The diverse 2014 Spoleto Festival USA lineup announced Friday ranges from the American premiere of British composer Michael Nyman’s opera “Facing Goya” to the physical theater of Australian acrobatic troupe Gravity & Other Myths to the festival finale by local folk band Shovels & Rope.
The 38th annual festival is scheduled to run May 23-June 8 in and around Charleston. The lineup has something for all tastes, and an abundance of opportunities for people who appreciate first-class performing arts.
Nyman is best known to the general public for writing the score for the Academy Award-winning movie “The Piano” in 1993. He wrote “Facing Goya” for amplification, but it will be presented acoustically for the first time at its American premiere at Spoleto, directed by Ong Keng Sen and conducted by John Kennedy.
• Gravity & Other Myths will perform the American premiere of their acrobatic work “A Simple Space.”
• Dublin’s Gate Theatre returns with the American premiere of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic romance mystery “My Cousin Rachel.”
• Performance artists Laurie Anderson returns with a multimedia work entitled “The Language of the Future.”
The dance card features the return of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, performing William Forsythe’s “Quintett” and Jiri Kylian’s “Falling Angels”; the contemporary work of New York-based Keigwin + Company; New York-based tap troupe Dorrance Dance; and the Spoleto debut of South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma.
• Joe Miller, director of the Westminster Choir, is the new director of the festival’s choir activities. He’s bringing the Westminster group with him for two concerts, including one with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
• The chamber music series, directed by violinist Geoff Nuttall, features 33 concerts in the historic Dock Street Theatre.
• Banjo masters Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn will take their instruments to places you wouldn’t expect. And songwriter-guitarist Lucinda Williams will perform under the Wells Fargo Jazz Series banner.
• Shovels & Rope, the local husband-and-wife duo, has played plenty of small venues in the Lowcountry. This year, they’ll close the festival before a much larger crown at the finale at Middleton Place.