- Festival dei Due Mondi
:"For the Spoleto Festival USA, see
Spoleto Festival USAand for the Spoleto Festival Melbourne see Melbourne International Arts Festival".
The "Festival dei Due Mondi" (Festival of the Two Worlds) is an annual summer music and
operafestival held each June to early July in Spoleto, Italysince its founding by composer Gian Carlo Menottiin 1958. It features a vast array of concerts, opera, dance, drama, visual arts and roundtable discussions on science.
Because Spoleto was a small town, where real estate and other goods and services were at the time relatively inexpensive, and also because there are two indoor theatres, a Roman theatre and many other spaces, it was chosen by Menotti as the venue for an arts festival. It is also fairly close to Rome, with good rail connections.
The festival has developed into one of the most important cultural manifestations in Italy, with a three-week schedule of music, theater and dance performances. For some time it became a reference point for modern sculpture exhibits, and works of art left to the city by
Alexander Calderand others are a testimony to this. Because of loss of funds and the birth of many similar festivals throughout Italy, the Spoleto Festival has now lost its international prominence; however, it remains a very important cultural event.
The "Two Worlds" in the name of the festival comes from Gian Carlo Menotti's intention to have the worlds of American and European culture facing each other in his event; this concept would then be strengthened by the fact that it was held in conjunction with its "twin", the
Spoleto Festival USAheld annually in May/June in Charleston, South Carolina. Indeed, the twinning only lasted some 15 years and, after growing disputes between the Menotti family and the board of Spoleto Festival USA, in the early '90s a separation occurred. However, following Menotti's death in February 2007, the city administrations of Spoleto and Charleston started talks to re-unite the two festivals, that would climax in Spoleto mayor Massimo Brunini attending the opening ceremony of Spoleto Festival USA in May 2008. The mayor of Charleston, Joseph P. Riley, is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the festival in Italy next June, 27th 2008.
As of the 2007 Festival, the President and Artistic Director was Francis "Chip" Menotti. In the fall of 2007, Italian Minister of Cultural Affairs, Francesco Rutelli, after unsuccessful negotiations with Menotti, removed him from his charge and named Giorgio Ferrara new artistic director of the festival.
List of opera festivals
* [http://www.festivaldispoleto.it/ "Festival dei Due mondi" official site]
* [http://www.spoletofestival.it/ Site of the previous festival management]
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