Opening Weekend: What’s Next for Spoleto? Jennifer Foster and Marcus Overton revisit the talk – and the hot topics – at the opening weekend festivities at the Spoleto Festival USA. With the Dock Street Theatre renovation complete, there’s an even more ambitious project on the City of Charleston’s drawing board: a $100 million makeover of Gaillard Auditorium, the city’s largest performance space.
Emmanuel Villaume: Conducting in Charleston Spoleto Today producer Benjamin K. Roe sits in on a rehearsal session at the Gaillard to hear Spoleto’s Music Director for Opera & Orchestra Emmanuel Villaume whip the orchestra into shape with some of the most difficult works in the repertory. Villaume discusses the challenges – and rewards – of getting this orchestra of talented students to jell in a matter of days, producing what he calls “explosions – but elegant ones” in works such as Ravel’s La Valse, as well as the challenges and rewards he faces crafting his programs at home and abroad. We’ll also hear Villaume lead the orchestra through the exciting final pages of Ravel’s masterpiece. (Watch here).
A Dock Street Downbeat: New director Geoff Nuttall leads fellow Spoleto Chamber musicians in the first music to be heard in the series at the renovated Dock Street Theatre: The Canon & Gigue by Johann Pachelbel.
The Marionettes from Milan: Jennifer Foster examines the enchanting work of the Cola Marionette Theatre, the Italian troupe that’s delighting Spoleto audiences with their production of Philemon and Baucis, the little- known “puppet opera” by Franz Haydn. Director Piero Corbella maintains that the centuries-old tradition of his company are the 18th-century equivalent of modern-day avatars – only more compelling.
Haydn: Overture to Philemon & Baucis The second of the TWO overtures to Haydn’s opera. You’ll have to listen to find out why. Performed by the Haydn Sinfonietta of Vienna.
Not available for on demand listening.
Spoleto’s Early Music Tradition: From an opening-day concert by Charleston Pro Musica and the Madrigal Singers of Charlotte, we’ll hear Piccolo Spoleto’s Early Music Series director Steve Rosenberg lead a performance of Les Bouffons by 16th century Flemish composer Pierre Phalese, a piece with a Monty Python-esque plot. Rosenberg shares some ideas about the success of the 15-concert Early Music Series at Piccolo, before picking up his Renaissance guitar and joining the groups in two anonymous 16th-century selections: the Italian Ben venga maggio, and the Catalan L’amor dona. Recorded in concert Friday afternoon 5/28 at First Scots Presbyterian Church in Charleston.
The Press Box: Charleston Post & Courier critic Jack McCray joins Marc Overton to preview one of the most intriguing weeks of jazz performances in Spoleto’s history, with performances on tap by Polish pianist, Leszek Mozdzer; Brazilian vocalist, Fabiana Cozza; and bluesy Georgian diva, Lizz Wright.
Mozdzer’s Mazurka: Leczek Mozdzer says, “The melodic quality of Chopin’s music and this Slavonic sorrow appeal to me most. Also, I am constantly inspired by his harmony, especially his masterly use of diminished chords and the chromaticism, which electrify every jazzman.” Mozdzer was so inspired, in fact, that he made a landmark (and controversial) recording in 1999 called “Impressions on Chopin.” Is it Jazz? Is it Classical? Does it matter? Listen to Mozdzer’s take on Chopin’s Mazurka in F, Op. 68, No. 3.
Overtones: Marcus Overton & Jennifer Foster Yes, times are tight, so Marc Overton has some suggestions as to some of the great FREE things to Do in Charleston during the Spoleto run.