Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Preview Spoleto Festival USA's auction items at Fritz Porter starting this Thursday

Nothing like a sneak peek

Posted by Kathryn Noviello on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 3:37 PM

"Incandescence" is one of the pieces up for auction. - RHETT THURMAN
  • Rhett Thurman
  • "Incandescence" is one of the pieces up for auction.
Art lovers, great news! Charleston is getting an early taste of Spoleto Festival USA’s 41st season. The Spoleto Festival Annual Auction will take place Fri. Feb. 24 in The Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory to support the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, one of the country’s most prestigious ensembles of young musicians. Tickets to the event are $225 ($3,000 for a table of 10), but you can get a free sneak peek of the auction items starting this Thurs. Feb. 16 at Fritz Porter from 6-8 p.m.

Fritz Porter (also located in the old Cigar Factory) will showcase a selection of 23 pieces of art up for grabs from Thursday until the following Friday. The art available in this year’s silent and live auctions includes work by artists such as Lizzie Gill, John Acorn, Rhett Thurman, Kate Hooray Osmond, and Mallory Page.

Now, if you are in fact attending the auction, you can look forward to a cocktail reception, dinner, live auction, and live music performed by local singer/songwriter McKenzie Eddy. While the auction emphasizes the large number of available works created by visual artists, those attending the event will also have the chance to bid on luxurious trips, dinners prepared by award-winning chef Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary, and a post-Festival-performance meet-and-greet with bluegrass band Della Mae.

As the proceeds of the event will benefit the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, guests may also sponsor a member of the Orchestra for their residency during the 2017 season. Learn more here.

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Spoleto's Nigel Redden reflects on immigrants and the arts in op-ed

"We will all bear the loss"

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 1:10 PM

  • File photo
Nigel Redden, general director of Spoleto Festival USA, wrote in support of immigrants in his Post and Courier op-ed, "Immigrants all," published Saturday.

The original Spoleto Festival began in Italy and was founded by Gian Carlo Menotti, an immigrant who came to the country in 1927; Menotti founded Spoleto USA in 1977. Redden writes, "Spoleto Festival USA still thrives on the contributions of Americans as well as foreigners today. Whether presenting an opera by Antonio Vivaldi or a play by Samuel Beckett, the festival depends on works created by artists from many parts of the world."

It appears Spoleto and Redden in particular is feeling especially concerned about art and artists' place in America right now. In his op-ed Redden sings the praises of Spoleto's varied offerings, highlighting this year's performances of Angel, which is about a Kurdish immigrant, and We Love Arabs, which addresses the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Redden ends with a warning of sorts, about the future of arts if "immigrants, all" are not included: "It would be sad and diminishing for us if those possibilities vanished. Indeed, it would be quite a departure from what we have been as a Festival, and what we have been as a country if we close ourselves off from any part of the world. Ultimately, if we do, we will all bear the loss."

We couldn't agree more.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spoleto tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Get 'em while they're hot

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Yo, Carmen features María Pagés. - DAVID RUANO
  • David Ruano
  • Yo, Carmen features María Pagés.
Greetings, Spoletians. Spoleto Festival USA 2017 is right around the corner (well, in May, but that comes faster than you think) and tickets go on sale to the general public tomorrow, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m. Snag your tickets online or by calling (843) 579-3100.*

And, great news, it's also not too late to participate in the 2017 pre-sale either. You've got a few hours left and if there's something you're dying to see you can become a festival donor and gain access to those coveted tickets.

How do you choose what to see? Good question. Our overview critic Maura Hogan previewed the fest earlier this month — be sure to check that out.

*Online and call volume may be high tomorrow, so you may be put on hold or into a virtual waiting room, FYI.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meet our 2017 Spoleto overview critic, Maura Hogan

Let the countdown begin

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Maura Hogan is City Paper's contributing theater editor. - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Maura Hogan is City Paper's contributing theater editor.
Every year the Charleston City Paper seeks out a superstar writer to serve as our overview critic for Spoleto Festival USA coverage. An overview critic attends all of the festival's shows, reviewing them individually, and thinking on a larger scale to connect themes among performances, directors, and companies. It's no easy task. The overview critic must not only have a strong knowledge base of all things arts-related but an especially keen eye for how those themes pertain to Charleston as well as their connections to the international arts scene.

This year we didn't have much trouble landing on Maura Hogan, City Paper's contributing theater editor. Hogan, who grew up in Charleston, has a personal history with the Spoleto Festival.

Hogan has followed Spoleto Festival USA since its debut opera, The Queen of Spades, in 1977 — in fact she was in it. On that first foray she did so from the other side of the proscenium, as a member of its children’s choir. In 1978, she spied a safari-suit-clad Tennessee Williams ambling along a path at Kiawah, in town for the premiere of A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur. In 1985, a family for whom she nannied offered her a select spot at a small private concert in a Legare Street home, performed by the then-teenager violinist Joshua Bell. To sum it up, this lifelong arts lover is pretty sure that she wouldn’t be the same person today if those unfettered ideas and phenomenal artists hadn’t taken to the streets and theaters and parlors of her hometown during her formative years.

A marketing professional, Hogan works as director of advancement communications at the College of Charleston, and has previously held staff positions at Time Inc.,The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Gourmet, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She received a BA from the College of Charleston and a masters degree in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin.

Hogan has contributed pieces on the arts, culture, travel and lifestyle to publications including The New York Times, Gourmet, Garden & Gun, and The Post & Courier, as well as for cultural websites such as Flavorpill and Culturebot.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Spoleto Finale ends with rosé, deviled eggs, and plenty of night sweats

That's a wrap

Posted by Caroline Enten on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 11:56 AM

The Spoleto Finale completely sold out - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • The Spoleto Finale completely sold out
Since attending Spoleto SCENE Shakedown back in April and at every Spoleto SCENE event since, all that my fellow partygoers can seem to talk about is the Finale out at Middleton Place. Of all the shows, this half day concert-cum-picnic feels like the most accessible of all the festival offerings, appealing to the masses with relatively low ticket prices, a family friendly environment, and a well rounded musical lineup leading up to one fantastic headliner. Thousands of happy, sweaty people set camp upon the manicured, 18th century lawns of the old rice plantation yesterday, and while I saw some impressive spreads (candlelit tables! CanJam tournaments! vintage picnic baskets shaped like watermelons!), no one quite knows how to transform a grassy knoll like the SCENEsters do.
Chef David Schuttenburg feeds Chef Damon Wise - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Chef David Schuttenburg feeds Chef Damon Wise
Midway between the main entrance and the stage, tucked off to the side, resided an oasis beneath a canopy of oaks. Fenced off and carefully guarded, the SCENE party grounds were the envy of many attendees at yesterday’s final Spoleto offering. Shade was at a premium, with most people seeking refuge along the tree-lined perimeter of venue until sundown. SCENE HQ felt like air conditioning in comparison to the open spaces beyond, though your ever faithful reporter still managed to capture the “drowned rat” look within 30 minutes upon arrival.
Garret Bean and Will McKeachie relax in the shade - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Garret Bean and Will McKeachie relax in the shade
Thankfully, the rosé was already flowing, this time provided by Tim Logan and Patrick Emerson of Curated Selections. Their enormous bottle of AIX, named after the French city where it’s made, cooled the palates of many a SCENEster and made for some regrettable photo ops later (Exhibit A: Yours Truly).
Yours truly getting cozy with a bottle of rose - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Yours truly getting cozy with a bottle of rose
Other beverage options included three different pours from Revelry Brewing — including one fruity saison called “Naturaleza Viva,” honoring artist Frida Kahlo, and infused with prickly pear foraged from Charleston’s own barrier islands — and a Patron tequila-based take on a Mexican mule. If there’s a Beverage Director on the SCENE party planning committee, I think it’s safe to say that we now know their poison(s).
Kincaid Fairburn of Zero George pours Patron - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Kincaid Fairburn of Zero George pours Patron
The drinks were most appreciated and a necessity to make it through the day. The unlikely belle of the ball, however was  tall, bespectacled and bearded Baltimorean Damon Wise, who prepared enough ham salad deviled eggs to feed an army, followed by pit beef sandwiches that would make any South Carolinian question their allegiance to pulled pork. Accompaniments included herby potato salad, smoked corn on the cob slathered with mayo and ricotta salada, and giant wedges of half sour pickles. Patrons snagged heaping plates of food, then settled onto the ground to feast at low dining tables atop black and white checkered blankets, adorned by plenty of pillows for the propping of legs, hips and elbows. Talk about adorable.
Wise Buck provided the eats - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Wise Buck provided the eats
Bearskin rugs, cornhole, mini cornhole, giant beach balls, mini beach balls, string lights — you get the picture. There was no reason to leave. The SCENE encampment was the place to be until approximately 8:30 p.m., at which point everyone finally deserted to claim a spot in front of the stage among the masses, necks craning to catch a glimpse of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Music blasted, several random audience members shook tambourines — which apparently is a thing — and dozens of beach balls flew overhead during the evening’s final performance. The show concluded with a display of fireworks, each boom seemingly perfectly choreographed to Queen’s “Under Pressure.”
Tim Logan and Patrick Emerson poured super-size sips - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Tim Logan and Patrick Emerson poured super-size sips
It’s easy to understand why Spoleto SCENE continues to grow and attract new members. For $125, patrons gain access to specially discounted tickets for certain shows, and the best parties surrounding the festival. The Finale Party alone makes it worth the price. While I was really hoping to dig up some dirt or capture some Southern Charm worthy drama, the end result of a month’s worth of partying with the cool kids is this: SCENEsters are just like us; they are approachable, interesting, and smart for recognizing this unique opportunity afforded to them. Do yourself a favor and become a patron next year. Then perhaps you too can make out with a life-size bottle of French wine. 

  • Daniel Kfoury
Shannon Loughran and Emily Kotarski - DANIEL KFOURY
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • Shannon Loughran and Emily Kotarski
  • Daniel Kfoury
  • The SCENE Patron wall

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