Luca Targetti, the Casting Director at La Scala for 13 years from 1997, died shortly after showing symptoms of a coronavirus infection, on 12 March. He was 63.
The architect Vittorio Gregotti, responsible for designing the 2000-seater Teatro Arcimboldi, La Scala's temporary home when it was closed for modernisation in 2002, died this morning after being infected with the virus. He was 92.
Targetti graduated in architecture at the University in Milan, his home town, but also studied piano at the Scuola Musicale as well as studying voice. After a few years working as an architect, he became an artists' manager from 1986 to 1997, a job he returned to after leaving La Scala in 2011. He was a constant presence on the panel of singing competitions, where he met Dominique Meyer, La Scala's new Intendant, who said,
He was a friend for more than 20 years. We saw each other regularly when we were on the juries of singing competitions and we always talked a great deal: Luca loved combining playfulness and seriousness. His passing is a great loss for the opera world, but today I and all at La Scala know the great sadness of the many who knew him and could call him a friend. Everyone at La Scala sends their thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.
Gregotti was born in Novara, near Milan, and his long career saw many important projects such as the new Bicocca district in Milan's outskirts, which houses the Arcimboldi theatre as well as his design for the Pirelli Real Estate headquarters. He designed the vast Pujiang New Town in Shanghai and several university campuses including that of the University of Calabria. He oversaw the restyling of London's South bank in 1994, and designed Genoa's football stadium and the Olympic stadium for the 1986 Barcelona Olympics.
Stefano Boeri – the architect of the Bosco Verticale in Milan, the stunning ‘vertical forest' skyscrapers, wrote,
In this dark period, one of the great masters of international architecture has left us. An essayist, critic, lecturer, columnist, but first and foremost an architect, he has helped write the history of our culture. He saw architecture as a viewpoint: about the whole world and the whole of life. What great sadness.
The ballerina Carla Fracci, (whose son, Francesco, is an architect), and her family were friends of Gregotti. He wrote the preface to Francesco Menegatti's book. The family has left this message:
Carla Fracci and Francesco Menegatti with Dina, Beppe, Giovanni and Ariele, and many other friends, are sad for the loss of their dear friend Vittorio Gregotti, an exemplary person and an irreplaceable and genuine maestro.
Carla Fracci e Francesco Menegatti con Dina, Beppe, Giovanni, Ariele, e tanti altri amici, piangono per l'addio dell'amato Vittorio Gregotti, una bella persona, un uomo esemplare, un insostituibile maestro vero.
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.