Just as we reported yesterday, Spoleto Festival USA officially announced today that it would be talking with the Festival of Two Worlds Foundation, in Spoleto, Italy, to “establish similar ties to those discontinued in 1993” and “explore opera and theater productions that can be shared by the two festivals beginning in the 2009 season,” according to a press release.
The Post and Courier also reported the news this morning, but most of the article is lifted right from the press release (you can read the whole thing here). As you can see, the press release uses language that is far less confident-sounding than you’d think from reading the P&C‘s account.
It doesn’t say that they are sharing operas. It says that they “agreed to explore” the idea. It doesn’t say that the American festival will reunite with its Italian sister. The press release says that they “announced plans for the structure of a partnership [italics mine] between the two festivals.”
There’s a difference between a partnership and the structure of a partnership.
Nigel Redden, director of Spoleto Festival USA, was equally cagey in an interview yesterday with City Paper: “We are going to announce some kind of plan, if that’s the word, some kind of framework, for collaboration in the 2009 festival.”
So it seems a bit of caution is to be used until we know for sure what this news means. Bottomline: They will not share money, organizational structure, and many other resources. The “reunification” still appears to be largely symbolic, something, to be sure, that has value unto itself, but something that’s shouldn’t over- or understated.