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CHARLESTON, SC (March 18, 2015)—A bright and bold poster designed by Italian artist Ugo Nespolo was unveiled by General Director Nigel Redden as the official 2015 Spoleto Festival USA poster today. Nespolo is the set and costume designer for Spoleto Festival USA’s production of Francesco Cavalli’s opera Veremonda l’amazzone di Aragona, which will have its American premiere—and first performances in over 350 years—at this year’s Festival, running May 22 through June 7 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nespolo, who is based in Turin, Italy, says he wanted the poster to capture the spirit of the Festival: “A poster is, after all, a symbol, an impressive icon. It must contain a thought to reach many people. Here, then, for Spoleto Festival USA, I thought of a vital fountain that is rich and generous—just as rich and generous as this Festival is, spreading beauty and energy: a genuine source to satisfy one’s thirst.”

“One of the most exciting aspects of having Nespolo design the new production of Veremonda, l’amazzone di Aragona for the Dock Street Theatre is his signature use of vibrant color and his bright and brilliant design, elements he brings to both the opera and to this poster,” says Redden. “It is rare for us to have a poster by an artist directly involved in the current season’s Festival and I am delighted that Nespolo’s cheerful vision will be shared beyond the stage.”

Nespolo was a key figure in the Italian Arte Povera, Pop Art, and Fluxus movements of the 1960s. During the 1970s his work centered on film and his experimental works have been exhibited in museums around the world. In the 1980s, Nespolo’s success in the medium of applied art and his belief that “art needs to be taken into life” resulted in his first theatrical collaboration, designing the sets and costumes for a 1986 Stamford State Opera production of Busoni’s Turandot. He subsequently designed the sets and costumes for Paisiello’s Don Chisciotte (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, 1990), Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Opéra Comique, Lausanne Opera, and l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie, 1994-1996), and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Puccini Festival, 2007). The 2015 Spoleto Festival USA production of Cavalli’s Veremonda, l’amazzone di Aragona reunites Nespolo with director Stefano Vizioli, who directed the productions he designed of L’elisir d’amore and Madama Butterfly.

Veremonda, l’amazzone di Aragona will open on Saturday, May 23 at 7:30pm at the Dock Street Theatre with four subsequent performances on Tuesday, May 26 at 7:30pm; Saturday, May 30 at 8:00pm; Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30pm; and Friday, June 5 at 8:00pm. Tickets are available online at spoletousa.org, by phone at 843.579.3100, or in person at the newly opened Box Office located in the Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St.

Over the Festival’s 39-year history, its posters have featured work by influential artists such as Chuck Close, Antony Gormley, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Murray, Bridget Riley, and Frank Stella, among others. The 2015 Festival poster is available for purchase for $25 by phone at 843.579.3100 or at the Box Office, located in the Charleston Visitor Center. A gallery of past posters that are available for sale is available online at spoletousa.org.

For more information about Ugo Nespolo, please visit nespolo.com.

Spoleto Festival USA

May 22–June 7, 2015

Considered America’s premier international performing arts festival, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, SC’s historic theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces with over 150 performances by world-renowned artists and emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral, bluegrass, and jazz music. For more information on Spoleto Festival USA, visit spoletousa.org or call 843.579.3100.


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