario Fo

S1984 E07

Feb 28, 1984
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The Theatre of Dario Fo Feb 28, 1984 Playwright, actor, clown, teacher and philosopher, he is an international celebrity with two West-End smash hits to his credit - Can Pay? Won't Pay! and Accidental Death of an Anarchist. He is also a passionate collector of theatre history and a great hero of the Italian Left. Arena filmed DARIO FO against the background of medieval Italy, working with students in Umbria, at home in Milan and against the colourful backdrop of the Venice Carnival, where he performed his triumphant one-man comic show, Mistero Buffo.

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Season 1984, Episode 08 Sunset People

S1984 E08

Mar 3, 1984
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Sunset People Mar 3, 1984 Tonight Arena takes a journey down one of the best known streets in the world. Sunset Boulevard stretches 27 miles from Los Angeles' Chinatown all the way to the ocean, a ride made famous by Philip Marlowe in the Chandler books. Film star mansions give way to tatty motels; exclusive offices stand alongside nightclubs with aspiring comics and amateur nude contests. Then the famous 'strip' and Hollywood's legendary coffee shop, Schwabs, where, they say, a girl in a tight sweater turned into Lana Turner. Meet some of Sunset's most colourful and improbable residents - the failed showbiz impresario who made his millions selling cookies and the high-rise developer who let John Wayne take his cow up in the lift.... the lucky ones have achieved a peculiarly Hollywood brand of success, but every day on Sunset you meet the other ones - still looking for a break, for a job, for a deal. All of them still trying to play their part in the Hollywood dream.

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Season 1984, Episode 09 The Caravaggio Conspiracy

S1984 E09

Mar 6, 1984
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The Caravaggio Conspiracy Mar 6, 1984 On 29 June 1982 a man called John Blake appeared mysteriously bidding in the major auction houses of London and New York. He was in reality the Sunday Times journalist, Peter Watson. The Caravaggio Conspiracy is a true story of a remarkable collaboration between dealers, auction houses and the law to transform Peter Watson , an ignorant outsider, into an international art dealer. Tonight Arena, with the help of the participants, traces the story of how Watson, with a fake limp straight from the pages of a thriller, and a potted knowledge from books of art history, conned his way into a world of mafiosi and art dealers and recovered two masterpieces of stolen Renaissance art.

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Season 1984, Episode 10 Between Dreaming and Waking

S1984 E10

Mar 13, 1984
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Between Dreaming and Waking Mar 13, 1984 David Inshaw belongs to a great tradition of English Romantic Painting - the tradition of Stanley Spencer , Samuel Palmer and the Fre-Raphelites. His most famous painting 'The Badminton Game' now hangs in the Tate Gallery. For years he was a member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, a group of painters, among them Peter Blake , preoccupied with English pastoral themes. But Inshaw s pictures tell their own story - of people, places and objects meticulously and magically recalled. Abandoning conventional interviews and commentary, tonight's film offers a journey into David Inshaw 's haunting, imaginative world.

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Season 1984, Episode 11 Ken Russell 's Elgar

S1984 E11

Mar 20, 1984
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Ken Russell 's Elgar Mar 20, 1984 Tonight, in the anniversary year of Edward Elgar 's death, Arena plays host to KEN RUSSELL 'S classic music documentary. Made in 1962 for the 100th edition of the arts magazine Monitor, it marked the arrival of the dramatised arts documentary and proved to be one of the most popular television films ever made. An unashamedly romantic evocation of the composer's life and inspiration in the Malvern Hills, the film nevertheless foreshadowed Russell's later, more contentious, work with his darkly ironic counterpoint of 'Land of hope and glory' with the battle scenes and graveyards of the First World War. Narrated by Huw Wheldon

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Season 1984, Episode 12 Jerry Lee Lewis

S1984 E12

Mar 27, 1984
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Jerry Lee Lewis Mar 27, 1984 For the first time on British television, Arena presents a concert by this great legend ot rock n roll. Jerry Lee Lewis doesn't sound like anybody else -the voice, the piano and the on-stage antics make an unforgettable combination. He plays and sings today exactly as he did when he made his first records, and as a special bonus the concert is preceded by rare footage of him performing 'Whole lotta shakin" in 1957. Since then he has kept his reputation for wildness, eccentricity and the ability to hold an audience spellbound. Last May Arena's cameras captured him in top form.

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Season 1984, Episode 13 True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist

S1984 E13

Apr 3, 1984
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True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist Apr 3, 1984 Breyten Breytenbach writes about being an Afrikaner. His poetry was taught in schools and his paintings greatly admired. But in 1975 Breytenbach, living in self-imposed exile in Paris with his Vietnamese wife Yolande - their marriage was regarded as 'fornication' under South African law - decided to return to his native country under a false passport, with the intention of recruiting workers against the Government and its policy of apartheid. Breytenbach was betrayed, arrested and sentenced to nine years. This year, two versions of his horrific experience of South African jails are to be published - Mouroir, a surreal account of his life in prison and True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist. Tonight Arena presents the story of this extraordinary man including some of the poetry and paintings completed in prison and smuggled out of South Africa.

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Season 1984, Episode 14 My Dinner with Louis

S1984 E14

May 6, 1984
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My Dinner with Louis May 6, 1984 Tonight Arena profiles the French film director Louis Malle. Malle is a director who has never let himself be tied down to one style of film making. The Lovers, with Jeanne Moreau , shocked the conservative public in 1958 and his Indian documentaries were candid enough to concern the Indian government. Even in the permissive 70s, Malle found ways to provoke, depicting child prostitution in Pretty Baby with Brooke Shields , and corruption in Lacombe Lucien , about a collaborator in wartime France. Wallace Shawn, the American playwright and actor, first worked with Louis Malle in Atlantic City, USA. They became friends and Malle directed a film that Shawn had written called My Dinner with Andre. Arena took LOUIS MALLE and WALLACE SHAWN back to Atlantic City.

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Season 1984, Episode 15 Milan Kundera - Laughter and Forgetting

S1984 E15

May 19, 1984
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Milan Kundera - Laughter and Forgetting May 19, 1984 ' ... the first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history.... before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.' From the vantage point of his Paris flat, the Czech writer Milan Kundera still obsessively contemplates Prague, the city he was forced to leave nine years ago when, silenced by the pro-Soviet government, his continued life there finally became impossible. Prague has continued to be the setting for all of Kundera's writing. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting brought him to a wide international readership and was compared favourably with Gogol and Kafka. The New York Times wrote: 'It is impossible in this space to do justice to a masterwork. Kundera makes music out of history.' His new book The Unbearable Lightness of Being has been eagerly awaited and on the occasion of its publication Arena talks to Kundera in Paris and seeks reactions to his work from George Theiner , Karol Kyncl , Ian McEwan and Edward Goldstucker

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Season 1984, Episode 16 A Tribute to Joseph Losey

S1984 E16

Jul 7, 1984
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A Tribute to Joseph Losey Jul 7, 1984 American-born writer and director Joseph Losey died last month in London. He made his home in England in 1952 when he was hounded out of America after the Communist witch-hunt. Tonight Dirk Bogarde , star of The Servant, who first worked with him 30 years ago, remembers Losey and his distinguished career. Production ROSEMARY WILTON An Arena presentation followed by The Servant starring Dirk Bogarde James Fox , Sarah Miles In this highly acclaimed film of the 60s Joseph Losey successfully collaborated with playwright Harold Pinter and actor Dirk Bogarde. Tony, a rich young man, takes on a manservant, Barrett, to run his Chelsea home. Barrett seizes the opportunity to turn Tony's Georgian ruin into an elegant home. And gradually the relationship between master and servant begins to change ...

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Season 1984, Episode 17 Beat This! A Hip Hop History

S1984 E17

Jul 12, 1984
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Beat This! A Hip Hop History Jul 12, 1984 Tonight Arena presents a musical entertainment set in the streets of New York City, an epic rap which will tap the roots of Hip Hop.... the true story of the most influential popular music culture since punk. Gary 'The Crown' Byrd raps us through the elements of Hip Hop - breakdancing, body-popping, graffiti art, rapping and scratching-and introduces us to its heroes. We meet Cool Hero, its legendary first DJ; the head-spinning breakdancing Dynamic Rockers; romeo rappers the Cold Crush Brothers and white funksters Malcolm McLaren and Mel Brooks. And we take the 'A' Train to Planet Rock-the devastated homeland of Hip Hop , better known as New York's South Bronx-to meet the 'Godfather' himself, Afrika Bambaataa whose wild youth as a member of the notorious Black Spades gang, led him to forsake violence for music and dance and found a new and powerful New York tribe called the Zulu Nation.

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Season 1984, Episode 18 The Everly Brothers: Songs of Innocence and Experience

S1984 E18

Nov 2, 1984
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The Everly Brothers: Songs of Innocence and Experience Nov 2, 1984 The first of two films about great names of American popular music. Tonight, the Everly Brothers, whose hits like 'Cathy's clown', 'Bye bye love' and 'Wake up little Susie' defined a generation. Yet their formidable succession of bestsellers had its origins deep in the musical traditions of rural America. Taught to sing from their earliest years, the brothers were raised in a unique cross-current of musical influences, from Appalachian harmony duos to black country blues singers. Their father Ike was an influential guitar picker and hosted the Everly Family Radio Show in the Mid West in the 40s and 50s. It was here that Don and Phil made their public debut. Arena retraces the Everlys' journey, from guitar picking in Kentucky with Ike's friend

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Season 1984, Episode 19 Billie Holiday: The Long Night of Lady Day

S1984 E19

Nov 9, 1984
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Billie Holiday: The Long Night of Lady Day Nov 9, 1984 Tonight Arena presents the first film portrait of the greatest of all the jazz singers. Billie Holiday's tragic story, from her traumatic childhood in Baltimore to her premature death in a New York hospital at the age of 44, is told in the words of her closest friends and colleagues - but mostly through the songs themselves. Arena has assembled an unprecedented number of her filmed performances. Songs, including 'God bless the child', 'Don't explain' and 'Fine and mellow', are performed with the legendary names of jazz's golden age - among them Lester Young , Louis Armstrong , Coleman Hawkins and Duke Ellington. With Carmen McRae , Artie Shaw , John Hammond , Leonard Feather Norman Granz and Alice Vrbsky , Lady Day's maid and confidante of her last years.

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Season 1984, Episode 20 Eubie Blake

S1984 E20

Nov 10, 1984
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Eubie Blake Nov 10, 1984 The legendary Eubie Blake 's career as a ragtime pianist and composer began in 1883. Sadly last year, five days after his 100th birthday he died. This short tribute includes one of the earliest talkies, Eubie's classic 'I'm just wild about Harry' and a visit to singer Alberta Hunter.

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Season 1984, Episode 21 Francis Bacon

S1984 E21

Nov 18, 1984
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Francis Bacon Nov 18, 1984 To mark his 75th birthday, Arena presents this exclusive film portrait of the great British painter, Francis Bacon. Despite his world-wide fame, Bacon remains one of the most contentious painters working today, and he still paints the human figure with the same conviction and intensity that startled the art world at his first exhibition nearly 40 years ago. Tonight, amid the spectacular disorder of his Chelsea studio, Bacon talks on film with great candour, to his friend of many years, the distinguished writer and critic David Sylvester.

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Season 1984, Episode 22 We Don't Like Your House Either!

S1984 E22

Nov 23, 1984
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We Don't Like Your House Either! Nov 23, 1984 This week: a portrait of one of the most individual architectural talents America has produced. Bruce Goff discovered his vocation as a child in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drawing cathedrals and palaces on scraps of paper, and the innocence of those early visionary sketches is evident in all his later work-from the cathedral in Tulsa he designed at the age of 22 to his extraordinary domestic monuments built for the American householder. A friend and disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright , Goff continued to pioneer well into his 70s. Arena went with him to his native midwest to see some of his astonishingly varied and inventive commissions.

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Season 1984, Episode 23 Teacher Don't Teach Me: Nonsense - The Music of Fela Kuti

S1984 E23

Nov 30, 1984
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Teacher Don't Teach Me: Nonsense - The Music of Fela Kuti Nov 30, 1984 Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is the most popular and controversial musician ever to come out of Africa. Born in Nigeria 47 years ago, he has dominated the African musical scene since the early 70s with his unique fusion of traditional rhythm and jazz melodies known as Afro-Beat. Fela's music speaks of the conflict between the European colonial heritage and the traditional African past and cries out forcefully against corruption, exploitation and cultural betrayal. This programme interweaves Fela's music with the story of his struggle against the Nigerian authorities to retain his position as the musical conscience of independent Africa.

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Season 1984, Episode 24 After the Rehearsal

S1984 E24

Dec 7, 1984
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After the Rehearsal Dec 7, 1984 Arena presents the British premiere of Ingmar Bergman 's new film After the Rehearsal. Written and directed by Bergman last year soon after completing Fanny and Alexander, it continues the autobiographical theme. As theatre director Henrik Vogler sits alone on an empty stage after rehearsal Anna, a young actress, suddenly returns to the theatre to talk about her part.... The director is both cynical and affectionate; he is sick and tired of the theatre but still in love with, and fascinated by, his actors. Bergman refers to it as a chamber-work for television, a meditation on life in the theatre and, even more, on what it's like to be old. Earlier this year

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Season 1984, Episode 25 What's Cuba Playing At?

S1984 E25

Dec 21, 1984
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What's Cuba Playing At? Dec 21, 1984 In the 25th anniversary year of the Revolution, Arena traces the Afro-Spanish roots of Cuba's rich musical history. If, for you, the rumba still means Come Dancing, then it's time you saw the real thing. Meet Enrique Jorrin , creator of the cha-cha-cha; listen to the septet at the Casa de la Trova, Santiago; the jazz of Irakere; the passionate songs of Pablo Milanes , and the evocative music of family groups still carrying on traditions from 100 years ago. Watch exuberant dancing to the music of popular Los Van Van and, in the courtyard of the Folkloric Company, the rumbas -often remarkably similar to breakdancing - whose forms grew out of the sacred rituals and dances of Cuba's unique Afro-Catholic religions.

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Season 1984, Episode 26 Music of the other Americas

S1984 E26

Dec 22, 1984
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Music of the other Americas Dec 22, 1984 Every November musicians from all over Latin America come to take part in the international music festival at Varadero in Cuba. For five days bands from all the 'other' Americas vie with each other in a virtuoso display of music - music which is, astonishingly, almost unknown in Britain. Last month Arena went to Varadero to capture the event and tonight presents the finest in contemporary Cuban and Latin American music. With Irakere and Arturo Sandoval ; Los Van Van, Cuba's most popular dance band; soul calypso by Dimension Costena from Nicaragua; and bands from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Uruguay. An Arena production in association with CUBAN TELEVISION

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Season 1984, Episode 27 Pavarotti at Madison Square Garden

S1984 E27

Dec 26, 1984
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Pavarotti at Madison Square Garden Dec 26, 1984 For many Luciano Pavarotti is the world's greatest tenor - certainly his place is assured among the legends of Grand Opera. In New York on 16 August, he Performed before 20,000 People at Madison Square Garden; it was an unprecedented step for an opera singer, a spectacular succcess. Along with his favourite arias from grand opera, Pavarotti delighted his audience with popular songs from his native Italy.

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