Dario Fo, the Italian playwright, director and performer whose scathingly satirical work earned him both praise and condemnation, as well as the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, died on Thursday 13th 2016 in Milan aged 90.
Incredibly active artist, till his very last days
Fo’s son declared to an Italian broadcaster “it was a great end” referring to the fact that his father, ill for some months, kept working 10 hours daily till his very last days. Such was the enthusiasm he had for his creative activity and for performing. Renowned also as a painter, opera director, stage designer as well as political activist, Dario Fo wrote more than 80 plays, many in collaboration with his wife – Franca Rame, who died in 2013.
Fo’s last play: Callas
One of them is a play on the life of Maria Callas, another famous adopted “Milanese”. It was broadcasted live on the Italian television in 2015, with Dario Fo, already ill, performing with Italian actress Paola Cortellesi.
In this short video of the play, Callas recalls the dispute with Mario del Monaco on who would keep the longest note on stage: a typical feature of the “Italian tradition”, as defined by the great Greek-American singer, very popular in Italian theaters at the time. Callas believed that was a “bad” habit that needed be overcome, in order for the singer to be more faithful to the score.
In the following video (with English subtitles), an excerpt from a 1964 interview on the French television “Callas by Callas” , the great singer recalls her best years at La Scala.
Here an excerpt from a 1964 interview on the French television: Callas by Callas:
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