Hosokawa's MATSUKAZE, Old Vic & Handspring Puppet Company's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Verdi's MESSA DE REQUIEM and More Set for Spoleto Festival USA 2013, 5/24-6/9

Charlestons-Spoleto-Festival-USA-Announces-2013-Season-20010101

Festival General Director Nigel Redden today announced the 2013 artistic lineup for Spoleto Festival USA, which showcases nationally and internationally acclaimed artists in a celebration of opera, theater, dance, physical theater, music, and visual arts. The 37th annual Festival, to be held in historic Charleston, South Carolina, from May 24 through June 9, will feature one of Spoleto's largest lineups in recent history, with expanded dance and theater offerings and two original opera productions, as well as a wide range of classical and contemporary music.

The magnitude of this year's program is particularly noteworthy as the Festival is facing two seasons without one of its primary venues, the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, which is undergoing a major renovation. In addition to relocating its on-site box office operations to the Charleston Visitor Center at 375 Meeting Street, Spoleto is transforming the TD Arena at the College of Charleston from a state-of-the-art basketball facility to an acoustically balanced performance venue for Festival music and dance performances, complete with a traditional stage and full theatrical lighting.

The 2013 season of Spoleto Festival USA officially opens on Friday, May 24, with Opening Ceremonies at noon in front of Charleston's City Hall. The newly retrofitted TD Arena will see its first performances on Friday night as Compagnie Käfig presents an evening of hip-hop-influenced Brazilian dance. Following the evening's performances, the Spoleto Opening Night Fête kicks off the 2013 season with an elegant street party with cocktail supper, live music, a full bar, and the company of Festival artists and patrons.

Spoleto Festival USA is known for introducing audiences to new and groundbreaking work, and the 2013 Festival offers a number of American premieres in a variety of genres, beginning with the contemporary opera Matsukaze by Toshio Hosokawa, one of Japan's most prominent living composers. In dance, young tap virtuoso Jared Grimes makes his Spoleto debut premiering a new evening-length work created especially for the Festival. The theater program offers the American premiere of a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream by England's Bristol Old Vic in association with South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company. One half of the operatic double-bill-Umberto Giordano's Mese Mariano-will receive its first fully-staged U.S. production. On the music front, John Kennedy, Spoleto Festival USA's Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities, will lead the Festival Orchestra in American premiere performances of Pierre Boulez's arrangement of Ravel's Frontispice and P?teris Vasks' Credo; and the Bank of America Chamber Music Series will feature the world premiere of a new work by composer-in-residence Samuel Carl Adams (son of composer John Adams, whose landmark piece Harmonielehre is being performed in a separate orchestral concert).

Other notable musical offerings include the young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov -winner of the Prize Laureate at the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition-performing in the chamber music series; and concerts by a range of popular artists from composer/singer/banjo player Abigail Washburn, contemporary bluegrass band Punch Brothers, and vintage rocker/R&B artist J. D. McPherson to banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck pairing up with Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré to perform selections from their Grammy Award–winning project, Throw Down Your Heart: Africa Sessions.

In a first-ever collaboration, Spoleto Festival USA, the Charleston Horticultural Society, and The Garden Conservancy present Behind the Garden Gate, a self-guided tour through more than half a dozen of Charleston's beautiful private gardens, many of which have never been on public tour.

Tickets to these-and a wide variety of other-Festival performances are available now, at spoletousa.org and by calling 843.579.3100.

2013 PROGRAM OVERVIEW

OPERA
Spoleto's 2013 opera offerings revolve around the theme of women and the terrible consequences of thwarted love, whether romantic or maternal. In Toshio Hosokawa's Matsukaze, the spirits of two sisters must wander the earth until they are released from the bonds of a centuries-old love. The opera was celebrated in Europe after its 2011 world premiere in Brussels. Spoleto's American premiere production is conducted by John Kennedy and directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, who directed the landmark Festival productions of Monkey: Journey to the West and The Peony Pavilion.

In a pairing of two rarely performed Italian operas, the Festival brings together Umberto Giordano's Mese Mariano, in which a mother yearns to be reunited with the child she was forced to abandon years before, and Puccini's first opera, Le Villi, a cautionary tale of a woman scorned and the vengeful female spirits who force her unfaithful lover to dance himself to death. Though dramatically different in style, the operas share not only a similar theme, but also a common set and a unifying directorial vision provided by internationally recognized director Stefano Vizioli, whose work has been seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera, among many others.

THEATER
Running for the full length of the Festival season, and being presented for the first time in the U.S., is a highly anticipated new production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream created by Tom Morris and Handspring Puppet Company, whose last collaboration resulted in the Tony Award–winning War Horse. Handspring's puppets coexist with their human counterparts in a future primitive world populated by Shakespeare's familiar cast of characters.

Based on Sophocles' classical Greek tragedy, Nottingham Theatre's Oedipus has been adapted for a contemporary audience by celebrated actor/director Steven Berkoff. Berkoff directed the critically acclaimed Salomé at the 1990 Festival; this time around he not only directs, but also takes the stage in the role of Oedipus' brother-in-law (and uncle) Creon.

The Intergalactic Nemesis is a show unlike any other the Festival has presented, a self-styled "live action graphic novel" that draws its inspiration from such sources as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and the pulp serials of the 1930s.

The theater offerings also include two very different one-man shwos. Writer and performer Rob Drummond, in the alter ego of William Wonder, explores the history of the magic trick known as the Bullet Catch, which includes the true story of William Henderson, who died in 1912 attempting the infamous illusion. In Mayday Mayday Tristan Sturrock, last seen in the 2006 Festival presentation of Kneehigh Theatre's Tristan & Yseult, relates the true story of his recovery from a traumatic injury that threatened to end his career and change his life forever.

PHYSICAL THEATER
Nouveau circus has become a popular feature at Spoleto Festival USA, and in 2013 the Festival presents Compagnie XY in Le Grand C. The title refers to le grand chapiteau, or "big top," but the piece is not like any traditional circus. Set to French music, Le Grand C is a display of expressive movement and powerful physicality, suitable for audiences of all ages.

DANCE
Under the direction of Ruben Olmo, Spain's renowned Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía offers a program of technically impeccable traditional Flamenco highlighted by soloists Pastora Galván and Rocío Molina, considered by many to be two of the most exciting dancers working in Flamenco today. Shantala Shivalingappa has captivated audiences worldwide with the vibrant, precise storytelling embodied in her performances. She returns to Spoleto Festival USA with Swayambhu in the style of Kuchipudi, India's millennia-old theatrical dance form. Inspired by an encounter with eleven young dancers from the shantytowns of Brazil, Compagnie Käfig's artistic director and choreographer Mourad Merzouki created Correria and Agwa, two works that combine samba, hip-hop, and capoeira dance styles. Lucky Plush Production's The Better Half is a humorous dance/theater piece that captures the habitual patterns, escapist tendencies, and resilience in contemporary relationships. Described by Debbie Allen as one of the few male tap virtuosos of his generation to embody the stage-savvy finesse of Robinson, Astaire, and Sammy Davis Jr., Jared Grimes brings a new evening-length work to the 2013 Festival.

MUSIC
After more than three decades of dedicated artistic leadership, Joseph Flummerfelt makes his farewell appearance as Spoleto's Artistic Director for Choral Activities conducting the Westminster Choir, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in a performance of Verdi's Messa de Requiem.

Led by Geoff Nuttall, The Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director for Chamber Music, the perennially popular Bank of America Chamber Music Series features thirty-three concerts of 11 programs performed twice daily in the historic Dock Street Theatre. The 2013 series will see the return of such familiar faces as the St. Lawrence String Quartet, bassist Anthony Manzo, pianist Pedja Muzijevic, and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, among others. Making their Spoleto Festival debuts are 23-year-old Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, 2012 Honens Prize Laureate; percussionist Steven Schick, who performed with the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City; and the Brentano Quartet, whose recording of Beethoven's opus 131 in C-sharp minor is the basis of the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed feature film A Late Quartet starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken.

Led by renowned conductor Stefan Asbury, a regular with the world's leading orchestras and Chief Conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra presents a trio of orchestral works that have origins in folk music, including Bartók's rarely-performed suite from the ballet The Wooden Prince. In a second concert, John Kennedy conducts a program that features John Adams' mighty Harmonielehre (Book of Harmony) and the American premieres of the Ravel/Boulez Frontispice, performed with two pianos and five hands, and P?teris Vasks' Credo, a musical response to intolerance and ecological destruction.<


John Kennedy's Music in Time series is a showcase for modern work-from what have become classics of contemporary music to the compositions of those working on the cutting edge of the genre. The 2013 season features works by pioneering composer and vocalist Pamela Z; the music of Nathan Davis, which blends live electronic processing with acoustic instruments; and a celebration of the 100th birthday of The Rite of Spring in a concert that links, without pause, the music of Stravinsky along with pieces The Rite influenced with works by Debussy, Reich, and others. The series also includes a program of pieces designed to evoke memory, including Matsukaze composer Toshio Hosokawa's Im Frühlingsgarten, Missy Mazzoli's Death Valley Junction, and William Duckworth's Shadowing Satie.

The Festival's late-afternoon Intermezzi concerts feature artists from the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and the season's operas in varied programs, including a celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten, and a concert of Copland's Music for the Theatre and Stravinsky's Suite for Pulcinella led by young conductor Aik Khai Pung.

WELLS FARGO JAZZ
The 2013 Wells Fargo Jazz Series features Festival newcomers and popular returning artists. The series program includes Grammy-nominated jazz and soul singer Gregory Porter, who has "a voice to die for" according to Jazz Wise, and the progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers, who return to the Festival after a sold-out 2008 appearance. Alessandro Penezzi (acoustic guitar) and Alexandre Ribeiro (clarinet) tackle everything from improvisational Brazilian choro to "hot jazz;" Eli Degibri, a young tenor saxophonist from Israel, creates compositions that mix jazz, funk, and ethnic rhythms; Brazilian pianist/composer/arranger André Mehmari appears with Zé Alexandre and Sérgio Reze performing jazz, popular, and classical music from Mozart to Monk; Iiro Rantala, Finland's best-known jazz pianist will present six concerts in the intimate Simons Center Recital Hall; and the Red Stick Ramblers bring their signature Cajun/honky-tonk/swing style to the Festival Finale at Middleton Plantation.

VISUAL ARTS
The Spoleto Watercolors of Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo is a body of work by two American artists who attended many Spoleto Festival USA seasons and created paintings inspired by friendships, the rich culture of the Festival, and the lush Lowcountry environment they found in Charleston. The exhibition runs from May 24 through September 15 in the Rotunda Gallery at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art is a collaboration by five mixed-media artists who transform various types of literature and printed books through sculptural intervention-presented by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in The Marion and Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Center for the Arts and The Rotunda of the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library at College of Charleston.

TICKETS

Starting Monday, December 10 at 10:00am, tickets can be purchased online at spoletousa.org or by phone at 843.579.3100. Beginning March 25, tickets may be purchased in person at the Spoleto Festival USA box office, relocated to the Charleston Visitor Center at 375 Meeting Street while the Gaillard Auditorium is closed for renovations.

Go Spoleto! accommodation and ticket packages are available in partnership with several premium downtown 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 towards a charitable contribution to Spoleto Festival USA. To purchase gift certificates, order by phone at 843.579.3100.

2013 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Bold=opening performance

22 May: Wednesday
7:00pm Le Grand C (preview) MEM

23 May: Thursday
7:00pm Le Grand C (preview) MEM
7:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream (preview) DST
8:30pm Mayday Mayday (preview) ROB

24 May: Friday
12:00pm Opening Ceremonies OPN
1:00pm Chamber I DST
7:00pm Jared Grimes ROB
7:30pm Compagnie Käfig TDA
7:30pm Matsukaze DST
8:00pm Le Grand C MEM
8:30pm Gregory Porter CIS
9:00pm Opening Night Fête GLE
9:30pm Mayday Mayday ROB

25 May: Saturday
10:00am Behind the Garden Gate (self-guided tours until 4:00pm)
11:00am Chamber I DST
12:00pm Mayday Mayday ROB
12:00pm Conv | Tom Morris CLS
1:00pm Chamber I DST
2:00pm Compagnie Käfig TDA
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream (preview) DST
4:00pm Le Grand C MEM
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
7:00pm Compagnie Käfig TDA
7:00pm Jared Grimes ROB
8:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
9:00pm Gregory Porter CIS

26 May: Sunday
11:00am Chamber II DST
1:00pm Chamber II DST
2:00pm Compagnie Käfig TDA
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
4:00pm Jared Grimes ROB
5:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
8:00pm Le Grand C MEM
8:00pm Mayday Mayday ROB
8:30pm Matsukaze DST
9:00pm Eli Degibri CIS

27 May: Monday
11:00am Chamber II DST
1:00pm Chamber III DST
1:00pm Mayday Mayday ROB
2:00pm Le Grand C MEM
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
5:00pm Intermezzo I CTL
5:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
7:00pm Punch Brothers TDA
7:00pm Jared Grimes ROB
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
8:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
9:00pm Music In Time I MEM

28 May: Tuesday
11:00am Chamber III DST
1:00pm Chamber III DST
5:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
7:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
7:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
7:30pm Rimsky-Korsakov, Bartók, Rachmaninoff SOT

29 May: Wednesday
11:00am Chamber IV DST
1:00pm Chamber IV DST
5:00pm Music In Time II REC
7:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
7:30pm Le Grand C MEM

30 May: Thursday
11:00am Chamber IV DST
1:00pm Chamber V DST
5:00pm Westminster Choir CTL
5:00pm Iiro Rantala REC
7:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
7:30pm Béla Fleck & Oumou Sangaré TDA
7:30pm Le Grand C MEM

31 May: Friday
11:00am Chamber V DST
1:00pm Chamber V DST
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
6:00pm Le Grand C MEM
7:00pm Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía TDA
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
8:00pm Lucky Plush Productions ROB
8:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
9:00pm Abigail Washburn CIS

1 June: Saturday
11:00am Chamber VI DST
12:00pm Lucky Plush Productions ROB
1:00pm Chamber VI DST
2:00pm Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía TDA
3:30pm Le Grand C MEM
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
5:00pm Intermezzo II REC
7:00pm Lucky Plush Productions ROB
7:30pm Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía TDA
8:30pm Matsukaze DST
9:00pm André Mehmari Trio CIS

2 June: Sunday
11:00am Chamber VI DST
1:00pm Chamber VII DST
1:00pm Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía TDA
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
3:30PM Conv | Steven Berkoff CLS
5:00pm Music In Time III REC
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
7:30pm Rosanne Cash TDA
8:00pm Lucky Plush Productions ROB
8:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST

3 June: Monday
11:00am Chamber VII DST
1:00pm Chamber VII DST
5:00pm Westminster Choir CTL
7:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
7:30pm Adams, Ravel/ Boulez, Vasks SOT

4 June: Tuesday
11:00am Chamber VIII DST
1:00pm Chamber VIII DST
5:00pm Conv | Joseph Flummerfelt CLS
7:00pm Oedipus MEM
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
8:00pm Matsukaze DST

5 June: Wednesday
11:00am Chamber VIII DST
1:00pm Chamber IX DST
5:00pm Intermezzo III GEC
7:00pm The Intergalactic Nemesis I SOT
7:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
7:30pm Oedipus MEM
8:00pm Bullet Catch ROB

6 June: Thursday
11:00am Chamber IX DST
1:00pm Chamber IX DST
3:00pm Oedipus MEM
5:00pm Alessandro Penezzi & Alexandre Ribeiro REC
5:00pm Conv | Jason Neulander CLS
7:00pm Shantala Shivalingappa ROB
7:00pm Alessandro Penezzi & Alexandre Ribeiro REC
7:00pm The Intergalactic Nemesis II SOT
7:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
7:30pm Oedipus MEM
8:00pm Messa da Requiem TDA
10:00pm Bullet Catch ROB

7 June: Friday
11:00am Chamber X DST
1:00pm Bullet Catch ROB
1:00pm Chamber X DST
3:00pm The Intergalactic Nemesis I SOT
5:00pm Music In Time IV REC
6:30pm Oedipus MEM
7:00pm Shantala Shivalingappa ROB
7:00pm Mese Mariano/Le Villi SOT
7:30pm Alessandro Penezzi & Alexandre Ribeiro REC
8:00pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
9:00pm J.D. McPherson CIS
10:00pm Bullet Catch ROB

8 June: Saturday
11:00am Chamber X DST
1:00pm Chamber XI DST
1:00pm The Intergalactic Nemesis I SOT
3:00pm Shantala Shivalingappa ROB
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
3:30pm Oedipus MEM
5:00pm Alessandro Penezzi & Alexandre Ribeiro REC
6:30pm The Intergalactic Nemesis II SOT
7:00pm Alessandro Penezzi & Alexandre Ribeiro REC
7:30pm Bullet Catch ROB
8:00pm Oedipus MEM
8:30pm Matsukaze DST
9:00pm J.D. McPherson CIS

9 June: Sunday
11:00am Chamber XI DST
1:00pm Bullet Catch ROB
1:00pm Chamber XI DST
1:00pm The Intergalactic Nemesis II SOT
3:30pm A Midsummer Night's Dream DST
4:00pm Shantala Shivalingappa ROB
8:30pm Finale/Red Stick Ramblers MID

VENUES

CIS College of Charleston Cistern Yard, 66 George St.
CLS Charleston Library Society, 164 King St.
CTL Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St.
CVC Charleston Visitor Center/Spoleto Festival USA Box Office, 375 Meeting St.
DST Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.
GEC Grace Episcopal Church, 98 Wentworth St.
GIB Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St.
GLE President's House, 6 Glebe St.
HAL Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 161 Calhoun St.
MEM Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.
MID Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road
OPN Opening Ceremonies, City Hall, 80 Broad St.
REC Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston, 54 St. Philip St.
ROB Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston, 54 St. Philip St.
SOT College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
TDA TD Arena at College of Charleston, 301 Meeting St.

Photo Credit: Olivier Roset

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