While two of the top names in ballet – Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle – open the run of Kenneth MacMillan's Manon at La Scala, it is the ‘second' cast that's got everyone talking.
On 8 November Natalia Osipova will make her début in the role with company principal dancer Claudio Coviello as des Grieux. The couple danced together for the first time in July in Swan Lake, then again in Tokyo in Romeo and Juliet, so Manon marks their third ballet together, and for Coviello too, it will his first go at the part.
Interestingly, this MacMillan ballet comes less than two weeks before another début for Osipova, when she will perform his Romeo and Juliet with Carlos Acosta as her first ballet as company member of London's Royal Ballet.
In Milan, Lescaut will be played by one of my favourite dancers of the La Scala company, Mick Zeni, with Massimo Garon as Monsieur G.M.
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.