For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 120 performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in disciplines ranging from opera, theater, music theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music, as well as the visual arts.
Spoleto Festival USA has firmly established itself as one of the world’s major arts festivals, presenting over 100 world premieres and 93 American premieres since its inception in 1977. Past premieres and commissions include the highly acclaimed Monkey: Journey to the West, Peter and Wendy by Lee Breuer, Creve Coeur by Tennessee Williams, The American Clock by Arthur Miller, The Mechanical Organ by the Nikolais Dance Theatre, Miracolo d’Amore by Martha Clarke, Empty Places by Laurie Anderson, Hydrogen Jukebox by Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg, Praise House by Urban Bush Women, Three Tales by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot, and the world premiere of a Spoleto commissioned work Tenebrae by Osvaldo Golijov.
One of the Festival’s tenets is to provide young performers the opportunity to work with veteran directors, designers and performers. World-renowned artists who performed early in their careers at Spoleto Festival USA include Renée Fleming, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, the Emerson String Quartet and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
The following compendium is a comprehensive list of Spoleto productions and artists from 1977 to 2008.