05/27/2022 to 06/12/2022
Spoleto Festival USA is one of the premier arts festivals in the world. It began in 1977 when Gian Carlo Menotti, the Pulitzer Prize-winning operatic composer, decided to create an American companion to the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy.
He looked all over America and chose Charleston. Here's why: “It’s intimate, so you can walk from one theatre to the next. It has Old World charm in architecture and gardens. Yet it’s a community big enough to support the large number of visitors to the festival.”
Spoleto Festival USA has grown exponentially in size and influence in the decades ever since.
For 17 days each year, at the end of May through the beginning of June, the arts take over Charleston. Over 150 world-class performances of music, theater, dance and opera abound, all across the historic downtown peninsula and beyond. Venues include the newly redesigned Gaillard Center, as well as theaters, churches, historic sites and outdoor spaces.
Tickets traditionally go on sale several months before the festival dates and often sell out quickly. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on Spoleto for the last couple years, but organizers are hoping for a normal (and better than ever) edition of the festival in 2022.
Spoleto 2022 will host the much-anticipated world premiere of "Omar: A New Opera." Spoleto commissioned Grammy-winning (and MacArthur Fellow) Rhiannon Giddens to write the full-length opera, which was supposed to premiere in 2020. The work is based on the rare autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved man who arrived in Charleston in 1807.
The 46th annual Spoleto Festival will run from May 27th through June 12th, 2022.
Please see the official Spoleto website for more information as the 2022 season approaches.