Good news for dance at La Scala. Cutting down on the budget has meant axing three opera productions, but opera's loss is ballet's gain, for the ‘cheaper' ballet performances have been bumped up from 49 this season to a healthier 61.
More guests too will liven up the 2013-2014 season. House fixtures Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle and Massimo Murru will be joined by returning guests Polina Semionova and Friedemann Vogel for Balanchine's Diamonds, and Natalia Osipova with Ivan Vasiliev for Rubies. Osipova and Vasiliev will also dance in Don Quixote later in the season, as well as Zakharova with Denis Matvienko, making a long-awaited return, and Leonid Sarafanov will return to Milan as Basilio.
Zakharova and Semionova will also appear in Swan Lake with David Hallberg who will be making his house début. It will be gloves off for Bolle and Vasiliev in the Petit programme where they will alternate in Le jeune homme et la mort.
The season concludes with MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet with Zakharova and Bolle, Osipova and Vasiliev, and Murru will dance with the Royal Ballet's Marianela Nuñez, who is returning after a long absence from the La Scala stage, her last appearance being as Gamzatti in La Bayadère during the 2008-2009 season.
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.