Opera

Salome

Date: May 24, 30, June 2, 5

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

Best known for the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” Salome depicts the biblical story of Herod’s lovesick stepdaughter and John the Baptist’s ill fate in this contemporary production featuring Oscar Wilde’s rich text.

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Theater

The Fever

Date: June 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Venue: Woolfe Street Playhouse

Performed in complete collaboration with the audience, The Fever begins as a simple story about an ordinary party and evolves into a spellbinding examination of how we assemble, organize, and care for the bodies around us.

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Theater

Pay No Attention to the Girl

Date: May 29, 30, 31, June 1

Venue: Woolfe Street Playhouse

Interweaving stories about the sexes―their conflicts, their love, their tricks―this theater piece unearths timely truths from ancient Islamic tales we thought we knew.

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Theater

Letter to a Friend in Gaza

Date: May 30, 31, June 1, 2

Venue: Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston

In the world premiere of filmmaker Amos Gitai’s multimedia performance, four actors—two Palestinian and two Israeli—address the foundations of the conflict at the Israel-Gaza border.

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Theater

Roots

Date: May 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Venue: Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston

With its signature fusion of handcrafted animation, storytelling, and original score, English theater company 1927 offers a series of rarely told folktales that glimpse imaginations from a pre-industrialized age.

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Theater

Shakespeare’s Globe | Audience Choice

Date: May 23, 25, 27, 30, June 1, 4, 6, 8

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

“Audience choice” shows invite ticket-holders to collectively choose between Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, or Pericles; the versatile cast of eight will immediately launch into the winning play!

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Theater

Shakespeare’s Globe | Twelfth Night

Date: May 24, 31, June 5, 8

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

A combination of cruelty, high comedy, and the pangs of unrequited love.

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Theater

Shakespeare’s Globe | The Comedy of Errors

Date: May 26, 29, June 1, 7

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

A hectic tale of violent cross-purposes and frenzied slapstick.

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Theater

Shakespeare’s Globe | Pericles

Date: May 27, June 2, 9

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

This little-seen romance submits its hero to a series of tragedies that culminate in something quite the opposite.

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Theater

What Girls Are Made Of

Date: June 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Venue: Memminger Auditorium

Based on her meticulously detailed teenage diaries, Cora Bissett performs her own rollercoaster journey from the rock-star girl she was, singing in a hot indie band in Scotland, to the woman she wanted to be.

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Physical Theater

Circa

Date: June 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Venue: Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston

Three intrepid acrobats perform mesmerizing feats against a soundscape of Bach—played live by a violinist—fused with spine-tingling electronica.

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Music Theater

Path of Miracles

Date: May 27, 31

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

This ethereal work, sung a cappella by the Westminster Choir, traces the inspiration, the travails, and finally the rewards of the Camino de Santiago—a spiritual pathway across northern Spain.

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Dance

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

Date: May 27, 28, 29, June 1

Venue: Memminger Auditorium

This trilogy weaves together movement, text, song, and storytelling to create an intriguing rumination on the nature of service, duty, and the idea of a life well-lived.

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Dance

Compagnie Hervé Koubi

Date: May 25, 26

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

Thirteen male dancers from Africa and Europe blend street forms, like capoeira, breakdancing, and martial arts, with that of modern contemporary dance to create powerful sequences punctuated with explosive feats.

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Dance

One Thousand and One Nights

Date: June 7, 8, 9

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

Lebanon’s Caracalla Dance Theatre brings age-old stories to life with lavish silk costumes, rich scores with traditional Arabic instruments and melodies, and a multitalented cast of more than 40 performers.

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Music

Bank of America Chamber Music

Date: May 24 – June 9

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

Host Geoff Nuttall, who celebrates his 10th season at the helm of this beloved series, leads some of the most skilled chamber musicians in the country in 11 diverse, intimate, and thrilling programs.

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Music

City Symphonies

Date: May 26

Venue: Memminger Auditorium

Three films capture the aura of American cities—New York, Los Angeles, and Miami—are shown with live soundtrack by the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra to celebrate the energy, chaos, and beauty of urban life.

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Music

Classical Showcase

Date: May 28

Venue: Dock Street Theatre

Members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra take to the Dock Street stage to perform repertoire from the classical and neo-classical periods.

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Music

Music in Time | in vain

Date: May 30

Venue: Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston

Georg Friedrich Haas’s 70-minute work brings the concert hall to darkness while the orchestra remains playing.

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Music

Music in Time | The Living Earth Show

Date: May 25

Venue: Woolfe Street Playhouse

This electric guitar-percussion duo from San Francisco returns to the Festival to perform works exploring what it means to be considered American.

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Music

Music in Time | Rebellion in Greenery

Date: May 26

Venue: Woolfe Street Playhouse

Disparate sonic landscapes from quiet gardens to noisy cities are brought together in this concert of new and recent music from a compelling array of composers.

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Music

Music in Time | Stay On It

Date: May 31

Venue: Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston

The energy and endurance of minimalism is showcased in this program featuring work by Julius Eastman and Steve Reich.

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Music

Prokofiev and Shostakovich

Date: June 1

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

The Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra explores the breathtaking orchestration and dramatic contours of Russia’s 20th-century musical profile.

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Music

St. John Passion

Date: June 4

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

Bach’s monumental work explores the grave solemnity and glorious redemption of Christ’s crucifixion—performed by Westminster Choir, Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.

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Music

Westminster Choir Concerts

Date: June 1, 7

Venue: St. Matthew's Lutheran Church

Conducted by Joe Miller, these concerts display the virtuosity and versatility of the Festival’s resident chorus in the exquisite sanctuary of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.

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Music

Wells Fargo Festival Finale featuring Curtis Harding

Date: June 9

Venue: Riverfront Park

Curtis Harding brings a “blistering slice of dancefloor soul” to the Festival Finale’s mainstage for a celebratory close to the 2019 season at Riverfront Park.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

Carla Bley – Trios

Date: May 31

Venue: College of Charleston Cistern Yard

Prolific pianist and composer Carla Bley performs beloved works and new compositions with bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

Dafnis Prieto Big Band

Date: May 29

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

With this 17-piece band—complete with saxophones, trumpets, congas, and more—Grammy nominee and MacArthur Fellow Dafnis Prieto brings some of the world’s best Afro-Cuban musicians to Charleston.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

David Virelles

Date: May 25, 26, 27, 28

Venue: Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston

Blending Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions with modern American jazz, pianist David Virelles creates a sound that’s at once ancient and contemporary; for the latter three performances, Virelles is joined by master percussionist Román Díaz.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

Esperanza Spalding

Date: May 24, 25

Venue: College of Charleston Cistern Yard

This bassist and vocalist makes her Festival debut, bringing her restless innovation in jazz, pop, and beyond to the beautiful Cistern Yard.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

Geri Allen Tribute Quintet

Date: May 30

Venue: College of Charleston Cistern Yard

A star-studded collective of four musicians and a tap dancer pay tribute to pianist Geri Allen’s indelible legacy.

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Wells Fargo Jazz

Mark Turner and Ethan Iverson

Date: June 5, 6, 7, 8

Venue: Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston

Mark Turner’s “delicate, almost ethereal” tenor saxophone and Ethan Iverson’s impressionistic pianism come together in the intimate Simons Center Recital Hall.

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First Citizens Bank Front Row

I’m With Her

Date: June 1

Venue: College of Charleston Cistern Yard

A folk trio with family-like chemistry, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan blend indelible harmonies and instrumental interplay for an unforgettable sound.

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First Citizens Bank Front Row

Punch Brothers

Date: May 26

Venue: College of Charleston Cistern Yard

At home in nearly any musical genre, this enthusiastic and experimental quintet takes bluegrass to its next evolutionary stage.

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Special Events

Opening-Night Fête

Date: May 25

Venue: To be announced

Toast Compagnie Hervé Koubi and the beginning of the 2019 season at the party of the season with refreshing cocktails, sumptuous buffet supper, dancing, and live music.

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Special Events

Behind the Garden Gate

Date: May 25, June 1

Venue: Various

Sixteen of the Holy City’s most charming private gardens–eight each weekend–are available for exploration for ticket holders.

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Special Events

Master Classes

Date: May 27, 28, June 8

Venue: College of Charleston Cato Center for the Arts Room 333

Attend special classes held by company members from Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Caracalla Dance Theatre, and Compagnie Hervé Koubi.

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Artist Talks

Conversations With

Date: May 25, 27, 31, June 5

Venue: Various

CBS journalist Martha Teichner interviews artists from the Festival’s 2019 program. Free Event

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Artist Talks

Jazz Talks

Date: May 28, 30

Venue: Simons Center Recital Hall at College of Charleston

Music critic Larry Blumenfeld discusses context and inspiration with Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington (Geri Allen Tribute Quintet) and pianist David Virelles. Free Event

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Visual Arts

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem

Date: May 24 – August 18

Venue: Gibbes Museum of Art

Showcasing works from The Studio Museum in Harlem, this traveling exhibition brings the full breadth of the museum’s unparalleled permanent collection to Charleston.

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