For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music. Now approaching its 47th season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival.
Contributing to the Festival’s ongoing success is its location in Charleston. Recognized the world over for its stunning natural beauty, impressive array of preserved historical architecture, and wealth of charming performance venues, Charleston provides an incomparable setting for audience members and guest artists alike.
Spoleto Festival USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
2023 dates: May 26 – June 11
Spoleto Festival USA was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, Christopher Keene, and others who sought to create an American counterpart to their annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Read more about Spoleto’s founding and program history HERE.
“It will not be like most Festivals… but a unique and fertile ground for the young, and a dignified home for the masters.” — Gian Carlo Menotti on his founding vision for Spoleto Festival USA in 1977
The Festival’s mission is to present programs of the highest artistic caliber while maintaining a dedication to young artists, a commitment to all forms of the performing arts, a passion for contemporary innovation, and an enthusiasm for providing unusual performance opportunities for established artists.
The Festival is proud to provide young performers the opportunity to work with master artists, conductors, directors, designers, and performers. Illustrious artists who performed early in their careers at Spoleto Festival USA include Renée Fleming, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.