The indefatigable Anna Crespi, founder of the Amici della Scala association (Friends of La Scala), organised a party to celebrate Carla Fracci's 80th birthday at the organisation's beautiful base which is in a tranquil, leafy street, just off via Montenapoleone. A magical space which, though in the heart of the city and near to the fashion district and La Scala, manages to preserve an aura of peace.
The occasion also marked the launch of Crespi's new book, Cerchiamo insieme (Let's Search Together), with a forward by Fracci. She wrote,
After having read this fairy tale I felt as happy as a multi-coloured bird who is trying out its new wings.
Happy indeed, as in less than eighty pages, with short, often half-page chapters, the book captures the rhythms and considerations of childhood, yet in its simplicity it conveys some deep truths.
Two girls, together with their grandmother, search for their mother inside a multi-coloured book which they enter and leave in a series of adventures; in searching for their mother they end up finding themselves. They find their mother, their own identity and their own future. The journey into the soul, which is maybe our natural home.
Painter and illustrator, Tullio Pericoli's watercolour for the book's cover is delightful.
The Amici della Scala publishes several books each year on artists who have worked at La Scala, but this is a personal project, and Anna Crespi's fourth book.
After the presentation birthday cakes were brought in and glasses were raised: Happy Birthday Carla Fracci!
Anna Crespi ‘CERCHIAMO INSIEME'
Mursia, 86 pages, €8
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.