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Spoleto Festival USA Launches Chorus and Audition Tour


Spoleto Festival USA has announced the formation of the Spoleto Festival USA Chorus, a new professional choir that builds upon the company’s commitment to showcasing exceptional choral music and artists. The chorus will embark on an audition tour in search of 50 inaugural vocal fellows, who will perform major choral works, as well as sing in mainstream opera productions and {…}


Spoleto Festival USA Appoints New General Director


(Credit: Peter Adamik) The Spoleto Festival USA in South Carolina has appointed Mena Mark Hanna as its new General Director. The new Director brings more than a decade of experience working in the performing arts field, both in leadership roles and as an educator. He was previously at Berlin’s Barenboim-Said Akademie where he was the Founding Dean and Professor of {…}

IndieOpera, Streaming

Spoleto Festival to Present ‘Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration’


The Spoleto Festival is set to present “Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration.” The concert will be showcased on June 11 at the College of Charleston Cistern Yard and will feature a range of artistic guests including the Grammy-nominated chamber music ensemble Imani Winds, writer and director Julie Dash, and rising star vocalist Sharón Clark alongside pianist {…}


Spoleto Festival USA Postpones World Premiere of ‘Omar’


The Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina has announced that it will be postponing the world premiere production of “Omar.” The work, which was set to premiere in 2020, will now be postponed until the 2022 season. The opera is written by Rhiannon Giddens and is based on the life of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim-African man brought {…}


Spoleto Festival USA General Director Nigel Redden Retires After 35 Years


The Spoleto Festival USA General Director Nigel Redden announced his retirement in a statement Thursday, September 24. Redden cited the cancellation of the 2020 season and “the enforced isolation of the past several months,” as his reasons for departure after 35 years at the Festival’s helm. Redden went on to say, “The Festival continues to mean an enormous amount to {…}


Spoleto Festival Presents ‘Omar: Collaboration in Conversation’


Spoleto Festival has released a behind-the-scenes video on their upcoming work “Omar.” Originally slated for its world premiere at this year’s festival, the work is based on the 1831 autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim scholar who was taken from West Africa to be a slave in the Carolinas. “Omar” is created by Grammy Award-winner Rhiannon Giddens, and co-composed {…}


Spoleto Festival USA to Present Free Digital Platform Starting May 22


The Spoleto Festival USA has announced a free digital platform that begins streaming on May 22, 2020. For the purposes of this article, our sole focus will be on operatic and vocal performances being showcased. Arguably the most fascinating of offerings will be a preview for the upcoming opera “Omar” by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels. The work was one {…}


Spoleto Festival Announces 2020 Season


(Credit: Courtesy of Spoleto Festival) General Director Nigel Redden has announced the details of the 44th season of Spoleto Festival USA. The festival will feature a wide array of music, performances, screenings, talks and opera. For this article we have only concentrated on the vocal performances. Opera  The festival will show the world premiere of “Omar” based on the life {…}

Reviews, Stage Reviews

Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds 2019 Review: Proserpine


(Photo: Maria Laura Antonelli/AGF) This summer, Spoleto’s Festival of the Two Worlds, now in its 62nd year, premiered “Proserpine” a new opera by the Italian composer, Silvia Colasanti. The work is a rendering of a well-known Greek myth, in which Proserpine is abducted by Pluto and taken down into the Underworld. Over the centuries it has had many retellings and {…}