Spoleto 2013

So much could be said about the June 7 performance of Spoleto’s double bill Mese Mariano/Le Villi. I usually focus on the singing aspect of things, but here I’ll simply say that Neil Patel’s innovative set design was breathtaking in Le Villi. Jilted maidens were presented as disturbed asylum inmates in Act II and peeled off a periwinkle floral backdrop to reveal padded walls. It was both brilliant and eerie!

Spoleto Festival USA Box Office Opens Today


The American counterpart to the  Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy takes place every year in Charleston, SC.  This year the opera offerings include Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Menotti’s The Medium, and a newer opera by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho called Emilie.  (Lyon 2010 review above) 


Kaija Saariaho, Composer
Amin Maalouf, Librettist
American Premiere

Venue: Memminger Auditorium

Price: Price: $25 – $80

Description: Émilie du Châtelet was larger than life: lover of Voltaire, among others; esteemed physicist who first defined kinetic energy; respected mathematician and translator of Newton’s Principia Mathematica; author of a treatise on the happiness of women; inventor of the concept of financial derivatives in part to pay off $1 million she lost to card sharks in a night of gambling—all of this achieved before she died in childbirth at the age of 42. Revered Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, internationally extolled for her contemporary operas, together with librettist Amin Maalouf, focuses on her heroine’s ruminations on love, fame and science during the last days of her life. World-renowned soprano Elizabeth Futral makes her Festival debut in this highly anticipated American premiere of a work described as “an international event” by The Times of London. Directed by Marianne Weems. Conducted by Spoleto Festival USA Resident Conductor John Kennedy.

Duration: Approximately 1 hr. 15 mins.