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The music festival with a little of everything

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By Wayne Lazarus on May 11th, 2010

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

Pssst – how about tickets to a music festival with featured premieres that other people will be talking about for years? You’ll be able to nod knowingly and tell them you’ve already seen it. At Spoleto. In Charleston, South Carolina.

Founded in 1977 as the American companion to the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, the Spoleto Festival USA has showcased over 200 American premieres and continues to serve as a venue for the famous or soon-to-be-famous. Over 140 performances are scheduled during the 17 days and nights of the festival.Dock Theater

One of the highlights of 2010 Spoleto is the performance of Flora, the first opera to have been performed in the colonies in 1735. It will be (fittingly) at the 300-year-old restored Dock Street theater. You can contrast the British opera with a modern (by comparison) German opera, Prosperina by Wolfgang Rihm. Among the other choices are a marionette opera (Philemon and Baucis) or marionette musical theater (Cinderella) or go ever-so-contemporary with Die Roten Pumkte, described as “punk-rock dysfunctional siblings from Germany.”

Dance performance choices include Oyster, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (an all-male troupe in drag) and Giselle, performed by the National Ballet of Georgia. Concerts of jazz, chamber music, contemporary, baroque and hard-to-classify-but-wonderful are scheduled from May28 through June 13.

Westminster by William StruhsAs at any festival in Charleston, there will be visual arts, parties and wonderful food. And if you have time in between all the international entertainment, attend some Piccolo Spoleto events — a companion festival with children and family entertainment focusing on artists from the Southeast region. There are even more music, theater and dance events scheduled under the Piccolo Spoleto umbrella, as well as literary, poetry and film specials.

This graceful Southern city knows how to entertain. See my post here about visiting Charleston, then make your reservations through for May 28 through June 13.

(Photos courtesy Spolete USA. Westminister Choir by William Struhs.)

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