Welcome to the eleventh installment of the Quick Fact blog series! These posts are meant to give you a bite-size overview of performances you’ll find in the 2014 Festival season. Each post in the series includes who, what, when, where, and why. We’ll even throw in some images, audio, and videos to sweeten the deal. Enjoy!

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WHO

Composer: John Adams – WATCH VIDEO
Libretto: adapted by John Adams and Peter Sellars
Director: John La Bouchardière
Conductor: Joe Miller

WHAT

 A new fully-staged production of American composer John Adams’s multilingual retelling of the birth of Jesus (‘el niño’ translates as ‘the child’) that draws on a variety of sources to tell this well-known tale from a woman’s point-of-view and non-European perspective. The opera features soprano Caitlin Lynch, mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser, baritone Mark Walters, and countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Steven Rickards. (Pictured below from left to right, respectively.) 

ElNino4

WHEN

May 23 at 7:00pm
May 26 at 7:30pm
May 30 at 7:30pm

WHERE

Memminger Auditorium

WHY

It is no mean feat to take one of the world’s most well-known stories and retell it in a fresh and interesting way. When you start to learn about the sources and inspiration that Adams (Nixon In China, Doctor Atomic) and Sellars drew upon for El Niño, it leads you down a fascinating path that expands beyond biblical texts to include six poems by Mexico’s two great women poets, Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz and Rosario Castellanos, the Apocrypha, Hildegard of Bingen and the Wakefield Mystery Plays. But you do not need to have a scholar’s knowledge of these sources; at its heart, this is the story of the miracle of birth told through music, and you just need to listen and feel.

CLICK HERE to listen to tracks of El Niño.

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Tickets to El Niño and all other Festival performances are available online at spoletousa.org, over the phone at 843.579.3100, in person at the Charleston Visitor Center (375 Meeting Street), or through your mobile device.