Valentine’s Day is for all things passionate, and since Spoleto Festival USA adores nothing more than the performing arts, we’ve rounded up performances from the 2017 season that share a common theme: love. That complicated, all-encompassing human experience is expressed in a variety of ways this year—from an opera about a seductive game of love set in apocalyptic world to a puppet-theater piece featuring two Russian trains whose adoration spans the Tran Siberian Railroad. Romance your loved one with a night out to one of these swoon-worthy performances:

Ermon & Ramona_opt A scene from Ramona (Photo courtesy of Gabriadze Theatre)

Ramona, written by Georgian director Rezo Gabriadze, is a simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking story of two trains in love in postwar Soviet Russia. Ramona, a small train able to move only 300 meters each way, eagerly waits in a station for her Trans-Siberian locomotive love, Ermon, to return from the long journey across Russia. Played out with puppets, it’s whimsical tale examining how life can get in the way of romance. CLICK HERE for tickets to Ramona.

Pg 2 of Mozart's Great Mass Score_optAn excerpt from Mozart’s Great Mass (Photo courtesy of the Berlin State Library)

Mozart’s last work, commonly referred to as, Mozart’s Great Mass, will be presented to Festival goers by the Westminster Choir, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. Though unfinished, Mozart’s masterfully mighty piece was thought to be written as a peace offering to his father who did not endorse his marriage to Constanze. Despite Mozart’s father’s disapproval, their loved prevailed and this work has lived on to tell the tale. CLICK HERE for tickets to Mozart’s Great Mass.

6 OCD LOVE photo by Ron Kedmi_opt  Members of L-E-V in OCD Love (Photo by Gil Shani)

A production by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s Israeli L-E-V dance company, fuses electronic and contemporary music to tell the story of a love that always misses. Inspired by a poem by Neil Hilborn, this piece, performed in a style heavily rooted in Gaga, captures a woman’s experience of being charmed then ultimately exhausted by a lover with OCD. CLICK HERE for tickets to OCD Love.

DeeDee_resizedDee Dee Bridgewater (Photo courtesy of the artist)

With beautiful interpretations of songs like “L’Hymne A L’Amour” and “You Happened My Way,” Dee Dee Bridgewater‘s second appearance at the Festival is perfect for a Valentine’s Day surprise. Her natural charisma and powerful vocals communicate her authentic love for all things jazz. CLICK HERE for tickets to Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Gallim WHALE 2 Nir Arieli_opt Members of Gallim Dance (Photo by Nir Arieli)

W H A L E, created by acclaimed choreographer Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance, explores life’s universal struggles—primarily the human pursuit of love and being loved—through polished and fresh choreography. What to expect: emotional vulnerability, sensual abandonment, and nudity. CLICK HERE for tickets to W H A L E.

Eugene-Onegin_resized (Alamay stock photo)

Puskin’s-novel-turned-Tchaikovsky-grand opera, Eugene Onegin, tells a fateful story of first love: A selfish hero, Onegin, grows to regret his initial rejection of young Tatyana as she grows into a worldly, complex woman. This dramatically intense opera displays the full range of emotions that accompanies love. CLICK HERE for tickets to Eugene Onegin.

We Love Arabs 1 credit_Gadi-DAGON_5_opt We Love Arabs (Photo by Gadi Dagon)

In We Love Arabs, Hillel Kogan and Adi Boutrous move together to find a choreographic resolution of sorts to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Using spoken word, props, and subtle humor, they work to find common ground despite prejudices. CLICK HERE for tickets to We Love Arabs.


An 18th-century apocalyptic game of love is played out between two sweethearts in Luca Francesconi’s 2001 opera, Quartett. Seduction, deception, and demise work to fully immerse audience members in the lovers’ bitter battle. Expect dark comedy and plenty of passion. CLICK HERE for tickets to Quartett.