Alessandra Ferri will become the new director of the Wiener Staatsballett – the Vienna State Opera ballet company – from 1 September 2025.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Vienna yesterday, 24 October 2023, by Bogdan Roücic, General Director of the Vienna State Opera, and Lotte de Beer, General Director of the Volksoper Vienna.
Alessandra Ferri takes over from Martin Schläpfer who voluntarily did not renew his contract after three years with the company. Ferri will also serve as artistic director of the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera.
Ferri was born in Milan in 1963, training at La Scala's Ballet School before transferring to the upper school of the Royal Ballet School. She became a Principal Dancer at The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Teatro alla Scala, as well as guesting at most major theatres and companies around the world.
She directed the dance section of the Spoleto Festival from 2008 to 2014, and in recent years has produced and performed shows that she has taken on long international tours. After coming out of a seven-year retirement, she has also been coaching dancers at her three former companies.
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.