Mauro Bigonzetti's Coppélia had already been put aside as the ballet to open La Scala's ballet season on 20 December due to his back problems. There was discussion of another version of the ballet to substitute it, but now everything's changed and we have Misty Copeland and Roberto Bolle in Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet. They danced the balcony scene together last week in a Italian TV special.
A small coup has been achieved too, by bringing back the theatre's Etoile, Alessandra Ferri, who will dance the New Year's Eve performance alongside Herman Cornejo, repeating recent successes in a return to her signature ballet. Ferri danced the role again, after many years away, with the American Ballet Theatre in June of this year, together with Cornejo. Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times wrote,
The plasticity, liquidity and effortless eloquence of her movement seem unchanged. Her stage persona remains vivid, ardent, rapturous, impulsive and compelling. And in the miraculous Herman Cornejo, she finds a Romeo who shares those virtues. Both have charm; neither cultivates it. The youthful intensity they share in this ballet has nothing sweet about it; it does have tremendous pathos.
Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo are both American Ballet Theatre principal dancers and both will be making their La Scala debut.
Bigonzetti will return for his Handel Project on 20 May, as planned, with Svetlana Zakharova and Bolle.
Romeo and Juliet was already programmed for performances in September and October 2017; it will be replaced by a different title which will be announced in the coming days.
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.