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Spoleto Festival’s 2018 Opera Program Includes Two US Premieres



The program for the this year’s Spoleto Festival USA, taking place May 25th through June 10th, features more than 160 ticketed events spanning numerous categories.

This year’s opera series will include two US premieres of disparate nature: Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei and the modern Tree of Codes. Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, presented by Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company, rounds out the programming.

Here’s how Spoleto Festival USA describes this year’s opera program:

Created in collaboration with Teatro di Pisa, Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, and Teatro Goldoni di Livorno, the Festival’s Pia de’ Tolomei is recast in pre-World War II Tuscany, complete with breathtaking sets peppered with fine Italian paintings and period costumes. Andrea Cigni directs this Donizetti opera, and Lidiya Yankovskaya—Music Director of the Chicago Opera Theater—conducts. In this lush and colorful retelling that debuts Sunday, May 27, Amanda Woodbury stars as the title character, who suffers the ultimate consequence at the hands of her husband, sung by baritone Valdis Jansons, and her husband’s cousin, sung by tenor Isaac Frishman, after she is accused of infidelity. Major support for Pia de’ Tolomei is provided by The Albert Sottile Foundation. On Sunday, June 3, Lidiya Yankovskaya will speak with CBS news correspondent Martha Teichner as part of the Conversations With series (see Artist Talks).

In sharp contrast, Australian composer Liza Lim’s Tree of Codes takes audience members on a journey through alternate realities, moving between perforations in time and multiple existences. The opera is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name—an experimental art work derived by removing words from Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles—Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles, and Goethe’s Erlkönig. In this US premiere at Dock Street Theatre (opening May 26), Ong Keng Sen (Facing Goya, 2012) provides direction for the work and its two singers, soprano Marisol Montalvo and baritone Elliot Madore. The luminous designs of James Ingalls (lighting) and Scott Zielinski (set) help conjure the magical world and its inhabitants. Additionally, Ong Keng Sen will join Martha Teichner for a discussion on May 26 (see Artist Talks).

First presented at the Festival in 1987, the Italian Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company returns this year, presenting Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto on May 28, 29, and 30. Six members of Westminster Choir voice the opera buffa’s characters, who find themselves in a tangle of love and secrets in 18th-century Bologna. Marco Secoconducts the four performances, sung in Italian with English supertitles at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston. The Italian company, whose history dates back to the mid-19th century, hand-carves each wooden marionette; its collection includes more than 3,000. Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company is also bringing a theatrical production of The Pied Piper.

The full 2018 program and an event calendar can be found here.

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 843-579-3100 and online at Tickets can also be purchased in person through the Spoleto Festival USA Box Office at the Gaillard Center (95 Calhoun Street) beginning on Monday, May 1st.

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