Music & Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment Inks Deal With Fox for New Adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by RLJ Entertainment   
Thursday, 19 December 2013 14:36
Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg on Board to Produce New film of One of the Most Successful Novels of All Time

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After a highly competitive bidding process, Fox has acquired film rights to the iconic mystery novel "Murder on the Orient Express" from Acorn Productions Ltd/Agatha Christie Ltd, the UK based rights holding production arm of RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq:RLJE). With more than two billion books sold, Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, and "Murder on the Orient Express"is one of her most popular novels. The 1934 novel features her internationally renowned detective, Hercule Poirot, investigating a murder on the Orient Express.

Though no decision on writers or casting have been confirmed yet, Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator), Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes) will be producing the film.

Miguel Penella, CEO of RLJ Entertainment, said, "Since acquiring a majority share of Agatha Christie's literary estate in February 2012, we have worked closely with Mathew Prichard, Agatha's grandson, to find the right studio and filmmakers to grow the Christie brand. We are excited to be working with Fox as well as Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg to produce a new, star-studded adaptation of one of the most well-known mystery novels of all time."

Founded by Robert L. Johnson, RLJ Entertainment owns a 64% share in Agatha Christie Ltd, which manages Christie's extensive literary works including more than 80 novels and short story collections, 19 plays, a film library of nearly 40 TV films, and iconic characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, is Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd.

"Murder on the Orient Express" was previously made into a 1974 film directed by Sidney Lumet. The film received six Oscar nominations, including best actor for Albert Finney as Poirot, and winning best supporting actress for Ingrid Bergman. The all-star cast of suspects also featured Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.

Additionally, David Suchet portrayed the popular Belgian detective in all 70 television adaptations of Christie's Poirot stories, including "Murder on the Orient Express" in 2010. The final five Poirot television mysteries aired in the U.K. in 2013 and will debut in the U.S. in 2014. In Sept. 2013, Agatha Christie Ltd and RLJ Entertainment announced the first fully-authorized new Agatha Christie novel to be released in September 2014. Bestselling author Sophie Hannah is writing the novel featuring Hercule Poirot.

Hilary Strong, Managing Director of Acorn Productions, and WME negotiated the deal for RLJ Entertainment.

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq:RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (feature films, stand-up comedy), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (documentaries), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.

Via its relationship with Agatha Christie Limited, a company that RLJE owns 64% of, RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.

RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its nascent branded digital subscription channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.

Acorn Productions Ltd is the UK based rights holding production arm of RLJ Entertainment, Inc (Nasdaq:RLJE) a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. Acorn Productions Ltd manages the rights to Foyle's War and the Agatha Christie estate.

Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in English with another billion in foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time and is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 19 plays, and six novels written under the name Mary Westmacott.

Agatha Christie's first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was written towards the end of the First World War, in which she served the VAD. In it she created Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective who was destined to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. It was eventually published by Bodley Head in 1920.

In 1926, after averaging a book a year, Agatha Christie wrote her first masterpiece. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was the first of her books to be published by Collins and marked the beginning of an author-publisher
relationship that lasted for 50 years and well over 70 books, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was also the first of Agatha Christie's books to be dramatized -- under the name Alibi -- and to have a successful run in London's West End. The Mousetrap, her most successful play of all, opened in 1952 and is the longest-running play in history.

Agatha Christie was made a dame in 1971. She died in 1976.

Augustana's Handel Oratorio Society presented 'A Christmas Messiah' PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Keri Rursch   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:00

ROCK ISLAND, IL (12/18/2013)(readMedia)-- Augustana College's Handel Oratorio Society presented its new take on a Quad-Cities Christmas tradition, A Christmas Messiah, on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15.

The Handel Oratorio Society began performing choral and orchestral works in 1881.

"This year we focused the performance on the Christmas portion of the piece," said Jon Hurty, conductor of the society and director of choral activities at Augustana.

Individuals from your area participated, including:

Anne Abplanalp of Davenport (52801)

Ralph Baechle of Davenport (52801)

Marci Barnhart of Bluegrass (52726)

Bob Bloxham of Davenport (52801)

Mary Brown of Bettendorf (52722)

Donald Buss of Bettendorf (52722)

Kathy Calder of Rock Island (61201)

Kevin Carlson of Bettendorf (52722)

Richard Chisholm of Moline (61265)

Karen Christianson of Moline (61265)

Carol Cincola of Rock Island (61201)

James Clasen of Eldridge (52748)

Jon Curtis of Bettendorf (52722)

Michael Davis of Rock Island (61201)

Angela Dearking of Bettendorf (52722)

Jim DeReus of Coal Valley (61240)

John Duda of Bettendorf (52722)

Anne Earel of LeClaire (52753)

Jim Earel of LeClaire (52753)

Eric Engstrom of Davenport (52801)

Don Faust of Davenport (52801)

Dana Fee of Davenport (52801)

Carole Feeney of Moline (61265)

Gwen Foulkes of Rock Island (61201)

Vanessa Free of Davenport (52801)

Jenny Freeman of Silvis (61282)

Jeremy French of Walcott (52773)

Ruth Gissel of Bettendorf (52722)

Keith Haan of Davenport (52801)

Dick Hagglund of Bettendorf (52722)

Jerry Hansen of Port byron (61275)

Richard Hanzelka of Bettendorf (52722)

Mylene Hanzelka of Bettendorf (52722)

Mick Harper of Taylor Ridge (61284)

William P Henning of Cordova (61242)

Betty Houston of Bettendorf (52722)

Tom Howard of Bettendorf (52722)

Don Hultgren of Rock Island (61201)

Judy Hyland of Davenport (52801)

Juanita Iverson of Rock Island (61201)

Kathryn Janicek of Morrison (61270)

Alan Janicek of Morrison (61270)

Cheri Janiczek of Bettendorf (52722)

Judy Johansen of Milan (61264)

Jerry Johansen of Milan (61264)

Ken Jones of Bettendorf (52722)

Beth Kamp of Davenport (52801)

Kathryn Kramer of Bettendorf (52722)

Dan Kraus of Davenport (52801)

Lynn Kroeger of Eldridge (52748)

John Leaf of Moline (61265)

Marie Lindmark of Bettendorf (52722)

Greta Long of Moline (61265)

Samantha Longlett of Davenport (52801)

Kathy Loomis of Davenport (52801)

Chris Lorenszen of Davenport (52801)

Sandy Macumber of Davenport (52801)

Jessie Madden of Rock Island (61201)

Don Madson of Moline (61265)

Josh McInnes of Davenport (52801)

Elizabeth Meinecke of Bettendorf (52722)

Beth Meyer of Eldridge (52748)

Mark Meyer of Eldridge (52748)

Grace Moran of Rock Island (61201)

Pat Mueller of Moline (61265)

Ruchard O'Neil of Rock Island (61201)

Joseph Obelton of Davenport (52801)

Kate Perry of Moline (61265)

Bill Pipe of Bettendorf (52722)

Barbara Rauh of East Moline (61265)

Gretchen Reagan of Bettendorf (52722)

Al Reagan of Bettendorf (52722)

Deb Robb of Moline (61265)

Darlene Roseleaf of Bettendorf (52722)

Bev Rosenbohm of Davenport (52801)

Ellen Ryan of Davenport (52801)

Angie Sauer of Davenport (52801)

Leigh Ann Schroeder of Bettendorf (52722)

Sally Schulz of Bettendorf (52722)

Matt Schulz of Bettendorf (52722)

Mark Shaheen of Erie (61250)

Alexis Shaheen of Erie (61250)

Tony Shiltz of Davenport (52801)

Thiara Smith of Bettendorf (52722)

Diane Stensrud of Davenport (52801)

Rick Stevenson of Davenport (52801)

Jim Sullivan of Taylor Ridge (61284)

Janelle Thistle of Davenport (52801)

Stephen TouVelle of Bettendorf (52722)

Philip Tunnicliff of Bettendorf (52722)

Karen Ullestad of Davenport (52801)

Amy VanEchaute of Moline (61265)

Ruth Ann Walters of Bettendorf (52722)

Cindy Weinberger of Bettendorf (52722)

Suzanne Wiese of Davenport (52801)

David Brain Williams of Moline (61265)

Karin Witherow of Davenport (52801)

Dan Worlton of Bettendorf (52722)

Sigrid Zaehringer of Davenport (52801)

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana College is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 147 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 13 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world's most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.

Belmont University Students Perform in Nationally Televised Christmas Concert PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by April Hefner   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 17:02

NASHVILLE, TN (12/17/2013)(readMedia)-- More than 800 Belmont University student musicians, singers and faculty along with the Nashville Children's Choir perform in the nationally televised airing of "Christmas at Belmont." Hosted by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, the annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites, produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT), will premiere on NPT on Thurs., Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Central. The nationwide premiere on PBS is scheduled for Fri., Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. Central, with an encore broadcast Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Central. This is the 11th consecutive year "Christmas at Belmont" has been seen by a national audience on PBS.

Student performers appearing on the broadcast include the following:

Kathleen Walter of Bettendorf (52722)

Kellen Moss of Eldridge (52748)

This year's edition of "Christmas at Belmont" features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Band and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as mass choir. The performance includes both classic sacred holiday music such as "Ave Maria" and "My Lord Has Come," as well as festive seasonal songs such as "Go Tell It On the Mountain," "On This Winter's Night" and "We Need a Little Christmas," to name a few.

"'Christmas at Belmont' is an amazing opportunity to showcase Belmont University's world-class School of Music in front of a national audience," said Belmont University President Bob Fisher. "We're incredibly grateful that this partnership with NPT puts our talented students and faculty in living rooms across the country."

"We're always thrilled to bring Nashville to the nation, and the 'Christmas at Belmont' production is one of the finest examples of this," said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT. "Belmont's School of Music is world class, exemplary of the city's dedication to music and performance in all of its forms and genres. 'Christmas at Belmont' is always magnificent and a highlight of PBS' holiday programming."

Ranked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top "Up-and-Comer" universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,900 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university's purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world's needs. With more than 80 areas of study, 22 master's programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit

Nova Singers Presents: A Nova Christmas (revised) PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Nova Singers   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:44

Nova Singers, under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, presents two performances of A Nova Christmas: Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg, and Saturday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.

Escape from the hum-drum of daily life, the frenzy of holiday shopping and the pressure to do it all! Give yourself the gift of an hour of beauty, serenity, laughter and love with Nova Singers. A Nova Christmas features Christmas songs of all styles, including Jay Rouse’s arrangement of O Holy Night and a Nova favorite, John Rutter’s What Sweeter Music.  Copi’s Ave Maria and Memley’s O Magnum Mysterium are sure to take your breath away. We also celebrate local talent, featuring Galesburg composer Carolyn Kellert’s arrangement of Quelle est cette odeur agréable, with Jill Marasa on clarinet.  And of course, it wouldn’t be A Nova Christmas without an audience sing-along!

For the Galesburg concert, Nova Singers will be joined by the Galesburg High School Chamber Singers under the direction of Paula Helle for a special treat.  The choir will perform two pieces of their own before combining with the Nova Singers for two beloved Christmas carols.

Artistic Director Laura Lane says that this Christmas concert is her favorite one yet: “I adore the music of Christmastime!  These traditional songs we’ve heard all our lives make us feel nostalgic for the past and grateful for the present, all at the same time.  I’m delighted to have found several new Christmas songs for this concert:  two settings of Alma Redemptoris Mater by Palestrina and Victoria, full of timeless mystery, modern carols by Czech, Norwegian and Estonian composers, and, honestly, if you haven’t heard Kevin Memley’s O Magnum Mysterium, you won’t believe its emotional power! I’m especially happy to have found an arrangement of O Holy Night that is stunning and perfect for Nova.”

As if that weren’t enough, Nova Singers announces the silent auction of the artist perceptions of Randall Thompson’s Alleluia from the fall concert We Sing Life! The paintings by Nicholas Digioia and Julie Swanson Davis will be sold via silent auction starting now through the final concert of the 2013-2014 season. Anyone interested in bidding on one of these two paintings must attend a concert to do so.  The winners will be announced at our spring concert, American Genius, April 4th and 6th.

Nova Singers, a professional vocal ensemble under the direction of Dr. Laura Lane, hopes to share our musical holiday spirit with you.  Nova Singers is known for bringing a wide variety of choral music to its audiences, and for the beauty and charm the singers impart to their music.  Dr. Lane has been serving the greater Galesburg and Quad-Cities communities since 1986, bringing her passion for music and expressive singing to audiences and singers alike.


Tickets will be available at the door. Admission is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors. Students are admitted free of charge. Nova Singers season tickets will still be available through this performance. For information about group rates, tickets, recordings, or other Nova Singers events, call 309-341-7038, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Also, please take the opportunity to visit our Facebook page under the keywords ‘Nova Singers’.  A Nova Christmas is sponsored by Miller Dredge Insurance.  Nova Singers’ 2013-2014 season is partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

Daniel O'Donnell Returning to the Adler PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Adler Theatre   
Friday, 13 December 2013 16:09
Daniel O'Donnell, beloved Irish crooner, will be featured at the Adler Theatre on Wednesday, June 4.  Tickets go on sale next Monday, December 16 at 10 AM.  To purchase, click on the "Ticket" link below.  Remember, Adler Theatre tickets or gift certificates make a great Holiday gift or stocking stuffer!

Wednesday, June 4, 7:00 PM
Daniel O'Donnell
Beloved Irish crooner, and star of 13 PBS national TV specials, Daniel O'Donnell exudes the same passion and unique sense of humor that has fascinated audiences for years.  O'Donnell sings, dances and charms his way into viewer's hearts with a mix of country, pop hits and fan favorites.  This show is also offering a Pre-Show Dinner with a full service cash bar, coffee and hot tea, gourmet salad bar, entree and accompaniments with sides and assorted deserts.
For more information...

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