Welcome back to another episode from ETV Classics: Holiday Edition.
This time of year viewers can expect new as well as classic holiday specials to air on television or become available on their favorite viewing device. A classic that has been produced in many different ways over the years is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. This 1843 novella tells the story of a cold-hearted curmudgeon named Ebenezer Scrooge who over the course of a night is visited by three spirits. While perusing the South Carolina ETV vault, the team discovered Mr Scrooge, an original opera in one act.
The opera was written in 1976 by Sam Douglas from the University Of South Carolina (UofSC) Music Department. Directed by Donald Gray, and produced for South Carolina ETV (SCETV) by Sidney Palmer, actor Thom Wood starred as Mr. Scrooge.
After attending the opera premiere at the Opera Workshop inside Drayton Hall on the USofC campus, SCETV's Sidney Palmer thought it would be perfect to adapt the performance into a thirty minute stage production. After its premiere on broadcast in 1977, the production ran for the next eight years each Christmas on SCETV.
God bless us, every one!
Here are a few facts about the legendary SCETV producer Sidney Palmer (1928-2016):
- In 1979, Palmer became the Executive Director for National Programming.
- Besides Mr. Scrooge, Palmer produced other operas like The Consul, Vanessa, and Willie Stark for the Great Performances series.
- Palmer was the producer and director of the world's first live satellite-interconnect, Christmas Around the World, which originated simultaneously in seven countries on four continents and was seen live as a single program in over 30 countries throughout the world.