Charleston’s Spoleto Festival: Premier American Arts Festival Runs For 17 Days

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For 17 days and nights each spring, Charleston’s Spoleto Festival in South Carolina goes wild with music and arts in the city’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces. There are performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. Now approaching its 37th season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. This year, it runs from May 24 through June 9, 2013.

The Festival’s mission is to present programs of the highest artistic caliber while maintaining a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists. This focus has brought the Festival international acclaim year after year.

Contributing to the Festival’s ongoing success is its location in Charleston. Recognized the world over for its stunning natural beauty, impressive array of preserved historical architecture, and wealth of charming performance venues, Charleston provides an incomparable setting for audience members and guest artists alike.

Spoleto Festival USA was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene, and others who sought to create an American counterpart to their annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Looking for a city that would provide the charm of Spoleto as well as its wealth of theaters, churches and other performances spaces, they selected Charleston as the ideal location. The historic city provided a perfect fit: intimate enough that the Festival would captivate the entire city, yet cosmopolitan enough to provide an enthusiastic audience and robust infrastructure.

In the decades since its inception, Spoleto Festival USA has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading festivals, presenting more than 200 world or American premieres. Notable past premieres and commissions include: Monkey: Journey to the West by Chen Shi-Zheng, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett; Peter and Wendy by Lee Breuer; Creve Coeur by Tennessee Williams; The American Clock by Arthur Miller; The Mechanical Organ by the Nikolais Dance Theatre;Miracolo d’Amore by Martha Clarke; Empty Places by Laurie Anderson;Hydrogen Jukebox by Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg; Praise House by Urban Bush Women; Three Tales by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot; andTenebrae by Osvaldo Golijav.

World-renowned artists who performed early in their careers at Spoleto Festival USA include Renée Flemming, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, the Emerson String Quartet and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.


Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

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