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A projected "apparition" of the Carolina Parakeet, part of the installations "Carrion Cheer."
Halsey Institute

Artist Christian Orendt talks with Jeanette Guinn about The Carrion Cheer: A Faunistic Tragedy an installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on Calhoun Street as part of Piccolo Spoleto.

Reggie Workman at the Charleston Jazz Academy.
Leigh Webber

Working with jazz legends like John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, and numerous others has given double bassist Reggie Workman more than a little perspective on music-making. On Monday, June 4th, the eighty-year-old exponent of hard bop and avant-garde jazz shared some of that perspective with students through a lecture/demonstration at the Charleston Jazz Academy. The academy, located on West Montague Avenue in North Charleston, absorbed the Leonard School of Music in 2017, and is the educational arm of Charleston Jazz.

Marisol Montalvo and Walter Dundervill in the US premiere of Tree of Codes, with music and libretto by Liza Lim.
William Struhs

John Kennedy talks with Jeanette Guinn about the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, and about the U.S. Pemiere of the opera, Tree of Codes.

Australian composer Liza Lim dissolves boundaries to create holes in the world—perforations in which audience members might encounter more than one existence. Two-headed birds and layers of light conjure a magical world under Director Ong Keng Sen (Facing Goya; 2014) in this dramatic work inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s art book by the same name. 

David Lee Nelson
davidleenelson.com

A comedy. About cancer. From award-winning solo performer David Lee Nelson (Elephant in My Closet) brings Stages to Piccolo Spoleto - a new play about finding hope in the most unlikely of places. Nelson talks with Jeanette Guinn about life with cancer, the play, and his plans for the future. The play runs through Saturday evening at Chapel Theatre on Calhoun St. in Charleston, SC.

A scene from The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
Spoleto Festival USA

In this season finale of Spoleto Backstage, Jeanette Guinn talks with the stars of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Marc Antolin and Daisy Maywood. 

Victoria Hansen speaks with Geoff Nuttall, artistic director for the Spoleto Chamber Music Series, about working with local schools to introduce classical music to students.

SC Lede: Governor Battle Royale, Part 2

Jun 6, 2018
Gavin Jackson (l) speaks with Seanna Adcox and Andy Shain (r) in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
Sean Birch/SC Public Radio

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson speaks with The Post and Courier's Columbia Bureau Chief Andy Shain and Assistant Columbia Bureau Chief Seanna Adcox about the final round of Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primary debates.

Daisy Maywood and Marc Antolin in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
Steve Tanner

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall—the flying lovers of Vitebsk—are immortalized as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.

Amanda Woodbury and Valdis Jansons in the US premiere of Donizetti's Pia de' Tolomei.
William Struhs

Lidiya Yankovskaya is the music director of Chicago's Opera Lyric Theater. At Spoleto Festival USA she is  conducting the U.S. premiere and Spoleto production of Donizetti's Pia de Tolomei. She talks with Jeanette Guinn about the opera, its production, and about learning her craft, as well as the joy she finds in opera.

John Kennedy, conductor in residence at Spoleto Festival USA.
Spoleto Festival USA

In this episode of Spoleto Backstage, Jeanette Guinn sits down with Spoleto's busiest conductor John Kennedy who will be involved with three of this years performances: Music in Time, Tree of Codes, and You are Mine Own. We also get to hear from the conductor of Pia de Tolomei, Lidiya Yankovskaya.

Peter Moore
Twitter @peter_moore

With string quartets, piano trios, and woodwind quintets often receiving the spotlight, the trombone is seldom a contender for pride of place among instruments featured in chamber music programs. If included at all, it’s often sharing the stage with four other instruments as part of a brass quintet.

But for this year’s Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series, the trombone is representing the brass family all by itself.

Lowcountry Bridge Reopens Early

Jun 2, 2018
South Carolina Department of Transportation Announces Plans for Wando Bridge with Local City Officials
Victoria Hansen

A major artery connecting coastal communities to Charleston and beyond is back open, one week earlier than expected.  South Carolina Department of Transportation officials made the announcement late Thursday and reopened the west bound lanes of I-526 to traffic Saturday.  Fortunately, the weather permitted.

"Well it's very welcome news, " said Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie.  "We  have 33,000 cars a day going out of Mount Pleasant over that bridge and  there are only nine lanes of traffice leading out of our town and two of them were lost in a moment's notice."

The Satisfaction of Spoleto Posters; Behind the Scenes

Jun 2, 2018

Spoleto USA General Director Nigel Redden admits he's feeling a little frantic as he talks about the 2018 festival poster based on a painting by renowned British artist David Hockney.  Perhaps it’s because the work called “Hither Dither” evokes a frenetic feeling with its abstract blue figures darting up and down stairs in vibrant hues of yellow, red and turquoise.  Or maybe it’s because the Spoleto season is here, with its dancers, musicians, acrobats, singers and other artists dashing about the city.

Kids from Charleston's Meeting Street Academy go backstage for the Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company performance of the Pied Piper
Victoria Hansen

There's a melancholy to his voice and a sadness in his eyes, as the managing director of the centuries old  Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company of Milan speaks in his best English to elementary school children at the Emmet Robinson Theater at the College of Charleston prior to the company’s Spoleto performance.  Peiro Corbella paces the stage as he begins his story, 40 years ago when he became  a puppeteer, thanks to the guidance of his mentor and good friend, Eugenio Monti Colla.

Spoleto Festival USA presents the US premiere of Liza Lim's Tree of Codes, based in part on Jonathan Safran Foer's book.
Nina Jua Klein

Among the featured operas of the 2018 Spoleto Festival is Tree of Codes, a 2015 work by Australian composer Liza Lim.  The opera received its US premiere on May 26th at Dock Street Theatre, and is being performed there through June 7th under the direction of Ong Keng Sen. Performing Tree of Codes is the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, conducted by John Kennedy. Singers Elliot Madore and Marisol Montalvo fill the two on-stage roles.

The JACK Quartet
Shervin Lainez

Coordinated playing is essential for the members of an internationally-recognized string quartet... coordinated choreography, not so much.

Unless that quartet is taking on Mark Applebaum’s Darmstadt Kindergarten.

Alfred Turner/SC Public Radio

On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, we chat with David Lee Nelson, writer and star of "Stages." 

Reporter Victoria Hansen takes you behind the scenes of Spoleto’s educational program.

And finally, we speak with "Borders" playwright Henry Naylor and star Avital Lvova. 

Ranky Tanky/Reese Moore via Facebook

On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, trumpeter Charleton Singleton talks about the success of Gullah-inspired jazz ensemble Ranky Tanky.

Sonatas and Soundscapes host Bradley Fuller meets up with Marco Ceco, the conductor of the Colla and Sons Marionette’s production of "Il Matromonio Segreto."

SC Lede: Governor Battle Royale, Part 1

May 29, 2018
Gavin Jackson (l) speaks with Meg Kinnard and Jamie Lovegrove (r) in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Friday, May 25, 2018.
Sean Brich/SC Public Radio

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by Meg Kinnard, South Carolina reporter for The Associated Press, and Jamie Lovegrove, statehouse reporter for The Post and Courier, to discuss the first round of primary debates for Republican and Democratic candidates vying for the governor's seat.

Composer, double-bassist, Doug Balliett
metropolisensemble.org/

From playing double bass, to teaching historic performance at Julliard, to writing poetry and works of music, contemporary American composer Doug Balliett stays busy. As composer-in-residence for the chamber music series of the forty-second Spoleto Festival USA, Doug is not only providing original works, arrangements, and guidance on their interpretation, but is also a performer in a majority of the series’ thirty-three concerts. The series runs through June 10th, with all performances held at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston.

Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company presents Cimarosa's opera at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston, May 28 to May 30. Members of the Westminster Choir will accompany the opera.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company

With its humorous situations, tangle of love interests, and recognizably-flawed characters, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) is an emblematic example of eighteenth-century opera buffa. A feel-good production of its day, Il Matrimonio Segreto was the type of work that had those in an audience laughing as much at themselves as the cast members before them. In other words, relatability was one of its hallmarks.

From her Camden home, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker can monitor the goings-on around the world by flipping through the TV news channels and keeping an eye glued to her Post, which she reads daily along with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  Parker is one of the most widely-syndicated columnists in America, read in more than 400 media outlets twice a week.  Like her colleagues, she started as a newspaper reporter – in her case, in Charleston – and moved through the ranks of various papers until an editor realized she had a voice “and I have difficulty keeping my voice

As electric cars increase their range, which in new models is around 150 miles between recharges, and offer more variety of models, which is also on the way, they will become even more common, experts say.
mmurphy [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

Traffic can be pretty noisy, but one component of the nation’s traffic is growing quietly.  The component is the electric car.  Sold by Chevrolet, Nissan, Tesla and other makers, Nissan alone has sold a quarter-million electric vehicles since 2011.    Mac Martin, who sells the electric Leaf model by Nissan, says it’s so quiet the manufacturer actually installed a speaker to project artificial speed-up and slow-down noises so that pedestrians will  be aware of their presence. 

Spoleto 2018 is Officially Underway

May 26, 2018
Gravity and Other Myths performs at Spoleto 2018 Opening Ceremony in downtown Charleston.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

On a day that is notoriously hot, a refreshing breeze swept down Broad Street in downtown Charleston and a forecast calling for rain seemed to have been delayed.  A velvet voice welcomed the crowd with the song, "Carolina" and the bells of St. Michael's Church rang, signally the beginning of the opening ceremony for Spoleto USA 2018.  The mayor walked out the doors of city hall, all smiles.  It was the perfect day to kick off one of the world's most renowned arts festivals.

The state’s primary election is June 12. All executive office positions are up for election as well as all seven seats of the US House of Representatives. The eight candidates vying for the state’s top job recently fielded questions on various topics during two, hour-long debates. Republicans debated May 23 and Democrats on May 24. Democratic candidates Phil Nobel, Marguerite Willis and James Smith answered questions on the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear power station, education, legalizing marijuana, protecting students from school shootings and more.

Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music director, Geoff Nuttall.
Spoleto Festival USA

For violinist Geoff Nuttall, finding the right performers for the Bank of America Chamber Music Series is critical. 

"Everybody that comes is not only amazing and an incredible player," Geoff says, "but also super-easy to work with and a joy to hang out with."

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found in South Carolina, along with other venomous species.  Wearing proper clothing and keeping your eyes open when in the woods or hiking on trails can help people avoid being bitten by a snake.
Georgia Wildlife Resources Division via Flickr

With the coming of warm weather, more people are getting outdoors.  It’s a great idea – unless you’re bitten by a snake.  The number of snakebite calls to the Palmetto Poison Center has increased the past two years, to about 200 per year.  It’s probably not because more snakes are out there, but more emergency room doctors are calling the center for advice, because they don’t see that many snakebites, says center Director Dr. Jill Michels. 

Two Eastern Box Turtles cross the road.
Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr

Now that summer is approaching, it’s a common occurrence to see turtles crawling across roadways in South Carolina (and many other states). Ever wondered why that is? In honor of World Turtle Day, I spoke with Cris Hagen, Director of Animal Management at the Turtle Survival Center, a program of the Turtle Survival Alliance, in Charleston.

The Hansen Twins Record their Story with Robert Harding in Chicago
Scott Hanson

It's been three years since Carter and Jack Hanson were featured on CBS news for their rare friendship with a World War II veteran who served aboard the USS Yorktown.  That's when the  network set up a surprise meeting on the  ship just outside of Charleston.   They had gotten to know Robert Harding through email.  It was quite a moment as the three came face to face, and their bond has grown stronger ever since.   Now 13 years-old, the twins recently attended the Yorktown's 75th anniversary with their family, celebrating Harding who could not  be there.

After Weather Delay, SC Troops En Route to Texas Border

May 22, 2018
Soldiers from the South Carolina Army National Guard headed to Texas May 21, 2018, in support of Operation Guardian Support, President Trump's mission to secure the southern border.
Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/ SC National Guard

Nine soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard are expected to arrive in Texas to support Operation Guardian Support, the President's mission to secure the southern border. The mission includes three flight crew aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and six maintenance soldiers who traveled by ground.

SC Lede: No Cable For Old Bridge

May 22, 2018
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

It's been a week since the westbound lanes of the Wando River Bridge in Charleston were closed due to one of the eight cables holding the concrete segments together snapped, slowing traffic throughout the Lowcountry.

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