What better way to do a deep dive into Spoleto’s 2019 season than by reading some of the original works that inspired the shows or biographies about the artists themselves? We’ve compiled a short list to bring to your local library—or you can follow our links to free eBooks or Amazon pages to get your hands on hard copies. Happy reading!

Books for Music and Opera Lovers

  • Our all-new production of Richard Strauss’s opera Salome will be set in contemporary times, with most of the action taking place on a skyscraper in a modern-day city. The story will remain true to its origins—Salome’s libretto (or script) stems from Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name.
    Read or download the eBook for free at Project Gutenburg or check it out on Amazon.
  • On May 27 and 31, the Westminster Choir performs Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, a choral work that traces the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pathway across northern Spain. There are many writings on this most sacred of pilgrimages,  An insightful and spiritual account of the pilgrimage by Kevin A. Codd (a catholic priest), To the field of stars and a brilliantly poetic piece by Anne Carson, Kinds of Water: An Essay on the Road to Compostela, from her collection, Plainwater.
  • Carla Bley, an NEA Jazz Master, prolific composer, and trailblazer in modern jazz history, is performing on May 31 at the Cistern Yard. Catch up on her biography, written by Amy C. Beal, a professor of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
    Check it out on Amazon.

Books for Dance and Theater Fans 

  • The age-old tales compiled in One Thousand and One Nights form the basis of two works this Festival. At the Charleston Gaillard Center, acclaimed Lebanese dance company Caracalla Dance Theatre takes a more traditional approach to the legends told by Scheherazade, while Pay No Attention to the Girl—a play from Target Margin Theater at Woolfe Street Playhouse —weaves in other folktales from the Middle East and Silk Road countries, too.
    Read or download the eBook for free at Project Gutenburg or check it out on Amazon.
  • Shakespeare’s Globe is returning to Charleston and the Dock Street Theatre with three of the Bard’s plays in tow: Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, and Pericles. But if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, we recommend the Audience Choice shows when the actors present a little teaser of each before polling the audience on the spot and flowing right into the audience’s desired selection. In any case, even the most seasoned Shakespearean can benefit from a preemptive reading!
    Check out the free Shakespeare-Online versions of Twelfth NightThe Comedy of Errors, and Pericles.
  • Through film, music, and poetry, the world premiere production of Letter to a Friend in Gaza (May 30 – June 2) pays homage to the prolific French writer and absurdist, Albert Camus and his Letters to a German Friend, included in the collection Resistance, Rebellion, and Death. The play at Spoleto—created and directed by Amos Gitai—takes inspiration from Camus’s effort to find common ground between warring peoples.
    Check out Letters to a German Friend on Amazon.
  • Choreographer Bill T. Jones used The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald as a jumping-off point for his Analogy Trilogy, three evening-length works that examine the nature of service, duty, and how our memories affect our actions. Though each installment connects thematically, each is distinct and can be seen separately. The third movement, Analogy/Ambros: The Emigrant, is most connected to Sebald’s book, as Ambros one a character in the novel. See it on May 30 and June 1. 
    Check out The Emigrants on Amazon.
  • On May 25 and 26 at the Charleston Gaillard Center, France-based Compagnie Hervé Koubi performs What the Day Owes to the Night (Ce que le jour doit a la nuit), highly physical work for 13 male dancers. The work’s title, What the Day Owes to the Night, comes from the novel by Yasmina Khadra about a young boy’s experiences growing up in colonized Algeria. As it turns out, Yasmina Khadra is the nome de plume of Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul, about whom a leading critic in France wrote, “A he or a she? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Yasmina Khadra is today one of Algeria’s most important writers.”
    Check out Yasmina Khadra’s What the Day Owes to the Night on Amazon.


Ready to crack one of these open? Share an image with us on Instagram at @spoletofestivalusa and you may see yourself featured in our stories!