Search for universal truths theme for 2011 Spoleto

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) - The Spoleto Festival USA will put on more than 150 events during the two-week festival in Charleston that honors a broad range of music, dance, opera and art.

The lineup for the festival that runs May 27 through June 12 is as diverse as General Director Nigel Redden can remember, including the American premiere of Kaija SaariahoÂ's opera "Emilie" with soprano Elizabeth Futral and Taylor Mac's outlandish drag-inspired costumes in "Comparison is Violence or the Ziggy Stardust Meets Tiny Tim Songbook."

The Spoleto Festival has weathered the downturn in the economy fairly well. The budget for 2011 has increased, and Spoleto topped it ticket sales goal last year. Redden thinks the growth will continue this year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.