by John Stoehr
Spoleto Festival USA is set to announce a "strategic alliance" with the Festival of Two Worlds Foundation in Spoleto, Italy.
"We are going to announce some kind of plan, if that's the word, some kind of framework, for collaboration in the 2009 festival," Nigel Redden, executive director, said this morning.
The announcement could happen as early as later today, Redden said.
Giorgio Ferrara, the head of the Festival of Two Worlds Foundation, called Redden to address comments Redden made in an April 3 interview with Charleston City Paper about the potential for reunification between the festival after the 2007 death of their founder, Gian Carlo Menotti.
The whole notion of reunification is something of a misnomer, Redden said at the time. The festivals have always been separate organizations, with different administrators, boards, fund-raising strategies, and so on. In the past, they did indeed share artists — chamber musicians, the Westminster Choir, and even some operas. That may recommence, but a merging of the two organizations has never been a part of their history.
"They have always been quite different organizations," he said.
This morning, Redden said that conversation with Ferrara centered on his comments.
"He wanted me to be less negative," Redden said.
UPDATE (7 p.m. 04.22.08)
Paula Edwards, director of public relations at Spoleto Festival USA, told me to look for an announcement about the above move tomorrow morning. Till then -JS)