Traditionally, the Arts Council partners each spring with Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs to bring our community a sampling of the events they can enjoy during Piccolo Spoleto. After a two-year hiatus, we are pleased to invite you to enjoy an afternoon with Piccolo artists. We are delighted to announce that this year’s lineup includes internationally renowned musicians Natalia Khoma and Volodymyr Vynnysky, Charleston Opera Theater, and Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers! Read below for more information on the incredible lineup!
Cellist Khoma and pianist Vynnysky came to Charleston 17 years ago from Lviv, Ukraine, to teach music at the College of Charleston. They are the founders of the Charleston Music Fest, which brings the finest classical and contemporary chamber music by world-class artists to Charleston audiences. They are stunning performers, individually and as a duo, and we are fortunate that they will perform for us for our 2022 Piccolo Preview. Click here to watch their performance of Brahms Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor.
Charleston Opera Theater is a modern opera company with a passionate commitment to the acoustic soul of the artform. The soul of opera was born out of the superhuman application of the human voice paired with the highest possible musical and orchestral performances. Opera, as an art form, portrays human emotions at the highest highs, the lowest lows, and everything in between. Emotions that we experience every day regardless of socio-economic background or situation. Fear, anxiety, sorrow, joy, happiness, hopelessness, hope, and love…feelings ALL humans experience. The emotion inherent in the art form is both sublime and extreme. Orchestra, visceral human voices, and intense emotion fused together to create a transcendent experience for the audience. Charleston Opera Theater believes that when an audience gathers in fellowship and experiences the emotions of a live performance together, it reminds us of our common humanity and thus has a unifying effect on our community. Charleston Opera Theater’s next mainstage production will be Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, in October 2022 and will be presented at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre. This festive performance will feature international soloists, a full orchestra, costumes, and scenery depicting the story during the Día de los Muertos Festival.For more information, please visit their website at www.charlestonoperatheater.org. Charleston Opera Theater strives to be an organization in Charleston, by Charleston, and for Charleston!
Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers is an a cappella group that performs Gullah spirituals, and stories indigenous to the South Carolina Lowcountry. The group was founded in 1998. The Magnolia Singers have performed for Charleston Mayor John Tecklinburg’s 2020 Inauguration, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Toni Morrison, Emmy-award winner, Phylicia Rashad, nationally acclaimed artist, Jonathan Green, and actor, Isaiah Washington. Their voices have been used for a work by Gimlet production entitled “Uncivil” and “Cheating the Stillness” by Gayla Jamison. Considered one of the most endangered cultures, the Gullah/Geechee communities of coastal South Carolina and Georgia are full of beauty and mystery. This enlightening performance by Ann and the Magnolia singers includes spirituals, Gullah poetry and stories. Current members of the group are: Ann Caldwell, Yvonne Brown, Elaine Singleton, John Smalls, Patricia Jones, and Crystal Kornickey.
Scott Watson, Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, tells us that the focus for this year’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival will be on free and outdoor concerts and include many of the anchor events we have all come to look forward to. You can expect visual arts exhibitions, performances of classical music, jazz, dance, theater, and choral music, cultural events and community celebrations, poetry readings, children’s activities, craft shows, and film screenings. A full schedule of events will be released online in mid-May.