Past achievements have included the premieres of works by Tennessee Williams, Philip Glass, Arthur Miller and Alan Ginsburg, and early-career appearances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, soprano Renee Fleming and pianist Emanuel Ax. So you never know when you're going to catch the next soon to be superstar appearing there. There are also art exhibits and lectures by prominent figures in the arts.
Not all presentations take place in theaters. The festival is mounted in a variety of venues, ranging from major theaters in some of Charleston's classic old buildings to churches to outdoor locations, including the finale held at Middleton Place, the 300-year-old plantation a few miles outside town. With artistic idioms spanning classical, pop, jazz and avant garde, the Spoleto has something for virtually everyone. And the quaint city of Charleston is a colorful backdrop for it all.
IF YOU GO: Be prepared for very hot or slightly cool weather. Hotel/ticket packages are available. Becoming a member (for making a donation) enables you to attend festival parties at which you can meet the artists. If your budget is considerably more limited and you want to attend the festival, you can apply to be an usher or volunteer.
WHEN TO VISIT: The festival is held in late May and early June.
JURISDICTION: Spoleto Festival USA
INFORMATION VERIFIED BY: Dennis Goza, Feb. 2011
ADDRESS: 14 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401-1524 Phone: 843.722.2764
Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' at Spoleto
Photo courtesy of Angers/ Nantes Opera