Spoleto Festival USA to Celebrate Charleston ’s Newly Renovated Dock Street Theatre at Gala on Thursday April 1st
4 Mar 2010
Interchanging Idioms
Nigel Redden, General Director, announced that Spoleto Festival USA will hold a special gala concert on Thursday, April 1st to celebrate the reopening of Charleston ’s historic Dock Street Theatre following a three-year renovation.

French soprano Natalie Dessay, one of today’s leading opera talents, will perform various arias including “Sempre Libera” from La Traviata. Geoff Nuttall, Spoleto Festival USA Director of Chamber Music, will be joined by pianist Pedja Muzijevic, cellist Christopher Costanza and violist Caroline Blackwell who is making her Spoleto Festival USA debut this year. Repertoire to be performed by the ensemble will include a new work specially commissioned for the occasion from composer Jonathan Berger who is the 2010 Spoleto Festival chamber music Composer-in-Residence. The audience will also be given a sneak preview of the upcoming Spoleto Festival production of Flora, an Opera, the ballad opera that was first seen at the Dock Street Theatre in 1736.

Actress Heather Gillespie, who played the role of Hagar in Target Margin Theater’s production of Dubose Heyward’s Mamba’s Daughters at the Dock Street during the 1999 Spoleto Festival, will perform Heyward’s prologue to George Faquhar’s The Recruiting Officer, penned and performed by Heyward for the reopening of the Dock Street Theatre following a renovation in 1937.

The festivities will commence at 6:00pm with a champagne reception, during which guests can explore the restored public spaces. The concert begins at 7:00pm followed by a seated dinner. A photographic exhibition of past Spoleto Festival USA performances at the Dock Street will be mounted in the Wadsworth Room, providing a retrospective of Festival highlights.

Ticket prices begin at $250 for pre-concert champagne and the concert. $500 tickets include the above plus a seated post-performance dinner in the third floor salon of the Dock Street . $1,000 tickets include champagne, premium concert seating, and dinner on stage with the evening’s featured artists. Tickets can be purchased by calling 843.579.3100 or online at

When the Dock Street was completed in 1736, it was America ’s first building created solely for theatrical purposes. Today the theatre is a beloved Charleston landmark and one of Spoleto Festival USA’s most favored stages, with hundreds of opera, theater and dance performances and over 1,000 chamber music concerts presented there since the Festival’s inception in 1977.

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 140 performances by world-renowned artists and emerging performers in opera, theater, music theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. Spoleto Festival USA 2010 will take place May 28 through June 13 and information and tickets can be found online at or by phone at 843.579.3100. Beginning April 19, tickets may be purchased in person at the Spoleto Festival USA box office at Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun Street.

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