“In terms of scale and logistics, this is probably the most ambitious Spoleto Festival ever, according to John Kennedy, the festival’s resident conductor and director of orchestral activities,” writes Adam Parker in Wednesday’s (5/25) Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). “The festival is mounting three full-scale opera productions (‘Porgy and Bess,’ [Helmut Lachenmann’s] ‘The Little Match Girl’ and [Antione Dauvergne’s] ‘La Double Coquette’)…. The stellar Westminster Choir will be joined by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus for a performance of Beethoven’s monumental Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasy. The Music in Time series, which features 20th- and 21st-century music, includes … music by Helmut Lachenmann and … George Crumb, Pierre Boulez, Thomas Albert, Hong-Da Chin and Richard Reed Parry. And the festival is collaborating with visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on the world premiere of ‘Grace Notes: Reflections for Now,’ [combining] music, spoken word and video projection to explore the significance of grace and forgiveness. It was created in response to the Emanuel AME Church shooting and President Barack Obama’s eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney…. Kennedy said that terrible event also inspired his own composition, ‘Blessing the Boats,’ which will be performed at the 40th Season Celebration Concert Saturday night.”

Posted May 27, 2016