The week-long San Remo Song Festival has featured classical dancers twice this year: a virtual Carla Fracci, and Roberto Bolle in flesh and bone.
Bolle opened last night's Final of the competition, dancing to the music of Queen, We Will Rock You, and is looking in splendid form in his 41st year! The choreography was by Mauro Bigonzetti, who has just been appointed new head of ballet at La Scala.
However, the part of the Festival which had everyone talking came on the second night of the Festival. Virginia Raffaele, one of the most celebrated impersonators on Italian TV, co-presented as a different personality each evening… Donatella Versace, actress Sabrina Ferilli (The Great Beauty) and so on… but when she entered as Carla Fracci the Ariston Theatre, which hosts the Festival, exploded with laughter and surprise, as did social media. No one has imitated the Italian étoile before… at least not in public. What was quite uncanny were the details, the little mannerisms which only friends and colleagues could know. As Raffaele is from Rome where Fracci directed the Ballet Company for ten years I imagine that there was a handy spy from Rome Opera who let her round out the character.
Fracci was delighted, as you can see from the interview below.
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.