When did you start dancing?
At 9 years old.
Why did you start dancing?
I saw Carla Fracci dancing.
Which dancer inspired you most as a child?
Carla Fracci and Erik Bruhn for their great partnership.
Which dancer do you most admire?
Sylvie Guillem for the light that emanates when she dances; Massimo Murru for the very personal and natural way to portray different characters.
What's your favourite role?
Colonel Vershinin in “Winter Dreams” by Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
What role have you never played but would like to?
Crown Prince Rudolf in “Mayerling” by Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
What's your favourite ballet to watch?
“Symphonic Variation” by Sir Frederick Ashton.
Who is your favourite choreographer?
Too many, Ashton, MacMillan, Pistoni, Nureyev, Tudor etc…
Who is your favourite writer?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Who is your favourite director?
Visconti, De Sica and Sorrentino.
Who is your favourite actor?
Alida Valli, Silvana Mangano and Anna Magnani.
Who is your favourite singer?
Opera singer: Sutherland, Callas, Bartoli. Pop Singer: Caetano Veloso and Mina.
What is your favourite book?
One Hundred Years of Solitude.
What is your favourite film?
“Senso” by Visconti.
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
The courage to change.
What do you dislike about yourself?
Too many things.
What was your proudest moment?
When I realized that what and who I love will stay with me forever.
When and where were you happiest?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
The person I love.
What is your greatest fear?
To lose the person I love.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It still has to come.
What is your most treasured possession?
The ring that reminds me of the person I love and who I belong to.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My brain is very extravagant!
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The virtues of Catholicism.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I don't want to hurt people.
If you hadn't been a dancer what would you have liked to do?
Be an actor.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What quality do you most value in a friend?
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Talent combined with intelligence.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
All the people who have made my country better than it was.
Which living person do you most admire?
Hans Küng, a theologian who speaks and report child abuse by priests of the Catholic Church.
What do you most dislike?
People who are hiding something.
What gift would you most like to have?
To be a set and costume designer.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is boring.
How would you like to die?
On the balcony next to the Campidoglio watching the Roman Forum.
What is your motto?
“Non è tutto oro quello che luccica” [All that glitters is not gold]
Vito Mazzeo – a biography
Born in Vibo Valentia, Italy, Vito Mazzeo trained at La Scala Ballet School in Milan.
He danced with The Royal Ballet and Rome Opera Ballet before joining San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 2010. Mazzeo was promoted to principal dancer in 2011.
Throughout his career he has performed lead roles in variety of classical works, including Prince Desiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Albrecht and Hilarion in Giselle, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Basilio in Don Quixote, Birbanto in Le Corsaire, the Golden Slave in Scheherazade, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. His repertory also includes principal roles in Ashton's Birthday Offering and Rhapsody, Balanchine's La Chatte and Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Chalmer's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fokine's Les Sylphides, and Nijinska's Les Biches.
Since joining SF Ballet, Mazzeo has performed includes a diverse range of principal roles in works such as MacMillan's Winter Dreams, McGregor's Chroma, Wheeldon's Number Nine, Forsythe's Artifact Suite, Balanchine's Symphony in C and The Four Temperaments. In addition, he created a principal role in Tomasson's Trio.
In 2010, Mazzeo received the Premio Positano Leonide Massine Award for Best Italian Dancer, as well as the Danza & Danza Award for Best Dancer of the Year. He returned in Italy as a guest at the Rome Opera Ballet and Arena of Verona during the summer season 2011.
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.