Longtime jazz director for Spoleto Festival U.S.A., Michael Grofsorean talks about his history at the festival since 1980. He relates anecdotes about past performers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan and Ray Charles and describes the process that goes into selecting the artists for each festival. He discusses festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti's distaste for jazz, the rocky years of festival finances, the NAACP boycott of South Carolina that nearly derailed the 2000 jazz program and describes why the city of Charleston is the perfect venue for the festival. Audio with transcript.
Carolyn Kostopoulos, owner of Carelli Costumes, Inc. in New York, has been the wardrobe director of Spoleto Festival U.S.A. since 1982. Kostopoulos discusses her costume work for the festival over the years, the process of designing and creating, and the difference between her work on Broadway and Spoleto. She discusses her relationships with the artists who wear her designs and details the various costume headquarters she has had in Charleston including the "haunted" old city jail. Audio with transcript.
Marcus Overton is an actor, director, and coach whose career has encompassed theatre, opera, radio and television, and arts administration. He also conducts an award-winning show for South Carolina Public Radio, Spoleto Today. Overton was executive director and producing director of Spoleto Festival U.S.A. during the turbulent years of 1992-1994. Overton discusses the rift between ousted executive director Nigel Redden and Gian Carlo Menotti, Menotti's own eventual departure from Spoleto U.S.A., and the personnel changes and budget deficits that threatened the survival of the festival. Audio with transcript.
Geoff Nuttall began performing yearly at Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in 1995 as first-violinist with his renowned St. Lawrence String Quartet. In 2008 he was named associate artistic director of the chamber music series and will assume leadership from longtime director Charles Wadsworth in 2010. Nuttall discusses the legacy of Wadsworth and chamber music, the logistics of selecting the performers and the repertoire, and the advantages of having Charleston as a venue for the festival. Audio with transcript.
Leslee Newcomb has been a wig and make-up designer for Spoleto since 1978. She discusses the intimacy of wig and make-up design and her interaction with performers and details the changes she's seen in Charleston since her first Spoleto Festival U.S.A. Audio with transcript.
Renowned flutist Tara Helen O'Connor is a member of the woodwind quintet Windscape, founding member of New Millennium Ensemble and flute soloist of the Bach Aria Group. She has appeared in countless festivals and programs worldwide and has performed at Spoleto since 1994. O'Connor discusses her history with the festival, her longtime association with chamber music director Charles Wadsworth, her performances, her relationship with festival managers and artists, and the history and future of Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. Audio with transcript.
Charles S. Way is a noted Charleston businessman and civic leader who has been involved with Spoleto Festival U.S.A. since 1978. He served as the organization's president in 1984, chairman of the board from 1985-1991, and has held the post of chairman emeritus since 1991. Way talks about the history of Spoleto Festival U.S.A., his relationships with Gian Carlo Menotti, Nigel Redden and others, how the festival piqued his interest in art, and his hope that Spoleto U.S.A. and the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, will one day be joined together again. Audio with transcript.