January 7, 2018
Spoleto Festival USA Announces 2018 Program

42nd Season Takes Place May 25 – June 10 in Charleston, South Carolina

Highlights of the 2018 Festival:

Celebration: The Art of the Pas de Deux,performed by Miami City Ballet in honor of choreographer Jerome Robbins, his centenary, and his history with the Festival, dating back to his residency at the first Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, 60 years ago

US premieres of Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei in a Spoleto Festival USA co-production and Liza Lim’s 2015 opera Tree of Codes, conducted by John Kennedy in a new production by director Ong Keng Sen

Director Atom Egoyan’s You Are Mine Own, a multimedia-enhanced program of Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and Berg’s Lyric Suite, featuring baritone Alexander Dobson and soprano Natalia Pavlova

Bank of America Chamber Music series, featuring host and violinist Geoff Nuttall, pianist Inon Barnatan, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, Metropolitan Opera tenor Paul Groves, new-music ensemble JACK Quartet, quartet-in-residence the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and composer-in-residence is Doug Balliett, among other artists

Music in Time contemporary musicseries, directed and hosted by John Kennedy and highlighting worksby female composers from around the world, including Australian Liza Lim, Canadian Zosha Di Castri, New Zealand’s Annea Lockwood, Iceland’s Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Ireland’s Jennifer Walshe, among others

Contemporary dance company A.I.M and tap company Dorrance Dance

Theatrical productions including Kneehigh’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk;
Henry Naylor’s Borders,starring Avital Lvova; and National Theatre of Scotland’s
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Family-friendly productions from circus-arts troupe Gravity & Other Myths
and Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company

Wells Fargo Jazz series, opened by Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste and including pianists Vijay IyerFred HerschCraig Taborn, and Chucho Valdés; vocalist Jazzmeia Horn; and the trio Artifacts

Gullah-roots group Ranky Tanky and bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs in new First Citizens Bank Front Row music series

Candlelit concert of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Holst’sChoral Hymns from the Rig Veda at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, sung by the sopranos and altos of theWestminster Choir, under the direction of Joe Miller

Conducted by Former Festival Music Director Steven Sloane, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 15, featuring Pedja Muzijevic,andMahler’s First Symphony,and is joined by the Westminster Choir and Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus in Brahms’s German Requiem

Wells Fargo Festival Finale featuring Americana rock band The Lone Bellow,
held for the first time at “The Joe,”Charleston’s downtown baseball stadium

January 7, 2018 (Charleston, South Carolina) — Festival General Director Nigel Redden announced today the program for the 42nd annual Spoleto Festival USA, taking place May 25 through June 10, 2018. For 17 days and nights, leading artists in classical music, dance, jazz, theater, and a variety of other disciplines contribute to the rich cultural fabric of Charleston, South Carolina, through performances at the city’s theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces. “Since the Festival’s founding in 1977, it has not only drawn countless visitors to Charleston, but it has also created a sense of pride among city residents,” says Mr. Redden. “As Festival-goers have come to expect, we will be offering an exciting lineup of events designed both to enchant and challenge, while also paying homage to local Charleston culture and Spoleto Festival history.”

The 2018 Festival includes more than 160 events at locations around the city, from the historic Dock Street Theatre to the College of Charleston Cistern Yard. The Festival opens with a night of classical ballet at the Charleston Gaillard Center. Miami City Ballet performs Celebration: The Art of the Pas de Deux, hosted by the company’s Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. The performancecommemorates 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 showcases additional company repertoire in three further opening-weekend performances at the Gaillard Center. The 2018 dance series also features the companies of MacArthur Fellows Kyle Abraham (A.I.M) and Michelle Dorrance (Dorrance Dance).

Jerome Robbins (photo: Jesse Gertein)

The College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre hosts the US premiere of Spoleto Festival USA’s co-production of the Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei, with a plot based on an episode from Dante’s Purgatorio. At Dock Street Theatre, the Festival also presents the US premiere of Tree of Codes, an opera by Australian composer Liza Lim based, in part, on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name. Directed by Ong Keng Sen, the modern work takes audiences on a fanciful journey through multiple realities. Ms. Lim’s music is also featured in the Music in Time contemporary music series, which this year highlights leading female composers from around the world.

At the Gaillard, as part of the Festival’s orchestral programming, director and Academy Award-nominee Atom Egoyan stages a multimedia interpretation of Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite. Titled You Are Mine Own,the eveningfeatures baritone Alexander Dobson alongside soprano Natalia Pavlova, who made her American debut as Tatyana in the Festival’s 2017 production of Eugene Onegin. Ms. Pavlova also sings in Brahms’s German Requiem, performed by the SpoletoFestival USA OrchestraWestminster Choir, and Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Additional concerts include programs from the Bank of America Chamber Music series, featuring such artists as pianist Inon Barnatan, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and JACK Quartet.

English theater companies Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic bring The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk to the Dock Street Theatre. At Memminger Auditorium, the Australian physical-theater troupe Gravity & Other Myths presents the US premiere of Backbone, examining the limits of strength. Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company brings two productions: Il matrimonio segreto, a six-puppet opera sung by the Westminster Choir, and The Pied Piper, a colorful retelling of the classic fairytale, both at Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston.

Bank of America Chamber Music Series (photo: William Struhs)

Wells Fargo Jazz commences at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard with two concerts from Jon Batiste, bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, followed by an evening of jazz piano from 12-time Grammy nominee Fred Hersch.The outdoor stage also sets the scene for two First Citizens Bank Front Row concerts: bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs, backed by Kentucky Thunder, and Charleston-based Gullah-roots band Ranky Tanky.

The Wells Fargo Festival Finale, which concludes the 2018 season, 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 is outlined below and can be found here, along with an event calendar. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 22, at 10:00am by phone at 843.579.3100 and online at spoletousa.org. A donor pre-sale begins Tuesday, January 9. Tickets can be purchased in person through the Spoleto Festival USA Box Office at the Charleston Gaillard Center (95 Calhoun St.) beginning May 1. Additional details can be found online and below following the full 2018 program overview.

2018 Program Overview


Tree of Codes (photo: Nina Jua Klein); Pia de Tolomei (photo: Imaginarium Creative Studio)

The Festival’s opera productions include two US premieres: Donizetti’s tragedy Pia de’ Tolomei and contemporary composer Liza Lim’s Tree of Codes. The programming also includes Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, presented by Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company.

Created in collaboration with Teatro di Pisa, Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno, the Festival’s Pia de’ Tolomei is recast in pre-World War II Tuscany. Andrea Cigni directs this Donizetti opera, and Lidiya Yankovskaya—Music Director of the Chicago Opera Theater—conducts. In this production that debuts Sunday, May 27, soprano Amanda Woodbury stars as the title character, who is murdered by her husband, sung by baritone Valdis Jansons, and her husband’s cousin, sung by tenor Isaac Frishman, after she is accused of infidelity. Major support for Pia de’ Tolomei is provided by The Albert Sottile Foundation. On Sunday, June 3, Lidiya Yankovskaya will appear in discussion as part of the Conversations With series (see Artist Talks).

Australian composer Liza Lim’s Tree of Codes takes audience members on a journey through alternate realities, moving between perforations in time and multiple existences. The opera is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name—an experimental art work derived by removing words from Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles—as well as Goethe’s Erlkönig. In this US premiere at Dock Street Theatre (opening May 26), Ong Keng Sen directs the work and its two singers, soprano Marisol Montalvo and baritone Elliot Madore. The lighting and sets are designed by James Ingalls and Scott Zielinski, respectively. Ong Keng Sen will appear in discussion on May 26 as part of the Conversations With series (see Artist Talks).

The Italian Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company presents Cimarosa’s opera, Il matrimonio segreto on May 28, 29, and 30. Six members of Westminster Choir voice the opera buffa’s marionette characters, who find themselves in a tangle of love and secrets in 18th-century Bologna. Marco Seco conducts the four performances, sung in Italian with English supertitles at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston. The Italian company, whose history dates back to the mid-19th century, hand-carves each wooden marionette; its collection includes more than 3,000. Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company is also bringing a theatrical production of The Pied Piper.


Gravity & Other Myths in Backbone (photo: Carnival Cinema); Heatscape (photos: Gene Schiavone)

The 2018 dance season features Miami City Ballet, A.I.M, Dorrance Dance, and a collaboration between Sara Mearns and Jodi Melnick. The opening-night program, Celebration: The Art of the Pas de Deux, commemorates American choreographer Jerome Robbins’s centenary and honors his unique relationship with Spoleto.

In 1958, Robbins was named a resident artist of the inaugural Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, and during his tenure with the Italian Festival, established a short-lived ballet company (Ballets: USA) that premiered works including NY Export: Opus Jazz and MOVES. Fifteen years later, Robbins organized a performance called Celebration: The Art of the Pas de Deux, which featured five duets by various choreographers, interspersed with his commentary. On May 25, 2018, Miami City Ballet, led by Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, will resurrect the event, which includes three Robbins works that illuminate the pas de deux: Other DancesIn the Night, and Afternoon of a Faun.

Festival-goers have three additional opportunities to see Miami City Ballet, one of the leading classical companies in the US that is renowned for its interpretations of George Balanchine’s ballets as well as its commitment to presenting contemporary work. On May 26 (matinee and evening) and 27, the company performs Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Carousel Pas de Deux, Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, and Justin Peck’s Heatscape, which includes backdrops by Charleston-native and muralist Shepard Fairey.

MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham’s contemporary dance company A.I.M appears at the Festival on June 1, 2, and 3. The troupe performs two of Mr. Abraham’s newest pieces created in conjunction with the dancers: Drive, with a score grounded in hip hop by Theo Parrish and Mobb Deep, and a duet from Dearest Home, danced in silence by Tamisha Guy and Jeremy “Jae” Neal. Additionally, A.I.M presents Mr. Abraham’s The Quiet Dance and fellow postmodern choreographer Doug Varone’s Strict Love at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston.

 A second dance production at the Emmett Robinson Theatre, One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures/NEW BODIES, produced by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, features New York City Ballet dancers Sara Mearns, Jared Angle, and Gretchen Smithin collaboration with postmodern choreographer Jodi MelnickNEW BODIES (June 7-10) showcases the three classical dancers in an untraditional light—without pointe shoes and in experimental choreography crafted by the dancers themselves. Ms. Melnick joins the trio towards the end of the work, which also includes a panel discussion hosted by a surprise guest. In the same evening, she performs One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures, a piece created with the late Trisha Brown.

Starting June 1, Memminger Auditorium hosts tap company Dorrance Dance, led by performer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance. A 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Ms. Dorrance is known for pushing tap dance’s rhythmic, technical, and conceptual boundaries. In two programs, the company presents four works: ETM: Double Down, which incorporates electronic floor boards created by collaborator Nicholas van Young that allow the dancers to manipulate their sounds; Myelination, a showcase of footwork at warped speeds; Jungle Blues; and Three to One, a piece that juxtaposes the movements of two barefoot dancers with those of a dancer in tap shoes.


The Pied Piper (photo: Carla Colla & Sons Marionette Company); Borders (photo: Rosalind Furlong); The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (photo: Steve Tanner)

Spoleto Festival USA’s 2018 theater productions range from comedy to drama. Staged at the Dock Street Theatre, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is produced by Cornish theater company Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic. Written by Daniel Jamieson with music and songs by Ian Ross, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk follows the lives and love story of Russian-Jewish artist Marc Chagall and his wife, Bella, as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. This winner of the 2017 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award is directed by Kneehigh associate Emma Rice—the artistic director at Shakespeare’s Globe—and stars Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall and Daisy Maywood as Bella.

Henry Naylor’s Borders opens at the Woolfe Street Playhouse on May 25 as part of the American Express Woolfe Street Series. It is Mr. Naylor’s second work presented at the Festival; his one-woman monologue, Angel, starring Avital Lvova, kept audiences rapt during its run in 2017. Ms. Lvova is also returning in Borders as a pregnant Syrian refugee, whose experiences are contrasted with those of a celebrated war photographer, played by Graham O’Mara. The winner of the Best of Edinburgh 2017, Borders is directed by Michael Cabot.

The National Theatre of Scotland makes its Festival debut with The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, written by David Greig, directed by Wils Wilson, and presented as part of the American Express Woolfe Street Series (starting May 31). Woolfe Street Playhouse provides a cabaret-style backdrop for the play, set partially in a pub in the Scottish Borders. The plot centers on Prudencia Hart, an uptight academic who unexpectedly embarks on a dream-like journey of self-discovery that includes wild karaoke and devilish encounters. The action, performed by five actors/musicians, unfolds among and around the audience—of which adult members receive a taste of whisky as they enter the theater. On Thursday, June 7, Prudencia cast members participate in a discussion as part of the Conversations With series (see Artist Talks).

Appropriate for Festival-goers both young and old, Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company’s The Pied Piper is a musical 90-minute retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The Pied Piper, which is performed in English at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston (May 25-27), features more than 400 puppets—including 300 rats—manipulated by 11 puppeteers. 


Backbone (photo: Carnival Cinema)

Australian circus arts company Gravity & Other Myths performs the US premiere of its newest work, Backbone. The production examines and tests the possibilities and limits of strength. Beginning May 25, ten acrobats take over Memminger Auditorium for this display of athleticism set to a score created live onstage.


Jon Batiste (photo: Sasha Israel); Jazzmeia Horn (photo: Jacob Blickenstaff); Vijay Iyer & Trio 3 (photo: John Rogers)

This year’s Wells Fargo Jazz highlights several of the finest jazz pianists working in the field today. Kicking off the series is pianist and vocalist Jon Batiste, who has made a name for himself as the bandleader and musical director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The New Orleans native is also the bandleader of Stay Human, the creative director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the newly named musical director of The Atlantic, for which he collaborates with editors on a range of projects, from writing to producing video to recording new work. Batiste performs solo at College of Charleston Cistern Yardon Friday, May 25, and is then joined on Saturday, May 26, by funk and soul revivalist band the Dap-Kings. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the 10-person band is best known for their 20-year partnership with late vocalist Sharon Jones. They released their most recent album, Soul of a Woman, in November 2017.

The Fred Hersch Trio plays at the Cistern Yard on Sunday, May 27. Pianist Fred Hersch, whose most recent album, Open Book, brought his total Grammy nominations to 12, first arrived on the New York scene in the 1980s and, more than 30 years later, is considered the standard-bearer of mainstream jazz piano. He is also known as the first openly gay and HIV-positive jazz musician; his 2017 memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, outlines his experiences. For his return to the Festival, Hersch is accompanied by longtime collaborators bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson.

 Brooklyn-based pianist Craig Taborn performs at the Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston. The pianist’s experimental concerts are often completely improvised, with Mr. Taborn drawing from a vast range of outside musical influences, from classical to heavy metal. He performs solo for two nights (June 6 and 7) before drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Chris Lightcap join him for two additional concerts.

 Known as a leading artist in Afro-Cuban jazz, pianist, composer, and six-time Grammy Award-winner Chucho Valdés performs with his quartet on May 31 at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The son of Cuban music legend Bebo Valdés, Mr. Valdés came of age playing in Havana nightclubs and was propelled into the international spotlight in the 1970s at Dizzy Gillespie’s recommendation. During his time leading the band Irakere (established in 1973), he ignited a new style: timba—Cuban dance music that fuses folkloric styles with jazz, rock, and funk to create a rich and dynamic sound. The quartet comprises Mr. Valdés, percussionists Yaroldy Abreu Robles and Rodney Barreto,and bassist Yelsy Heredia.

Improvisers Reggie Workman (bass), Oliver Lake (saxophone), and Andrew Cyrille(drums), who perform on June 3 at the Charleston Gaillard Center, have been leaders in jazz since the 1960s, when they performed alongside such figures as John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor. They formed Trio 3 in the 1980s and have recently collaborated withpianistVijay Iyer, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist, 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a Harvard University professor who joins them in this Festival performance.

Nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category, Jazzmeia Horn appears at the Charleston Gaillard Centeron Monday, May 28. This Dallas-born, New York-based singer, whose win at the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition prompted the release of her 2017 debut album, A Social Call, leads a new septet in this concert on May 28.

Groundbreaking jazz trio Artifacts—comprising Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, and Mike Reed—brings some of jazz’s past to the present in six performances (beginning May 26) at the Simons Center Recital Hall. The three Chicago-based musicians are members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an organization founded on Chicago’s South Side in 1965 that is committed to experimentation and innovative composition. Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Reid, and Mr. Reed first joined forces in 2015 for AACM’s 50th anniversary, marking the occasion with Artifacts, an album reinterpreting works from the organization’s history. The group, however, is committed to more than reflection: as leaders and composers in their individual fields, they also perform original music that speaks to current times. Before the trio’s concert on May 29 at 7:00pm, members of Artifacts speak with music critic Larry Blumenfeld for the Jazz Talk: Creative and Collective Spirit (see Artist Talks).


Ricky Skaggs (photo: Skaggs Family); Ranky Tanky (photo: Reese Moore)

A winner of 15 Grammys and multiple International Bluegrass Music Association awards, Kentucky-born Ricky Skaggs can be heard on mandolin at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard, where sextet Kentucky Thunder join him for a one-night-only Festival performance on June 1. 

The following night at the Cistern Yard, the group Ranky Tanky makes its Festival debut on Saturday, June 2. Taking its name from the Gullah phrase for “get funky,” Ranky Tanky infuses the music of the Georgia/South Carolina Sea Islands with jazz, gospel, and R&B. The band—which includes lead vocalist Quiana Parler, trumpeter/singer Charlton Singleton, bassist Kevin Hamilton, guitarist/singer Clay Ross, and percussionists Quentin Baxter and Calvin Baxter—formed in 2016 and released its first album in September 2017. On June 1, members of Ranky Tanky join music critic Larry Blumenfeld for the Jazz Talk: Mining the Gullah Groove (see Artist Talks).


Bank of America Chamber Music (photo: William Struhs); Natalia Pavlova; Spoleto Festival Orchestra (photo: William Struhs)

For 42 years, Spoleto Festival USA has upheld its commitment to providing high-level opportunities for young performers as well as unique performance experiences for established artists. This mission is especially apparent in the Festival’s 2018 music programming, which features the rising talents of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and Westminster Choir as well as creative concerts as part of the Bank of America Chamber Music and Music in Time series.

Filmmaker Atom Egoyan, who directed the 1997 film The Sweet Hereafter, provides stage direction for the production of You Are Mine Own, in which he uses Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony and Berg’s Lyric Suite as the basis for a love story. Festival Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy leads the SpoletoFestival USA Orchestra, while soprano Natalia Pavlova (who starred in the Festival’s 2017 production of Eugene Onegin) and baritone Alexander Dobson sing Zemlinsky’s work, which includes poetry by Tagore. Taking place on June 2 at the Charleston Gaillard Center, You Are Mine Own is co-produced by Spoleto Festival USA and Luminato Festival and is sung in German with English supertitles.

On June 5, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra joins forces with Westminster Choirand Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus in Brahms’s German Requiem,written following the deaths of Brahms’s mentor Robert Schumann as well as his mother in 1865. Natalia Pavlova sings the soprano solos, and Festival Director of Choral Activities Joe Miller conducts.

The Westminster Choir, under the direction of Joe Miller, gives three solo concerts during the 2018 season. On May 26 and June 1, the ensemble performs at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in a program that includes Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, and on May 29, the choir’s sopranos and altos perform Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Holst’s Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda. Sung by candlelight in the sanctuary of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, the chamber pieces explore spirituality from a woman’s perspective.

Former Festival Music Director Steven Sloane conducts the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra for its final showcase on June 9 at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The evening of Mozart and Mahler includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 15 in B-flat Major and Mahler’s First Symphony, “The Titan.” Joining the orchestra for Mozart’s concerto is pianist Pedja Muzijevic, who can also be heard this season during the Bank of America Chamber Music series.

Long considered the backbone of the Festival, Bank of America Chamber Music returns to the Dock Street Theatre for 11 programs, each performed three times. In his ninth season as director and host, violinist Geoff NuttallThe Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director of Chamber Music, curates each eclectic concert, often combining contemporary compositions with lesser-known, earlier works. Returning to the series in 2018 is countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (who starred in the Festival’s US premiere of Farnace in 2017), violinist Livia Sohn, violist Meena Bhasin, cellist Joshua Roman, and pianists Inon Barnatan and Pedja Muzijevic, among others. Joining them are Peter Moore, the London Symphony Orchestra’s co-principal trombonist; tenor Paul Groves of the Metropolitan Opera; and JACK Quartet, a Brooklyn-based string ensemble specializing in 21st-century compositions. Together with the St. Lawrence String Quartet(the Arthur and Holly Magill Quartet in Residence), the JACK Quartet debuts an octet by composer-in-residence Doug Balliett. More Bank of America Chamber Music details, including a full concert schedule, will be available in April.

Festival Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy hosts the Music in Time new music series, comprising three programs held at the Woolfe Street Playhouse and presented as part of the American Express Woolfe Street Series on May 28, May 30, and June 4. This season highlights the works of international female composers, including Australian Liza Lim, Canadian Zosha Di Castri, New Zealand’s Annea Lockwood, Iceland’s Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Ireland’s Jennifer Walshe, among others. The programs also feature soprano Marisol Montalvo, who appears in the Festival’s opera, Tree of Codes; soprano Nina Guo and bassist Edward Kass of Departure Duo; and members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.


The Lone Bellow (photo: Eric Ryan Anderson)

Nashville-based Americana, soul, and folk-rock band The Lone Bellow headlines the Wells Fargo Festival Finale, held for the first time at Charleston’s baseball stadium, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Sunday, June 10. The Finale gates open at 5:30pm.Additional local bands, which will be announced this spring, take the stage beginning at 6:00pm; The Lone Bellow performs at 8:30pm. A fireworks display draws the 2018Festival to a close.


For the sixth year, Spoleto Festival USA collaborates with the Charleston Horticultural Society and The Garden Conservancy to open some of Charleston’s lushest private sanctuaries for self-guided tours. Each Saturday tour (May 26 and June 2) features eight different private gardens, promising two full days of discovery and wonder in these artfully cultivated spaces. Garden descriptions and more information can be found at gardenconservancy.org/open-days/charleston.


The 2018 Festival continues its Conversations With discussion series, in which Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner interviews Festival artists about their work. This season features Tree of Codes director Ong Keng SenBordersplaywright Henry Naylor, cast members from The Strange Undoing of Prudencia HartPia de’ Tolomei conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, and soprano Natalia Pavlova.

Music critic Larry Blumenfeld also conducts two artist talks. On May 29, the members of Artifacts speak to the enduring legacy of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and how the organization has influenced and empowered their work, and on June 1, Quentin Baxter and fellow members of Ranky Tanky discuss Charleston’s Gullah culture and how the group’s music champions this tradition within a contemporary framework.

Find a full calendar of events here.


Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, January 22, at 10:00amonline at spoletousa.org and by phone at 843.579.3100.

For contributors to Spoleto Festival USA of $100 or more, a donor pre-sale starts on January 9, providing exclusive access to tickets and premium seating for the 2018season. Access is based on contribution level; more information about the donor pre-sale and how to donate can be found at spoletousa.org.

On-site box office operations will be located at Charleston Gaillard Center beginning Tuesday, May 1. Tickets may be purchased in person Monday through Sunday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Go Spoleto! accommodation and ticket packages are available in partnership with five premium Charleston hotels. For more information, visit spoletousa.org/gospoleto.

Festival gift certificates can be purchased in any amount and used towards performance tickets, merchandise such as Festival posters, or charitable contributions to SpoletoFestival USA. To purchase gift certificates, order online at spoletousa.org or by phone at 843.579.3100.

Spoleto Festival USA is made possible in part through funds from the Spoleto Festival USA Endowment, generously supported by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Arthur and Holly Magill Foundation, and The Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Charitable Trust.

The 2018 season is made possible in part by the City of Charleston; Wells Fargo; Bank of America; BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, The Albert Sottile Foundation; American Express; First Citizens Bank; South State Bank; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation; The Jerome Robbins Foundation; BMW Manufacturing Co.; South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts; County of Charleston; Sherman Capital Markets, LLC; Eastern Distribution; The Brand Foundation of New York, Inc.; Pinnacle Bank; the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation; and Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

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