COMMEMORATION FOR ILEANA 12TH DECEMBER 2014

Dear friends,

Just to let you know of the beautiful evening organised by our dear friends the Ricci ‘s in their house in Rome.(Franco Ricci,Artistic Director of the Tuscia University concerts at Viterbo – author of many books including the only biography of Francesco Siciliani – artistic director of La Scala and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the 50/60’s- the man that discovered Maria Callas)

More than fifty people – yes it is quite a big house.

Of course the moment people found out everyone wanted to come even though I was trying to save the  big event for the 10th anniversary next year.

So all those that missed this occasion it will be an appointment at the Ghione Theatre on 3rd December 2015!

I enclose some fotos of the evening .

Marcos Madrigal the magnificent cuban pianist ,playing now for the Keyboard Trust, having been helped to leave Cuba by his mentor Claudio Abbado!Played music by Lecuona from his new CD just about to be published .

Milena Vukotic ,one of Ileanas most cherished friends ,and actors from our Compagnia dei Giovani:Riccardo Polizzy and Cristina Borgogni .Many others including Carlo Simoni,Bianca Galvan and Marina Lorenzi would have like to come  but were on stage that evening.

Walter Maestosi who was Ileana’s leading man in the opening season of the theatre in 1982 read a beautiful piece by our dear friend Guido Nahum ,the playright whose play was one of our first productions.( I will visit him in Milan on Thursday when I present the KT to the Bocconi University at Vitaly Pisarenkos first concert there – I would have loved to visit Lydia Agosti who unfortunately passed away only a month ago at 99- wish she had waited a little longer!)

Valeria Valeri who had not actually worked with Ileana but has played in the theatre many times .At the age of 93 ,moved by Cristina’s moving account of Ileanas last moments on stage spoke most eloquently with words that came straight from the heart.

A moving occasion and nice to remember  our extraordinary Ileana and, who as Milena told us was always ready, at the smallest excuse, to talk about her love for me ! “But there is always Chris” she remembered and Cristina  too  that Ileana’s last words were for  me and how lucky we had been to have so much time together and to have been able to do everything we wanted to do.Her actual last words were from the play that she loved so much ” La vita che ti diedi” by  Pirandello – the last line so poignant ” La vita e’ questa” …this is life.

With all that has happened since Ileana’s death it is nice to remember the real fortune that I have had, to have known the ” real love of our life”- to use Ileanas last words ……..How lucky we have been.

Milena and Cristina were in tears – it was indeed a moving occasion.

More so for me because in the car was the television that I had given to our dearest friend Constance Channon Douglass( Connie to all her friends)who passed away last week – lovely foto given to me by her two sons of her in our theatre with Shura Cherkassky – who adored her as we all did.

Christmas is a coming and the tree in Sabaudia is ready and waiting today for some old Academy friends who are going to battle the elements with me for a few days- we have 40 years to catch up on !

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