Art director

La Scala mourns famous artistic director, 91 – Slipped DiscSlipped Disc

Norman Lebrecht

February 02, 2022

Director Giorgio Strehler’s favorite costume and design partner, lowly Ezio Frigerio, has died at the age of 91.

Besides dozens of productions for La Scala, he was chosen to design the tombstone of his friend Rudolf Nureyev.

Statement from La Scala:
La Scala mourns the loss of Ezio Frigerio, active for more than 50 years in dramatic theatre, opera, ballet and cinema, a model of 20th century Italian culture: a scenographer who knew how to leave his influence on the productions of all the great directors with whom he has worked, from Strehler to Ronconi, from Liliana Cavani to Graham Vick, from Bertolucci to Rappeneau.
He began his collaboration with Giorgio Strehler at the Piccolo Teatro in 1955 and the same year he made his debut at La Scala by designing the costumes for Il matrimonio segreto on the occasion of the opening of the Piccola Scala. There followed a very long and fruitful collaboration with La Scala which led him to sign 32 productions, 8 of which inaugurated the Season: Otello (1959), Simon Boccanegra (1971 and 1978), Falstaff (1980), Lohengrin (1981), Ernani (1982), Don Giovanni (1987), Fidelio (1990 and December 7, 1999), Otello (2001).
Thanks to Roland Petit and his friendship with Rudolf Nureyev, he made his debut in the world of ballet, first in France then also at La Scala with Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. During his career, he worked in more than 300 productions and received numerous awards including the Molière, the French Critics’ Prize twice, the English Critics’ Prize, the Premio Abbiati twice and, for cinema, the César, the European Community Prize, and an Oscar nomination.


Photo: La Scala Theater / Erio Piccagliani