Del Monaco, director and son of Italian opera’s great Mario, has improved greatly since he was admitted to hospital. Two severe stab wounds, inflicted by his wife, Daniela Werner Hermann, almost pierced his heart. Sources close to investigators say that immediately after the crime, Werner Hermann had attempted suicide by stabbing herself.
When Del Monaco regained consciousness he said: “It was lucky that I escaped, otherwise she would have slaughtered me.”
It seems that their violent argument began over the couple’s difficult economic circumstances. Daniela Werner Hermann, thirty years younger than her husband, is an aspiring opera singer but was deemed unsuitable for the Italian repertoire, and found difficultly in finding work. She is now under guard in the psychiatric ward of the hospital in San Donà di Piave in the Venice region. She hasn’t yet talked, though Del Monaco has said he never wants to see her again.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.