Spoleto Festival USA
Join UW-Madison for an extraordinary weekend of performances by some of the world’s most accomplished musicians, actors, dancers, and artists
Unlike any other destination in the USA, Charleston, South Carolina comes alive for three weeks every summer for Spoleto Festival. We’ll be there for an entire weekend of the best that the festival has to offer!
When: May 31-June 3, 2013
Accomodations: Embassy Suites Historic Charleston
Cost: $1,449 plus airfare
What you’ll experience
After arriving in Charleston on May 31, you'll check in to the gracious and welcoming Embassy Suites Historic Charleston Hotel, located in the original Citadel building. At 3 pm, you’ll enjoy a wonderful History of Charleston lecture on the afternoon of our arrival—always an interesting and entertaining 90 minutes of information and insights, as well as a relaxed opportunity for getting to know your fellow group members.
Later that evening you’ll attend an extraordinary performance by one of Spain’s most cherished cultural institutions, Ballet Flamenco De Andalucia, which ought to get your weekend off to a rousing start!
Saturday morning begins with an educational Tour of Historic Charleston, by coach, ending at the historic Dock Street Theatre for a performance of the popular Chamber Music series. Violinist extraordinaire Geoff Nuttall is joined by an ever-changing cast of musicians for this Spoleto tradition which is, essentially, the heart and soul of the festival.
That afternoon you are free to explore this fascinating city on your own. There are art museums, history museums, historical buildings, beautiful churches, lovely homes, Civil War memorials, Revolutionary War memorials, shopping opportunities, lovely parks, and world-class restaurants all easily reached in this pedestrian friendly town.
Saturday evening you rejoin the group for a performance of the new opera, Matsukaze, by one of Japan’s most prominent living composers- Toshio Hosokawa. Using a hypnotic blend of sound and staging, Hosokawa explores the spirit world of the Noh play upon which his opera is based.
Sunday morning is free for you to do with as you wish, but at 1 pm we gather again for another Chamber Music concert, and that evening you attend the final performance of your weekend, the Shakespeare comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in a way you’ve surely never seen before by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company.
Everyone is welcome to join us. We will have comfortable private transportation whenever it is necessary, but please understand that there will also be some walking, too—especially if you want to explore Charleston on your own. All of the performance venues are very close to the hotel, and there are many rickshaws available to whisk you away to wherever you want to go otherwise.
As with all of our trips, there will be ample free time so that you can craft your weekend to suit your own interests. Daily breakfasts are included in this package, as is the hotel's complimentary afternoon cocktail hour, but dinners will be on your own as, historically, our travelers have preferred to make their own dining arrangements at some of the many outstanding restaurants in Charleston. The hotel concierge is expert at assisting you with these, and any other, arrangements.
Sound good? Join us in June for Spoleto Festival USA! You’ll love it!
- By 3 pm: Fly to Charleston, SC, and check-in to the Embassy Suites Hotel
- 3 pm: History of Charleston Lecture
- 7 pm: Ballet Flamenco De Andalucia
- 9 am: Tour of Charleston
- 11 am: Chamber Music Concert
- Afternoon free time
- 8:30 pm: Matsukaze
- 1 pm: Chamber Music Concert
- 8 pm: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Fly home
Doug Whittle is the UW-Madison Director of Educational Travel. He served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire and has traveled independently in Asia, Africa, Europe and throughout Central and North America. In the past 9 years he has led over 50 trips for UW-Madison, spanning five continents.
Cost: $1,449. Includes three nights of lodging, ground transportation, lectures, tours, and all performance tickets and university staff services. Airfare is extra. This price is based upon double occupancy; single supplement is $374 extra.
Your lodging will be at the gracious and hospitable Embassy Suites Historic Charleston.
To register, download and complete the registration form and mail it to Kim Seymour, Educational Travel Program, 21 N Park St 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715.