Music: Newest US. Immigrant: Spoleto

"I fell in love at first sight. It's the sort of city I'm glad to be married to." The indefatigable Composer-Director-Impresario Gian Carlo Menotti was at it again, in what could be the greatest —and riskiest—romance of his long career in music and the performing arts: launching an American version of Italy's Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. Menotti created the original festival in June 1958, transforming the quiet old Umbrian hill town of Spoleto into an international center of the arts.

Charleston's clean and narrow streets, cloistered gardens and the pastel colors of...

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