This week Spoleto Festival USA announced 17 days of virtual programming, Spoleto at Home. In lieu of the 2020 lineup, the festival will present free digital and radio broadcast programming May 22-June 7.
[content-2] In a press release, festival general director Nigel Redden said, “With Spoleto at Home, the Festival seeks to celebrate our community and honor the Festival process to the best of our ability. While gathering in person is not possible, I hope Spoleto at Home programming can bring a small amount of what makes the Festival so special into each of our living rooms, providing a little light in these dark moments.”
The at-home programming will feature some of the festival’s most popular offerings including chamber music concerts at Dock Street Theatre; partnering with South Carolina ETV, Spoleto presents weekday radio broadcasts of 11 past Bank of America Chamber Music programs, curated by festival director of chamber music, Geoff Nuttall.
The concerts will air weekdays at 11 a.m. on the South Carolina public radio program Sonatas and Soundscapes. Nuttall and radio host Bradley Fuller will introduce each concert and conduct on-air interviews with various performers.
The Spoleto Festival USA orchestra, led by director of orchestral activities, John Kennedy, will also offer a digital concert. Beginning May 20 you can access Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, recorded remotely by members of the would-have-been 2020 orchestra.
Kennedy explains the choice of Rzewski’s piece: “I chose Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together, a work that functions a metaphor for confinement and conditional freedom. Its accompanying text is fragmented into parts, but when gathered and stitched together, it speaks to defiance and resolve.”
Additional digital concerts include pianist Pedja Muzijevic and jazz duo Linda May Han Oh and Fabian Almazan. Muzijevic will introduce each of three works played from his home in New York — concerts will be accessible May 24-June 7.
Oh and Almazan present a recorded concert from their shared home, giving listeners a glimpse into their creative work as well as a discussion of their environmental activism within the music industry. You can catch this concert on Spoleto’s website June 3-7.
While the festival’s opera, Omar, will now premiere during the 2021 fest, Spoleto at Home will present a preview on May 22. The digital rehearsal will feature tenor Jamez McCorkle (playing the central role of Omar Ibn Said), John Kennedy, as well as co-composers Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels.
As part of Spoleto’s Engaging the Community initiative, the festival partners with drummer Shannon Powell who will lead a virtual workshop with Charleston Jazz Academy students, available for viewing May 31-June 7.
Check out the full schedule of virtual programming online. Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
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