Spoleto Festival USA celebrates 25th year

Charleston, S.C. -- Performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company and minimalist composer Philip Glass are among the highlights of the 25th anniversary edition of Spoleto Festival USA, which will take place here from May 25 to June 10.

In addition to the Royal Shakespeare presentation of Carlo Goldoni's "A Servant to Two Masters" and Glass' collaboration with western African composer/musician Foday Musa Suso, the festival will feature a production of the Puccini opera "Manon Lescaut"; "Dido and Aeneas," an opera inspired by Virgil's "Aenid," and performances by the Joffrey Ballet, Brazilian singer Virginia Rodrigues and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

A new feature of this year's festival will be spoken-word performances and monologues performed by humorists David Sedaris, David Rakoff and Kevin Kling.

Spoleto appeals mainly to, "older, affluent, well-educated folks," according to Marie Lawson of the Office of Marketing and Public Relations for the festival.

Tickets for Spoleto events range in price from $10 to $100, depending on the type of event and the seating requested.

Most events fall in the $20 to $60 price range.

Groups of 15 people or more will receive group privileges, including some discounts on tickets.

Not all tickets can be discounted due to demand and the small size of some venues.

Groups are also treated to speakers from the Spoleto organization, backstage tours, two free group-leader tickets to one performance and discount merchandise coupons.

For more information about Spoleto Festival U.S.A, or to purchase group reservations, contact Marie Lawson at (843) 720-1137 or Paulette Lambert Weiss at (843) 720-1135.

The Spoleto Festival Web site can be found at www.spoletousa.org.

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