The Spoleto Festival USA, although a mixture of musical styles, is
an excellent promoter of opera. The event takes center stage in
historic Charleston, South Carolina, for 17 days (through June 9)
and is the U.S. counterpart to the European fete in Spoleto, Italy,
hence the name. Witness performances of The Flying Dutchman, Così
fan tutte, The South African Carmen, and other fine examples of
annunciating theater. You better believe this festival isn't over
until the - well, you know what we're saying.
A perfect place to celebrate Independ-ence Day this year is
Boston's Fourth of July. The 85-member Boston Pops orchestra lights
up the Hatch Shell and performs two hours' worth of classical tunes
set to a flurry of fireworks. The largest free classical concert in
the country blocks off streets and is joined by more than 1,000 sea
craft sailing along the Charles River. As a bonus to make sure all
400,000 in attendance are close to the action and have a clear
view, four Sony Jumbotrons will bring the music to the people.
At the Newport Music Festival, more than 50 artists from 17
countries put on 64 performances, filling the great rooms of
turn-of-the-century mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, July 12-28.
Classical music sets the scene for a Gatsby- esque good time,
complete with splendid ballrooms, three-story marble halls, and
cocktails galore. The focus of this year's gala, "Chopin and His
Music," will be done justice through solo artists, quartets,
sonatas, vocalists, trios, and other recitals. This nostalgic
marvel swells the community of 30,000 to more than 100,000 for the
lavish occasion. If you've never hobnobbed in a Newport mansion,
this is the time.
You say you missed this year's popular South by Southwest
extravaganza that played out in March in Austin and included
performances by some 800 bands? Don't fret. North by Northeast, its
sister festival, plays the clubs of Toronto June 6-8. Though on a
smaller scale than SXSW, it's still a good place to hear roughly
400 up-and-coming acts and rub elbows with industry types.