The casting has already suffered some upsets as The Vasiliev-Osipova coupling was to share performances with Leonid Sarafanov and Svetlana Zakharova. When Zakharova withdrew for unknown motives requiring her to be in Moscow during this period, the dream team were split up and Natalia Osipova was paired with Sarafanov (the performances will be broadcast), and Rojo paired with Vasiliev. Now local boy Claudio Coviello will step in again for Vasiliev, as he did when the Russian suddenly put his back out minutes before curtain up on Roland Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris eighteen months ago.
I was looking forward to returning to La Scala this autumn, but unfortunately illness prevents me from being in Milan. The beginning of this season has been very difficult for me because of pneumonia which stopped me from performing my last engagement in St Petersburg, and now I'm in hospital being treated so that I can back on my feet.
I hope to return soon to La Scala, one of the companies I love most in the world. I'm grateful to Maestro Vaziev for giving me the opportunity to be a guest with the La Scala Ballet, and I am truly sorry that I have had to withdraw from Don Quixote.
Coviello will dance on the opening night before flying to Russia for a prior engagement. Vasiliev's replacement for the other two performances with Rojo is not yet known.
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.