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Update: Despite Economy, Spoleto Sales Brisk

CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — The Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston reports brisk initial ticket sales, despite a troubled economy.

Tickets went on sale this week, and in the first five days, $160,000 worth of tickets sold. That's 17 percent more than the same period in 2006 when Spoleto set a box-office record.

Festival General Director Nigel Redden said Friday the festival has a long way to go but the early momentum is reassuring.

The internationally known arts festival will be staged from May 22 through June 7.

Highlights include a new production of the seldom-staged opera "Louise." The festival also features tributes to longtime chamber music director Charles Wadsworth and an operetta inspired by movie actor Peter Lorre.