The program for the 42nd annual Spoleto Festival USA, taking place May 25th through June 10th, has been announced. The 2018 event features more than 160 ticketed events being held throughout the Holy City in venues like the historic Dock Street Theatre, the College of Charleston's Cistern Yard, the Sottile Theatre, and many more.
There are many notable performances and appearances, which are highlighted below. All information and descriptions come straight from Spoleto Festival USA.
A special night of classical ballet will open the Festival. Hosted by Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, Celebration: The Art of the Pas de Deux commemorates Jerome Robbins’s centenary; recognizes his history with the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy; and highlights three of the American choreographer’s great works. Miami City Ballet—last at Spoleto Festival USA in 1999—completes the dazzling first weekend with three additional showcases of company repertoire at the Gaillard Center.
This year will include the US premiere of Spoleto Festival USA’s co-production of Donizetti’s opera, Pia de’ Tolomei, with a plot based on an episode from Dante’s Purgatorio. The Festival is also producing the US premiere of Tree of Codes, an opera from Australian composer Liza Lim based, in part, on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name. Directed by Ong Keng Sen (Facing Goya, 2014), the modern work takes audiences on a fanciful journey through multiple realities.
The 2018 dance series also features the companies of Kyle Abraham and Michelle Dorrance, whose performances in 2012 and 2014, respectively, are affectionately remembered by Festival audiences. Other returning favorites include English theater companies Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic, which bring The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk to the Dock Street Theatre. Gravity & Other Myths—the Australian physical-theater troupe that wowed attendees with A Simple Space in 2014—presents the US premiere of Backbone, examining the limits of strength at Memminger Auditorium. And in its triumphant seventh Festival appearance, Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company brings two productions: Il matrimonio segreto, a six-puppet opera sung by the illustrious Westminster Choir, and The Pied Piper, a colorful retelling of the classic fairy tale, both at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston.
For a unique orchestral experience at the Gaillard, director and Academy Award-nominee Atom Egoyan (Feng Yi Ting, 2012) stages a multimedia interpretation of Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Titled You Are Mine Own, the evening features baritone Alexander Dobson alongside soprano Natalia Pavlova, who was lauded for her American debut as Tatyana in the Festival’s 2017 production of Eugene Onegin. Pavlova also sings during Brahms’s German Requiem, a choral/orchestral masterwork performed by the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Westminster Choir, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
Wells Fargo Jazz commences at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard with two rousing concerts from Jon Batiste, bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, followed by an evening of expressive jazz piano from 12-time Grammy nominee and returning Festival artist Fred Hersch. The outdoor stage also sets the scene for two First Citizens Bank Front Row concerts: bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs, backed by Kentucky Thunder, and Charleston’s own Ranky Tanky.
Culminating the 2018 season, the Wells Fargo Festival Finale takes place for the first time at Charleston’s downtown baseball stadium, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, known locally as “The Joe.” The Lone Bellow headlines the festivities before Spoleto’s signature fireworks display draws the evening to a close.
The 2018 program and an event calendar can be found here.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at 843-579-3100 and online at spoletousa.org. Tickets can also be purchased in person through the Spoleto Festival USA Box Office at the Gaillard Center (95 Calhoun Street) beginning on Monday, May 1st.