Beginning on May 1st, Spoleto Festival USA will present its fourth annual Spoleto Salon series. Comprising three free discussions, the Spoleto Salons aim to illuminate elements of the 2018 Festival, offering behind-the-scenes perspectives from various creative personnel. Spoleto Salons will be held in The Murray Center, 14 George Street, on Tuesday, May 1; Tuesday, May 8; and Tuesday, May 15. Descriptions of each salon follow.
Doors open a half-hour prior to each discussion, giving attendees an opportunity to mingle and enjoy light refreshments. All three talks will be moderated by Edward Hart, chair of College of Charleston’s music department. While Spoleto Salons are free to attend, seats must be reserved online at spoletousa.org or by calling the Festival’s call center at 843.579.3100.
The Audience of the Future
Tuesday, May 1, at 6:00pm
How does a multi-genre performing arts festival stay relevant in the ever-changing age of technology? Speaking with moderator Edward Hart, Festival General Director Nigel Redden will discuss the ins and outs of producing the 17-day Festival each year. He will address the artistic goals of Spoleto Festival USA and how emerging technologies (coupled with audience members’ shortening attention spans) affect programmatic choices.
Tree of Codes Design Details
Tuesday, May 8, at 6:00pm
Somewhere between memories and dreams, between the past and future, lies Tree of Codes—a mystifying journey into a “reality as thin as paper.” For the US premiere of Liza Lim’s opera, Director Ong Keng Sen conjures a magical world, working in tandem with a fascinating team of visual designers. On May 8, in a discussion moderated by Edward Hart, audience members will get an insider’s look at the new opera from Director Ong Keng Sen, Video Designer Austin Switser, Set Designer Scott Zielinski, and Costume Designer Walter Dundervill.
The Women of Vocal Splendor
Tuesday, May 15, at 5:30pm
How did Spoleto Festival USA’s enduring relationship with Rider University’s Westminster Choir begin and develop? In this discussion moderated by Edward Hart, Festival Director of Choral Activities Joe Miller will outline the renowned choir’s role at Spoleto Festival USA and highlight its various concerts and roles during the 2018 season. The evening, which will include a vocal demonstration from two choir members, will also emphasize Angels, Westminster Choir’s female-focused concert on May 29.
Outside of Spoleto Salon, there will be several other discussions during the 2018 Festival. The Conversations With series—hosted by CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner—includes four panels featuring a variety of artists: Tree of Codes Director Ong Keng Sen and Composer Liza Lim (May 26), Henry Naylor and Avital Lvova of Borders (May 27), Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and soprano Natalia Pavlova (June 3), and cast members from The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (June 7). Music critic Larry Blumenfeld will lead the Jazz Talk: Creative Music and Collective Spirit (May 29) and the Front Row Talk: Mining the Gullah Groove (June 1). All discussions are free to attend, though seats must be reserved online at spoletousa.org or by calling 843.579.3100. Additional details can be found online.
Spoleto Festival USA
Founded in 1977, Spoleto Festival USA is an annual 17-day performing arts festival that presents leading artists in classical and popular music, jazz, dance, and theater, contributing to the rich cultural fabric of Charleston, SC. The 2018 season (May 25 – June 10) includes more than 150 ticketed events in a dozen locations on the downtown peninsula. A release outlining the entire 2018 season can be found HERE.