After the success La Scala's ballet company during their dates in Tokyo – 10,000 people saw the 5 performances of Romeo and Juliet – they now return to Milan with four performances of Swan Lake from 14 to 18 October. This is a continuation of the performances in July, dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev in the 20th year after his death, presenting his very personal version of the ballet.
Nicoletta Manni and Carlo Di Lanno are two new names who will play the main roles, together with Christian Fagetti in the danced role of Rothbart, for the first two performances.
Nicoletta Manni, 22-years-old, came up through La Scala's ballet school, but immediately left Italy to dance abroad after her graduation. She entered the Milanese company last spring. Carlo Di Lanno, a 20-year-old Neapolitan, also spent time abroad after the La Scala school, now making his début as Siegfried.
This isn't the first time company director Makhar Vaziev has put his money on fresh, home-grown talent. Many eyebrows were raised when he announced that Claudio Coviello, who had gone from soloist to principal in a matter of months, was to partner ballet superstar Natalia Osipova during the July performances. It was a gamble that paid off.
Now they're back. On 17 and 18 October they will return to dance together in Swan Lake. They also danced together in Tokyo as the departure of principals Petra Conti and Eris Nezha (who are dancing this season at Boston Ballet) had left some casting headaches. Certainly Osipova's surprise return will see a lot of people happy, but as the performances are ‘tutto esaurito' there are no tickets to be had. Day seats will be available (see La Scala site for instructions).
In November, the Russian phenomenon will be back in Milan to make her highly anticipated début in L'histoire de Manon.
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.