The ‘Amici della Scala' sure knows how to throw a party!
The indefatigable Anna Crespi, who has been guiding the Friends of La Scala association since its birth in 1978, had the idea to get some of the most important Milanese artists invite their friends to celebrate the great sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro (90 next month) and the actor Ferruccio Soleri, who in his 87th year is still interpreting Arlecchino in Giorgio Strehler's legendary production of Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters.
The women who headed the group of friends were Strehler's actress, Giulia Lazzarini, who recently found international acclaim when Nanni Moretti's film Mia madre, in which she played the title role, was in the running at last year's Cannes Festival; ballerinas Carla Fracci, Luciana Savignano and Oriella Dorella, all of whom came up through La Scala's school and dominated its stage for many years; the photographer and publisher Inge Feltrinelli; and another Strehler actress, though better known for her extraordinary singing voice, Ornella Vanoni.
Anna Crespi and the Amici della Scala organise conferences and encounters; produce books on the singers, dancers, musicians and designers who have made La Scala what it is; and help sustain La Scala's initiatives… but every now and then they let their hair down, raise a glass to friends and colleagues, and celebrate Milan's cultural richness.
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.