One of the grandest times of the year is about to come- Spoleto Festival USA! And tickets are now available for events.

Spoleto Festival USA was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene, and others who sought to create an American counterpart to their annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Looking for a city that would provide the charm of Spoleto as well as its wealth of theaters, churches and other performances spaces, they selected Charleston as the ideal location.

It’s a great time to be in Charleston. Downtown is buzzing even more than usual.  Spoleto is a great showcase of a variety of performances from the small to outrageous productions.  Jazz to Ballet to more obscure performance art.  Over the last 11 years here in Charleston, my three favorite performances have been the first and only American performance to date of the Monkey Journey to the West opera, Laurie Anderson’s “Moby Dick,”  and the essay reading performance by writer David Sedaris.  Quite a variety!

This year’s event looks extra spectacular with Ireland’s Gate Theater, an all male ballet troup doing a send up of classical ballet-Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo,  The Colla Marionette Company, Polish pianist Leszek Możdżer, jazz vocalist Lizz Wright, the US premier of “This Is What Happens Next,”  late night punk rock duo Die Roten Punkte, Nina Ananiashvili and The National Ballet of Georgia and so much more.

And a lower cost alternative to Spoleto is our Piccolo Spoleto Festival . Lots of music, theater (most fun being the Piccolo Fringe theater events), literary , dance and family oriented events too.

May and June are a great time to be in Charleston!