by John Stoehr
An Italian delegation will be in Charleston on March 31 to talk about bringing two cities and their respective international arts festivals — Spoleto USA and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy — back together again after years of division, according to a press release issued Friday, March 28.
The news comes more than year after Gian Carlo Menotti, founder of both festivals, died at the age of 95. It also comes after Menotti's adopted son, Chip, was replaced as head of the Festival of Two Worlds by the Italian Culture Ministry, because he was botching up the once-venerable festival's finances. He has since been replaced by Giorgio Ferrara as chairman.
The Italian and American festivals split in 1993 after years of feuding between Menotti and the festival's American board of directors. Since Menotti's death, there has been speculation that the two festival would once again merge. It looks like that speculation is taking one step closer to being reality.
The meeting will cover the development of the collaboration between the two cities and the two Festivals, with the Spoleto Festival USA which has been taking place in Charleston for 32 years, founded by late Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti in 1976. Menotti chose this city for the beauty, the importance in history and the special atmosphere.
The presence of Maestro Giorgio Ferrara will be particularly significant, because the reactivation of the collaboration that in the past used to distinguish the two Spoleto Festivals is strongly wished for, for the mutual advantage and satisfaction of both Charleston and Spoleto.