Italian ballerina Carla Fracci dies at the age of 84

Carla Fracci is dead. The lady of Italian dance, the queen of the world stages, passed away at the age of 84 in Milan. She had been sick for a few days, but from what we learned, she wanted to keep a solid reserve about her health conditions. Her last appearance was at La Scala two months ago, where she did a masterclass on ‘Giselle’.

According to the family statement of Carla Fracci, one of the most famous ballerinas of the 20th century, the successful 84-year-old died. Fracci has been battling cancer for a while.

Italian ballerina carla fracci dies at the age of 84 gmspors

Throughout Fracci’s career; She performed unforgettable performances with Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn and Vladimir Vasiliev, danced with the best male stars of her age and is especially known for her performance “Giselle”.

She later led several Italian ballet groups, including Naples, Verona, and Rome. She tried to take dance to provincial towns to keep ballet alive in an opera-dominated country.

“Carla Fracci honored our country with its elegance and artistic devotion,” said Italian President Sergio Mattarella in a statement. “It was her extraordinary artistic and human qualities that made her one of the greatest classical dancers of our time.”

Fracci was born in 1936 in Milan. Her father was a tram driver and her mother worked in a factory. At the age of 10, she entered ballet school at Milan’s prestigious La Scala Theater.

In an interview with Fracci Corriere della Sera newspaper in 2008, she admitted that she always found classical dance boring until she saw the performance of British star Margot Fonteyn. Fracci described her passion for ballet after this performance: “That’s when a spark fell, a spark that turned into fire and never left me …”

She graduated from ballet school in 1954 and started dancing solo two years later, after which she was promoted to head ballerina in 1958.


Fracci, the daughter of an ATM tram driver, was born on 20 August 1936 in the capital of Lombard and began studying at the Teatro alla Scala Ballet School, where the great Russian choreographer was located in 1946. Vera Volkova and where she graduated in 1954 and then continued her art education by participating in advanced internships in London, Paris and New York. She became a soloist just two years after graduation, after which she was already étoile della Scala in 1958.

Until the 1970s, she danced with some foreign companies such as the London Festival Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Swedish Royal Ballet. She has been a guest artist of the American Ballet Theater since 1967. Her artistic fame continues to be connected with interpretations of romantic roles such as Juliet, Swanilda, Francesca da Rimini or Giselle, with partners such as Rudolf Nureyev, Vladimir Vasiliev, Henning Kronstam, Mikhail Baryshnikov. I am publishing an unforgettable interpretation of ‘Giselle’, of which a movie was made in 1969. In 1964, Fracci married director Beppe Menegatti (Francesco’s son), who would become the director of many of the shows he interpreted.

In the late 80’s he co-directed the corps de ballet of the San Carlo Theater in Naples with Gheorghe Iancu, and in 1981 starred in the TV drama Rai about the life of Giuseppe Verdi’s wife Giuseppina Strepponi. Busseto’s great composer. In 1994, he became a member of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. The following year he was elected president of the environmental association “Altritalia Ambiente”. From 1996 to 1997, Fracci ran the corps ballet of Verona Arena, and in 2003 she was awarded the honor of the Italian Cavaliere di Gran Croce. In 2004, he was appointed as FAO Goodwill Ambassador.

From November 2000 to July 2010, he directed the revival of lost ballets and new creations as well as corps de ballet, under the direction of Beppe Menegatti of Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. She served as a Member of the Cultural Council of the Province of Florence from June 2009 to 2014 and as the Ambassador of the Expo Milan in 2015. She received the Toson d’oro National Award by Vespasiano Gonzaga in 2018 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Senate of the Republic of Italy on 19 September 2020.

Notes from Carla Fracci’s life

In her autobiography “Step After Step”, published in 2013, she describes his 50-year career and working with the great male dancers of her generation, including Nureyev:

Dancing with Rudy was a challenge in itself. She was a great dancer and choreographer, but also a very difficult man; competitive, eccentric, indecisive, unpredictable, moody, pessimistic…” she wrote.


The New York Times wrote about a performance at the American Ballet Theater in 1991, “She got wild, floral applause from a star-hungry audience.”

Fracci married director Beppe Menegatti in 1964, and the couple had a son named Francesco. Fracci has been battling cancer for a while.

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