By Andrew Alexander
For the AJC
Expect 17 days of cultural events ranging from Rachmaninoff to roots music, ancient Greek tragedy to the latest fringe comedy when Spoleto Festival USA kicks off its 37th season Memorial Day weekend in Charleston.
The lineup for the 2013 season was announced Monday, and it features more 45 world renowned and cutting-edge artists in theater, dance, opera, jazz, and classical music.
Handspring Puppets of South Africa, which created the horses for the National Theatre of Britain’s hugely successful “War Horse,” is creating puppets for the Bristol Old Vic’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Opera offerings include contemporary Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s “Matsukaze” and a double-bill of rarely performed one-acts by classic Italian composers: Puccini’s “Le Villi” and Giordano’s “Mese Mariano.”
Nottingham Theater presents its version of Sophocles’ “Oedipus,” and Austin-based comic book artist Jason Neulander describes his theatrical piece, “The Intergalactic Nemesis,” as a “live-action graphic novel.” Dance offerings include young tap virtuoso Jared Grimes, Spain’s Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, and France’s Compagnie Käfig. Country music singer Rosanne Cash, bluegrass band the Punch Brothers and soul singer Gregory Porter are all slated to perform, as well.
The festival also has a small visual arts component, and this year’s exhibition, “Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art,” includes Atlanta artist Brian Dettmer, whose intricate sculptural excavations of vintage books are currently on display at Atlanta’s Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia through Jan. 5.
The festival runs concurrently with Piccolo Spoleto, a separate performing arts festival created by the city of Charleston to present smaller regional acts alongside the larger Spoleto events. The 2013 festival begins May 24 and concludes June 9 with an outdoor picnic and concert by the Red Stick Ramblers followed by fireworks at Middletown Place plantation on the Ashley River outside Charleston.
For more information, visit spoletousa.org.