It’s time for Spoleto Festival USA 2014, the cultural extravaganza that draws tens of thousands of people to Charleston every year!

Festival director Nigel Redden has announced that artists from across the United States and from more than 14 countries will take part in this year’s festival. Genres include dance, music, theater, physical theater and opera. Here are a few highlights to whet your appetite:

Leoš Janácek’s opera Kát’a Kabanová, a tragic tale of love and betrayal, will be directed by Garry Hynes, Tony Award-winning director of the Irish theater company Druid. Meanwhile, theater lovers won’t want to miss My Cousin Rachel, a whodunit staged by Ireland’s Gate Theater. It promises to be full of “humor, lust and paranoia.”

In the genre of physical theater, Finnish aerialist Ilona Jäntti brings her elevated choreography to the Emmett Robinson Theatre, while Australian acrobat troupe, Gravity and Other Myths will throw, toss and spin their bodies in truly astonishing ways. Then there’s Dorrance Dance, a troupe that takes traditional tap dancing in new directions. They’ll debut Delta to Dusk, a program created especially for Spoleto 2014.

Spoleto’s always top-notch choral, orchestral and chamber music groups share the limelight with esteemed jazz vocalists like René Marie and newcomer Charenée Wade, a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition. And let’s not forget legends like singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams—or banjoists Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn. Finally, the festival’s famous Conversations With series presents artist interviews conducted by Emmy Award-winning news correspondent, Martha Teichner.

All we’ve mentioned here merely scratches the surface of what’s happening during Spoleto 2014! Tickets can be purchased online at spoletousa.org, by phone at 843-579-3100 or in person at the Spoleo USA box office at the Charleston Visitor Center (375 Meeting St.). Be sure to ask about special packages combining ticket purchases with local accommodations.

Visit spoletousa.org/gospoleto for accommodation information.

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