The Royal New Zealand Ballet has tapped former La Scala dancer and director of MaggioDanza, Francesco Ventriglia, as its new artistic director to replace Ethan Stiefel who is coming home to the U.S. The 36-year-old, who is also an accomplished choreographer, will begin his appointment in November.
From the Wellington Scoop:
Francesco Ventriglia trained at the Ballet School of La Scala, Milan, joining the world-renowned ballet company of La Scala in 1997. During his dancing career he performed solo and principal roles in a wide range of repertoire including the Bronze Idol in Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère, and Hilarion to Sylvie Guillem’s Giselle at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and at Covent Garden. As a choreographer, he has created works for leading dancers including Roberto Bolle, Ulyana Lopatkina and Svetlana Zakharova, and for prestigious venues including the Arena di Verona, the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and the Venice Biennale, among others.
After retiring from the stage, at the age of 31, Francesco Ventriglia was appointed Director of MaggioDanza (Opera Dance Theatre) in Florence, Italy, in 2010. He guided the company to new success on the international stage, substantially increasing the number of performances at home and abroad, investing in education programmes, commissioning new works from Italian and international choreographers, and received acclaim from audiences and critics alike.
RNZB's 2015 previously planned season, which Ventriglia will oversee, is an ambitious one that includes a brand new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by the Royal Ballet's Liam Scarlett.
The company will take its Stiefel/Kobborg production of Giselle to England and Scotland, and will tour New Zealand with Gary Harris' production of Don Quixote. Its 2015 rep program will consist of brand new contemporary works which take their inspiration from stories of New Zealand at war.
Wow, it seems like the RNZB is ready to take another leap forward along with another big shot of glam.