Spoleto Festival USA turns 40 in May

Posted on: January 11, 2016

“Spoleto Festival USA, which ends its fourth decade this spring in Charleston, has never stopped being hip,” writes Lawrence Toppman in Thursday’s (1/7) Charlotte Observer (N.C.). “As usual, Spoleto will offer a huge dose of diversity and a fistful of firsts…. Yet the piece that has Charleston buzzing has played all over the world continuously since 1935: George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess … based on [Dubose] Heyward’s non-musical play set in Charleston. It … will open the 2016 Spoleto Festival.… The festival will offer Porgy and Bess-themed walking tours daily, and organizations around the city will produce related activities.” Also at the 2016 festival, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra will perform Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes, and give a “40th-Season Celebration Concert” featuring Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante and a world premiere, Blessing the Boats, by Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy. Festival performers include choreographer Bill T. Jones, LA Dance Project, the Westminster Choir, theater company Dublin’s Gate, and pianist-composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. For Helmut Lachenmann’s opera The Little Match Girl, “Kennedy and his 106-piece orchestra will encircle the audience on a platform to perform the score.”

Posted January 11, 2016