With her opening remarks on the organizational state of affairs, producer Nunally Kersh typified the lighthearted mood of the Spoleto Festival USA board's annual February meeting on Saturday.
"Things are going eerily smoothly," said Kersh, representing the program committee. "It is all coming together very well."
Representing the executive/finance committees, Ed Sellers and Tasha Gandy reported that the festival's total net assets were $11,255.461 as of the end of the fiscal year on Aug. 31, 2011, and that the projected total operating budget for 2012 was $6,394,480, less transfers of $189,010 from cash reserves.
Cutbacks in state and corporate giving have made it impossible not to tap these reserves, said festival General Director Nigel Redden, though new corporate prospects such as Cricket Communications are being explored, he said.
Running from May 25 through June 10, the 36th annual festival will boast a schedule of more than 140 performances in 13 venues, featuring 60 artistic ensembles and individual performers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, China, Brazil, Japan, Canada and the United States.
Redden and David Greenberg, an architectural acoustician with Creative Acoustics, addressed the upgrading the acoustic features of alternate performance spaces, such as the Dock Street Theatre, Memminger Auditorium and Sottile Theatre, because of the unavailability of the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium for the 2013 festival.
The large-scale renovation of the Gaillard, which is scheduled to begin in August, is not expected to be completed until late in 2014.
Development Director Julia Forster announced that on-site proceeds from Friday's annual Spoleto Auction were $109,000, with another $20,000 to $30,000 expected from online bids.
Also discussed was the significance of Mike Daisey's one-man Spoleto performance "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" (opening May 31), a production that sparked an investigation into worker conditions at the mammoth Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China, where approximately half of all consumer electronics sold in the world today are produced, including those of major U.S. corporations like Apple.
Among the showcase events of the 2012 festival will be "Kepler," minimalist composer Philip Glass' meditation on astronomer Johannes Kepler's attempt to reconcile scientific discovery with the divine.
In commemoration of Glass' 75th birthday, Spoleto will present the first fully staged production of Glass' opera in the United States. To date, "Kepler" has been presented only in concert form, partly for budgetary reasons.
The full opera premiere will be directed by Sam Helfrich, with Resident Conductor John Kennedy leading the 83-member Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.
Glass also will be on hand June 2 for a featured Music in Time piano-side conversation with Kennedy.
Reach Bill Thompson at 937-5707.