Sponsored By: BMW Manufacturing Co.

Venue: Charleston Gaillard Center

Duration: Approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes, including an intermission


Music by Samuel Barber
Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti
Directed by Rodula Gaitanou
Conducted by Timothy Myers
Scenic and costume design by Cordelia Chisholm

Rising operatic superstar Nicole Heaston takes on the titular role in this powerful existential drama, set to one of the most beautiful scores of the 20th century. Tucked away in a countryside mansion, Vanessa has waited 20 years for the return of her lover, Anatol. When his deadringer son arrives instead, a love triangle ensues between the conniving young suitor, Vanessa, and her impressionable niece.

American composer Samuel Barber won the Pulitzer Prize for Vanessa’s sweepingly lyrical score, which explores the full depths of the characters’ psyches in what librettist and Spoleto’s founder Gian Carlo Menotti characterized as a universal human dilemma.

Sung in English with English supertitles.

Please note that any bag may be subject to search upon entry.

Read more:

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Essential Barber from Vanessa conductor Timothy Myers

Class is In: Artists and their Teachers


  • Vanessa Nicole Heaston
  • Erika Zoie Reams
  • Anatol Edward Graves
  • Old Baroness Rosalind Plowright
  • Old Doctor Malcolm MacKenzie

Opera programming is endowed by the Arthur and Holly Magill Foundation.