Carla Fracci, an Italian cultural icon and former La Scala prima ballerina famend for romantic roles alongside such greats as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov, died Thursday at her residence in Milan. She was 84.
Milan’s Teatro alla Scala introduced her demise with out giving a trigger. Italian information studies stated she had been preventing most cancers.
The Milan theater recalled the “fairytale rise” of the daughter of a tram driver who. It stated that via “expertise, obstinance and work (she) turned probably the most well-known ballerina on the earth” and impressed generations of younger individuals.
“Carla Fracci was a cardinal determine within the historical past of dance and that of La Scala, but in addition some extent of reference for the town of Milan and Italian tradition,” the theater stated in an announcement.
“She leaves us in amazement, on tiptoe like Giselle, a spirit that continues to be with us, filling the ballrooms, the stage and our hearts,″ stated La Scala’s ballet director, Manuel Legris. “We really feel an incredible void that, at the identical time, makes us really feel full and wealthy in all her historical past — which is the historical past of ballet — and privileged to have shared her artwork.”
Fracci was born in Milan on August 20, 1936, and spent World War II with relations within the countryside to flee the frequent bombardment of the industrialized Lombardy capital. In a current interview with Sky TG24, Fracci described her youthful self as a “farmer,” who knew nothing of the theater or the world of dance “a lot much less these little sneakers.”
But after the battle, an observer remarked on her “grace and musicality,” recommending she check out for La Scala’s academy.
She was accepted at age 10, driving her father’s tram every day to the academy, and graduated in 1954, at age 18. Her first stage look was in 1955 with different graduating ballet college students at the shut of a staging of Bellini’s “La sonnambula” performed by Leonard Bernstein, directed by Luchino Visconti and beginning Maria Callas.
She acquired her first break substituting for French dancer Violette Verdy in “Cinderella” the identical yr, and by 1958 had risen to the function of prima ballerina.
Her international fame quickly unfold, with invites to the Royal Festival Hall, adopted by doorways opening within the United States, even whereas remaining a central determine at La Scala. She was most recognized with the function of “Giselle,” which she danced with Nureyev and Baryshnikov in addition to Danish star Erik Bruhn.
(*84*) companions included La Scala’s personal Roberto Bolle, who remembered Fracci for her “human generosity.”
In 1969, Fracci acquired the Dance Magazine Award, thought-about one of many best prizes for a dancer.
Performing for digital camera in addition to stay audiences, Fracci additionally performed lead roles within the teleplay “Verdi” and the movie ”Nijinsky” by Herbert Ross. A bona fide Italian celeb, she regularly appeared on Italian tv and was equally the darling of widespread magazines.
Italy’s premier, Mario Draghi, known as her “an incredible Italian,” and President Sergio Mattarella, stated she had honored her nation “together with her magnificence and her creative efforts, the fruit of intense work.”
Fracci final danced at La Scala in 2000, within the function of Luce in “Excelsior.” She was invited again in January of this yr to show a masterclass on “Giselle,” which was broadcast on La Scala’s social media channels and is a part of a documentary sequence by RAI state tv.
“It was very shifting to be again at La Scala, after greater than 20 years,” she advised Sky TG24.
La Scala’s normal supervisor, Dominique Meyer, recalled her return to the theater as “an unforgettable second for everybody.
“We will at all times consider her with affection and gratitude, remembering the smile of the final days we spent collectively, when she felt she had come residence once more,” he stated.
Fracci is survived by her husband of 57 years, theater director Beppe Menegatti, and their son, Francesco Menegatti, who as a baby typically traveled together with his mom on tour.
This story has been revealed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content. Only the headline has been modified.