Francesco Mura © Svetlana Loboff


Alessandro BIZZOTTO follows Francesco MURA through make-up and hair rooms, corridors, his dressing room and the Foyer de la Danse of the Palais Garnier in Paris, to find out how he gets ready to play Manon’s manipulative brother in MacMillan’s 1974 ballet. An informal chat with the first soloist of the Paris Opera Ballet, who unveils the backstage of his performance

I meet him in his dressing room at the Palais Garnier, a cozy place bathed in light. Francesco Mura and I sit in front of his mirror for a fifteen-minute talk before he starts getting ready to dance Lescaut, Manon’s brother in MacMillan’s 1974 ballet. “We can speak Italian, can’t we?” he asks with complicity.

Paris is hotter than I expected, and slightly damp. The air of July is somewhat heavy, yet pleasant. “This is a fantastic character to dance” Francesco tells me. “He is a wily man, someone you don’t often see in ballet. One of the challenges is trying not to overdo it – Lescaut often conceals his intentions, he dissembles”.

Photo by Alessandro Bizzotto

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