Aug 032013

Walter Albisetti 3 500x375 Great emotion at ballet doctors funeralAt 10am hun­dreds of friends, col­leagues, and neigh­bours, includ­ing many dan­cers and doc­tors, gathered in the swel­ter­ing heat to say their good­byes to Wal­ter Albis­etti, a much loved fig­ure who died tra­gic­ally three days ago.

Albis­etti, who was only 56 years old, was for twenty years the med­ical advisor for the Bal­let Com­pany in , a uni­ver­sity pro­fessor, sur­geon and ortho­paed­ist. He was part of the com­mis­sion who chose which chil­dren to accept into the bal­let school at La Scala.

Every­one at La Scala knew Albis­etti, most had been treated by him at some time, and he car­ried out hun­dreds of del­ic­ate oper­a­tions that can mean the con­tinu­ation or end of a dance career. He gave much of his time for pro­jects in Africa, and a small African del­eg­a­tion atten­ded his funeral. He had also formed a small bio-agricultural com­pany with his daugh­ter to pro­mote local pro­duce from the land he inher­ited from his father in the nineties. It was on this land that he lost his life, as had his father twenty years before.

Albis­etti senior drowned as he was col­lect­ing rain­wa­ter from a cistern on his small-holding in the province of Lecco, and the younger Albis­etti was cut­ting a laurel hedge with a motor saw, when he prob­ably slipped, cut­ting through the femoral artery of his left leg. He had tried to stop the blood loss using his shirt as a tour­ni­quet around his upper thigh, but to no use.

Although his uni­ver­sity stu­dents are on hol­i­day, as are the La Scala dan­cers, there was not room for every­one in the church at Cernusco Lom­bardone, and a hun­dred or so remained out­side to await the coffin as it left the church.

There was much emo­tion for this unex­pec­ted and need­less death of a highly respec­ted and tal­en­ted doc­tor, a friend to many, and a gen­er­ous human being.

Arriver­derci Walter.

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