The 2023 season for Spoleto Competition USA was introduced as we speak, and means that after Covid-impacted seasons, the competition will as soon as once more be a possibility for Atlantans to get pleasure from an intense immersion within the performing arts over the course of a weekend or a number of days, all inside driving distance.
The greatness of Spoleto is that it gives a spread of chamber music, opera, orchestra live shows, theater, dance, jazz and even bodily theater, with programming all day lengthy. So you possibly can pack in as many reveals as you assume you possibly can deal with. And just about all the things is cutting-edge, even experimental. This isn’t the place to discover a routine efficiency of a warhorse opera or play. As a substitute, it offers the viewers an opportunity to stretch out a bit, usually with ensembles visiting from Europe and elsewhere abroad.
Tickets at the moment are on sale for the competition, which runs from Might 26 till June 11 in Charleston, South Carolina, and virtually all the things is inside strolling distance “on the tongue” — Charleston’s historic peninsula.
The competition’s long-running chamber-music program suffered a blow final yr with the demise of Geoff Nuttall, who headed up that portion of Spoleto. Nuttall was himself a famend violinist and a member of the famed St. Lawrence String Quartet. However chamber-music programming at Spoleto has lengthy been synonymous with Nuttall, who served as host for each live performance over the previous 12 years. He was witty, with fantastic charisma, and audiences beloved him.
The competition’s Opening Live performance (Might 26 within the Charleston Gaillard Heart) can be a celebration devoted to Nuttall, with former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano conducting the Spoleto Competition USA Orchestra, joined by a number of visitor artists, together with Alisa Weilerstein. Stephen Prutsman, Anthony Roth Costanzo and Paul Groves.
The chamber-music sequence will proceed from that time with morning and afternoon live shows of 11 totally different applications, every carried out thrice. Sometimes, these combine up to date works with favorites from the canon.
Opera has all the time taken middle stage at this competition, and opera followers have been thrilled final season when the competition returned to its format of presenting three totally different operas. Alas, that idea hasn’t caught, and this season options solely a single opera: Samuel Barber’s Vanessa, directed by Rodula Gaitanou, with Nicole Heaston within the title position. Vanessa has particular resonance right here, because the libretto was written by the competition’s founder, Gian Carlo Menotti. It is a return engagement of types: Vanessa was carried out as a part of Spoleto’s third season, 45 years in the past.
Apart from the Opening Live performance, the Competition Orchestra will current a number of orchestral live shows, together with a efficiency of Stravinsky’s The Ceremony of Spring, paired with the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 14.
Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe music cycle can be carried out by tenor James McCorkle, accompanying himself on piano, in a brand new stage adaptation by projection artist Miwa Matreyek.
Dance highlights embody the Scottish Ballet performing an adaptation of The Crucible by Helen Pickett, the previous Atlanta Ballet choreographer-in-residence who created a number of landmark items for the corporate. Different notables embody performances of The Sacrifice, choreographed by Dada Masilo, which options Tswana dance varieties which can be native to Botswana; and Chasing Magic, a piece for six dancers by faucet dancer/choreographer Ayodele Casel.
Theater programming will embody an Obie-winning manufacturing of An Iliad by Homer’s Coat, initially developed at New York Theatre Workshop; The Ebook of Life, a efficiency by Odile Gakire Katese constructed from the homicide of 1 million individuals in Rwanda in 1994; and Solely an Octave Aside, a music revue that includes Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo, two iconic American voices in a piece positioned “someplace between opera and politically subversive cabaret.”
One returning sequence beloved by followers of experimental music is Music In Time, two live shows directed by John Kennedy, resident conductor on the competition, that includes new music and, on this case, an attention-grabbing work by György Ligeti, Poème Symphonique for 100 mechanical metronomes.
Jazz artists this yr embody the Quentin Baxter Quintet, Kris Davis (Diatom Ribbons), Henry Threadgill’s Zooid and South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim showing with the ensemble Ekaya.
James L. Paulk is a longtime classical music author for such publications as ArtsATL and The Atlanta Journal-Structure. He’s additionally a former state senator.