“Every time I listen to Bach I feel my heart jumps a beat. His music is for me an inexhaustible source of inspiration and has been since my early twenties, which was even before, in Düsseldorf, when I choreographed a piece to the Goldberg Variations, which many critics considered, at the beginning of the nineties, one of the most important works of the period.”
Heinz Spoerli was appointed artistic director and choreographer of the German Opera on the Rhine, Düsseldorf in 1991, where he “raised technical standards and built up audiences with a neo-classical repertoire that includes his own works plus those of choreographers like Balanchine and van Manen”.
From 1996, he was director of the Zurich Ballet for 14 years, which is where his collaboration began the La Scala's current Intendant, Alexander Pereira. His Cello Suites entered La Scala's repertoire in 2015.
Goldberg-Variationen opens at La Scala this evening and can be seen until 22 March.
Alexey Botvinov, who last November notched up 300 performances of the Goldberg Variations, has played it many times also for performances of this work.
Thirty-five dancers from La Scala's company will be onstage and the cast features Claudio Coviello, Nicoletta Manni, Antonino Sutera, Marco Agostino, Antonella Albano, Francesca Podini, Virna Toppi, Vittoria Valerio, Timofej Andrijashenko, Martina Arduino, Nicola Del Freo, Walter Madau, Gioacchino Starace.
25 January – 22 March 2018
Johann Sebastian Bach
Choreography Heinz Spoerli
Sets and costumes Keso Dekker
Lighting Martin Gebhardt
Piano Alexey Botvinov
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.