Spoleto Fest announces its packed 2013 season

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Spoleto Fest announces its packed 2013 season

CHARLESTON, South Carolina - The new season of the Spoleto Festival USA will feature one of its largest and most varied program lineups in recent years, with performances ranging from Greek tragedy to Shakespearean comedy to modern graphic novels.

There is also a chorus singing Verdi, two original operas, Flamenco dancers and contemporary bluegrass.

The festival on Sunday unveiled the schedule for its 37th season.

For 17 days each spring, the festival created by the late composer Gian Carlo Menotti lights up stages across Charleston.

Next year’s festival runs from May 24 through June 9 and features 160 performances by 45 artistic ensembles. Last season, Spoleto staged 140 performances.

The highlights include a new production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Tom Morris and the Handspring Puppet Company, as well as a production of “Oedipus” by the Nottingham Theatre.

In a more modern vein is “The Intergalactic Nemesis,” which the festival describes as a live-action graphic novel inspired by pulp novels; “Star Wars”; and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

The opera offerings include “Matsukaze,” about the spirits of two sisters condemned to wander the earth, and a double bill of Italian operas: “Marian Month,” about a mother who wants to be reunited with her abandoned child, and “Le Villi,” about a woman scorned and her unfaithful lover.

The dance offerings range from Spain’s Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia to tap dancer Jared Grimes.

It will be the final Spoleto season for Joseph Flummerfelt who, for more than three decades, has been the artistic director for choral activities at the festival. He will be leading festival choirs and choruses as well as the festival symphony in Verdi’s “Requiem Massachusetts”

Other musicians performing include Bela Fleck, Gregory Porter and the Red Stick Ramblers.

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