The Arts

Spoleto Festival USA – Overview/2009 Season

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reviewed by Paula Citron

Overview/2009 Season
Spoleto Festival 2009
Opera – Charpentier’s Louise
Dance – Hiroaki Umeda (Japan)
Theatre – Don John and Story of a Rabbit (Britain)
In Charleston, South Carolina until Jun. 7

Spoleto Festival USA is offering its usual provocative mix of international companies.

The opera this year is Charpentier’s 1900 hit Louise (pictured). The last time it was done in North America was in San Francisco in 1967. In other words, it’s a once in a lifetime event. I liked everything about it except the set. The libretto is terrific and should be done more often.

The dance event was Japan’s Hiroaki Umeda. In his intriguing two solos, he translated electricity into a sound, light and movement show with great imagination, albeit with a great deal of similarity.

The two theatre productions I saw both came from Britain. Don John by Kneehigh Theatre from Cornwall is a stunning retelling of the Mozart opera. Story of a Rabbit is a risky performance art piece about life and death by Hugh Hughes that people either loved or hated.

Spoleto Festival USA continues in Charleston, South Carolina until June 7.

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