‘Spoleto Festival USA’ opens 46th season despite rainy weather

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Spoleto’s opening ceremony was washed out by rain, but that didn’t stop the Holy City from celebrating the start of the festival’s first full season since 2019.

Spoleto Festival USA welcomes Charleston for 17 days of glorious art after a two-year hiatus.

“The past two years have tested us and strained our resilience,” said Spoleto Festival USA President Alicia Gregory.

Organizers say the aim of this year’s festival is to have tough talks to help society grow and progress.

“I believe that art,” said Gregory, “while being a source of jubilation, can also initiate difficult but necessary conversations. In my view, this year’s program creates an opportunity to have a productive dialogue .

One of the works intended to encourage this dialogue is the opera Omar, which will have its world premiere on Friday evening.

“Omar Ibn Said,” said Omar’s manager, Kaneza Schall, “a man who was stolen from his home in West Africa and his family, and forced to flee to that country at gunpoint “.

Schall spoke about the importance of remembering to help create a better future for all.

“We will remember to touch the past and to carefully write the future,” she said.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg attended the first Spoleto Festival and says it still brings him great excitement decades later.

“I don’t know about you,” Tecklenburg said, “I feel great today. We’re going to have a fantastic festival from Spoleto to Charleston this year.

Tecklenburg congratulated all performers for their tireless dedication to their craft ahead of the official opening of Spoleto Festival USA 2022.

“Let singers sing, let dancers dance, let musicians and children play, and let the words of poets and playwrights ring loud and true. The 46e The Spoleto Festival USA starts now.

The world premiere of Omar will take place on Friday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m., inside the Sottile Theater.

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