17-day Spoleto Festival begins

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By Ashley Barker
Published May 23, 2014

The 38th season of Spoleto Festival USA kicked off today with an opening ceremony hosted by Charleston Mayor Joe Riley on the steps of City Hall.

Piccolo Spoleto, the official companion festival that is operated by the city of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, also began today. Both will run through June 8.

Artists from more than 14 countries and across the United States will present more than 150 operas, plays, concerts and dances at 13 venues around the Charleston area during Spoleto. Between 70,000 and 80,000 people are expected to attend events during the festival.

The Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, which accompanies the season’s opera selections and performs symphonic concerts, consists of 90 musicians selected by John Kennedy, resident conductor and director of orchestral activities. Smaller ensemble groups participate in choral, chamber and contemporary music performances, according to the festival.

Other directors in charge of the festival include Geoff Nuttall, director for chamber music; Joe Miller, director of choral activities; and Nigel Redden, general director.

Piccolo Spoleto highlights local and regional artists and includes more than 800 performances throughout the city.

Schedules for Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto events can be found online.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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