One of the high profile summer festivals is the Spoleto Festival in Italy. It was established in 1958 and has made a name for its mixture of concerts, theater performances, and arts exhibits. Its founder is composer and librettist Gian Carlo Menotti. He not only brings artists from all over the world into the small town of Spoleto. He is himself the product of a multinational education. Menotti moved from Milan to Philadelphia when he was 16 and then stayed in the United States for 60 years before returning to Europe, to settle in Scotland and his native Italy. Menotti distributed the versatile concept of his Spoleto Festival over three continents, founding festivals by the same name in Australia and in the American state of South Carolina. Not too long ago (April 20-23), Gian Carlo Menotti showed up in New York, accompanied by his son Francis. They hosted a gala event with prominent singers, but it was not meant to be a fund-raiser, as the composer emphasizes. He says that he was neither trying to collect money for the festival in Italy, nor for the one in South Carolina. 88-year-old Menotti just wanted to be remembered in a country that has shaped a large part of his life without ever becoming his home. Georg Hirsch has the story.
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