All photos by Wiley Stewart for WDAV.
POSTED ON BEHALF OF MARC OVERTON, HOST OF SPOLETO TODAY & FORMER DIRECTOR OF SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA
Our work at Spoleto has fallen into a rhythm of long days that usually end only a little before midnight, but today was different in a wonderful way. I decided just to take a break in the outside world, run some errands and get back to the studio by 9:30 or so to rejoin my colleagues.
Spoleto magic took over: the sounds of Chris Thiele and the Punch Brothers were making the trees in the College of Charleston’s Cistern literally sway. The audience was spellbound, there was a crescent moon peeping through the trees, and dozens of non-ticketholders were lined up along the wrought iron fence, getting some musical kicks for free. That queue included several members of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, on their way home (fiddle cases slung over their shoulders) who were enjoying a slightly different “Song of the Earth” than the one by Mahler they had just played at Gaillard.
It was all quintessential Spoleto: Mahler a few blocks away — transcendent, majestic — and Chris Thiele’s unique blend of bluegrass and traditional American folk in the Cistern, with PIccolo Spoleto theatre performances across the street. The whole panoply of theatre, music, and the balmy Charleston night: everything that makes Spoleto the unique experience of place and performance it is.