Sep 282014

Julio Bocca's car after the accidentYes­ter­day after­noon in Uruguay, Julio Bocca’s car was com­pletely des­troyed when it careered off the high­way but, remark­ably, he has only suffered minor injuries.

Bocca, dir­ector of the National Bal­let Sodre, lost con­trol of his Peugeot and it came off the road and flipped over. He was taken to the Brit­ish Hos­pital of Montevideo.

He was taken to hos­pital for x-rays and fur­ther checkups, but the ini­tial med­ical inter­ven­tion on site revealed noth­ing serious.

said a High­way Patrol spokes­man Daniel Segovia. …con­tinue reading.

Sep 262014

Prima Donna Assoluta: Deborah Voigt

In Janu­ary next year, Deborah Voigt’s “strik­ingly hon­est mem­oir” will be pub­lished by Har­per­Collins entitled Call Me Debbie: True Con­fes­sions of a Down-to-Earth Diva.

The press release announces that she recounts “with char­ac­ter­istic candor, cha­risma, and wit – her har­row­ing and ulti­mately suc­cess­ful private battles to over­come the addic­tions and self-destructive tend­en­cies that nearly cut short her life”. In the book she describes the events that led to her dan­ger­ous gast­ric bypass sur­gery in 2004 and its shock­ing after­math: her sub­stan­tial weight loss coupled with the “cross addic­tion” that led to alco­hol­ism and severe depres­sion before she emerged to achieve com­plete sobriety.

Voigt also gives insight into the roles she’s played, espe­cially the char­ac­ters she loves: Strauss’s Ariadne and Salome, Puccini’s Min­nie, and Wagner’s Sieglinde, Isolde, and Brün­nhilde among them. There are also anec­dotes and even some juicy back­stage gos­sip is prom­ised! …con­tinue reading.

Sep 252014

Dirty Dancing rehearsals -  © Laura Bianca

Dirty Dan­cing comes to Milan with the biggest advance book­ing since Stage Enter­tain­ment took over the Teatro Nazionale, beat­ing even Beauty and the Beast and Mamma Mia! The pro­du­cers must be breath­ing a sigh of relief as the Italian economy’s bumpy ride doesn’t seem to be affect­ing ticket sales, such is the film in the cul­tural DNA of women who want to dance with Patrick Swayze, men who want to be Patrick Swayze and prob­ably men who want to dance with Patrick Swayze too.

When the show opened in Lon­don it set the record for advance book­ings there , yet the film and the show’s writer, Eleanor Bergstein, res­isted offers to turn the film into a musical for more than fif­teen years.
“couldn’t see the point. The film could be seen in the cinemas, on tele­vi­sion… why try to recre­ate it on stage?”

She was finally con­vinced when the let­ters from view­ers, which con­tinu­ally arrive, demon­strated that the film had the same effect on a new gen­er­a­tion, and she thought how power­ful her story would be if seen ‘live’. …con­tinue reading.

Sep 232014

Nicoletta Manni as Dulcinea in Don Quixote, La Scala, 2014Well it’s an ill wind… Nat­alia Osipova’s last minute can­cel­la­tion as Kitri at La Scala left the way open for Nicoletta Manni, newly appoin­ted prin­cipal dan­cer with the com­pany, to show the Osipova fans what she could do. And what she did she did very well, very well indeed.

Manni is a strong dan­cer with a solid tech­nique and quite regal in her bear­ing. Her inter­pret­a­tion was cooler than Tamara Rojo’s more imp­ish Kitri, which was seen last week, and maybe she doesn’t yet have the exper­i­ence to be more play­ful within the cho­reo­graphy, but wow, can she dance. It’s all there: high jetés, bal­ances, turns, fine con­trol of her body with legs that go high, yes, but are per­fectly con­trolled when they des­cend, giv­ing a play­ful arrog­ance to some of her move­ments. Her last act vari­ation with the fan was superb with extremely slow and pre­cise retirés gradu­ally accel­er­at­ing with the music, and her fouéttes are splen­did. The first six­teen were inter­spersed with double turns dur­ing which she opened and closed her fan above her head; for the second group of six­teen she did the same thing at waist level… and she didn’t move a jot. She hasn’t yet mastered that knack of com­mu­nic­at­ing with the whole theatre and could be more expans­ive in such a big house, but give her a few more per­form­ances and I’m sure she’ll bloom.
…con­tinue reading.

Sep 232014

20100213DNCH_2000_BFrom today, La Scala’s archive can be con­sul­ted freely, without registering.

The ongo­ing pro­ject, known as DAM or Digital Asset Man­age­ment, is cata­loguing, pho­to­grapèh­ing and scan­ning the Mil­anese theatre’s  the vast archive, as well as list­ing all of the theatre’s per­form­ances with all the casts and cre­at­ive teams.

205,000 pho­to­graphs, 5,000 cos­tumes, 800 props and accessor­ies and 12,000 posters have been archived from 1950 to today. By free­ing up access La Scala hopes that not just research­ers, but those who attend the theatre, fans of opera and bal­let, and Mil­anese cit­izens, will want to visit and explore this extraordin­ary col­lec­tion of material.

…con­tinue reading.