by Ashlyn Stallings
You know those little triggers that cue the voice in your head to say, “This time last year?” Lately for me, memories ensue with the thick scent of confederate jasmine or the lowcountry cookbooks lying around my apartment—it’s safe to say I miss Charleston these days.
This time last year, I was interning at the fabulous Spoleto Festival USA in the Holy City. Trotting up and down King, George and East Bay streets to hit up shows with my comp tickets, I was high on art, music and dance during the 17-day festival. This is the last weekend, so check it out now.
Spoleto’s 33rd season began on May 21, 2009, but there’s still time to jaunt over to the peninsula and catch a few shows. Don John, a radical modern reworking of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, is causing quite a chatter in Charleston, on stage through the weekend. Also this weekend, beauty Stefania Dovhan makes her operatic debut stateside in Louise, an opera set in Bohemian Paris. Sensational acting troupes, flamenco dancers and vaudeville theatrics are also in the wings this week.
But I’m mostly craving the spectacular concerts, especially those directed by Charles Wadsworth. The conductor won my heart last year, and as it happens is stepping down after this festival. Don’t miss his chamber music performances. Works by romantic composers Tchaikovsky and Brahms and Mozart’s classic Requiem will also be played.
Smattered over 11 Chuck Town venues, Spoleto festival-goers have an opportunity to see the city and grab some of that renowned cuisine between shows. (And you know about the shopping, right?) Become a fan on Facebook for the opportunity to snatch up free tickets to various shows. Thousands make the pilgrimage to Spoleto each year, and the masses are on to something. The finale in itself is a feat, as picnic blankets pepper the grounds of Middleton Plantation against the firework-lit sky.
If you’re not one for spontaneity, jot down Spoleto Festival USA 2010 in your planner.