Piccolo Spoleto Festival

Summary Info Festival StoryFestival Events Not AvailableOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region United StatesSouth Carolina
Type of Festival Drama, Music
Location of Festival Charleston, South Carolina USA
Festival Contact Information

Piccolo Spoleto Festival
City of Charleston
Office of Cultural Affairs
133 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401 USA
Phone: (01) 843-724-7305
Fax: (01) 843-720-3967
Email: culturalaffairs@ci.charleston.sc.us

Festival Description

The combination of historic Charleston's old European charm and the world-class Spoleto Festival USA together produce a unique and impacting synergy for all who come to the city by the sea to experience this magnificent international multi arts festival. But what really adds the ingredient of magic to the mix is Piccolo Spoleto, which provides access to the festival for Every Person, especially children. Focusing primarily on artists of the Southeast region, Piccolo Spoleto is the perfect complement to the international scope of its parent festival and its 700 events in 17 days, transforms Charleston into an exhilarating celebration of performing, literary and visual arts. Piccolo Spoleto's traditional program offerings include visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children's activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts, and film.

Festival Dates May 24 - June 9, 2013
Festival Links http://piccolospoleto.com

Festival Story:

For those whose first and only exposure to composer Gian-Carlo Menotti is in a Grade 6 Music class by listening to a record of Amahl and the Night Visitors – then hold onto your socks! For those of you who are much more cultured (as I expect you are) then the following is common knowledge and you can skip to the end…

Gian-Carlo Menotti was a classical music STAR in the US in the 1950s and 60s. He was a contemporary of Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber and Alberto Toscanini, and was pretty much considered a wunderkind from the get-go. After making a huge splash in the opera world (new operas in ENGLISH, commissions from the Met, a Pulitzer Prize),in 1958, he returned to his native Italy to found the Festival Dei Due Mondi (the Festival of Two Worlds) in the historic town of Spoleto, in the Umbria region.

The Italian festival became such a phenomenon that Menotti decided that there should be a sister festival in the US. He looked for an American city that had culture, charm, churches, theatres, and performance spaces enough for the onslaught of companies that would descend on the town. Charleston, South Carolina fit the bill perfectly. Apart from being the home of the US’s first theatre, it also could boast that it had sustained the oldest Ballet and music organizations in the country. Charleston also has an old, “Historic District” that lends itself to pedestrian traffic and a harbour that plays host to both tall ships and a working quay.

Charleston has embraced Spoleto USA since its inception in 1977, and has created an atmosphere during the festival that supports the arts in every facet it can. There are festivals that run concurrently, and are inspired by Spoleto and take advantage of the attendees of the larger festival. Suffice it to say, Charleston is the place to be during the two weeks of Spoleto, USA!


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Practical Info:

  • Piccolo Spoleto Box Office
    Gaillard Auditorium
    77 Calhoun Street
    Charleston, SC 29401 USA


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