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Arturo Brachetti (Italian pronunciation: [arˈtuːro braˈketti]; born 13 October 1957) is an Italian quick-change artist. In the Guinness Book of Records 2006 and 2007, he is described as the fastest quick change artist in the world.
Brachetti was born in Turin. His career covers a wide artistic range and has made him an international name. The change from one costume to another is performed in a matter of seconds, often by throwing a sheet up and completely changing costume by the time it falls. In the current show, Arturo performs 80 characters in one evening. His skills are including also shadowgraphy and sand painting.
As a child, he frequented a seminary, where he met a young priest, Silvio Mantelli, with the hobby of magic. Spending most of his time in the magical warehouse of the priest, Brachetti learnt all kind of magic tricks. At the age of 15, using costumes borrowed from the seminary's theatre, he invented and performed his first quick-change act, an art introduced to the world by Leopoldo Fregoli (1867-1936).
His professional career began in 1978 in France at the parisian cabaret Paradis Latin, under the direction of Jean Marie Rivière. This led to a starring role in André Heller's German production of "Flic Flac"(1981). From Germany he went to England, appearing at London's Piccadilly Theatre starring in the production of "Y" which ran for just over a year (1983–84). He was nominated for the prestigious Society of West End Theatre Award. That same year he performed at "The Covent Garden Christmas Gala" in the presence of the British Royal Family.
On his return to Italy, he participated as the guest star in 10 episodes of the television show "Al paradise" for the Italian national television RAI (1985). It was after this that he was introduced to the Italian theatre scene. This led to a string of successful theatre productions (M. Butterfly, L'Histoire du Soldat, Varietà, In Principio Arturo, Amami Arturo, Il Mistero dei Bastardi Assassini, I Massibilli, etc.), and television appearances, making him one of the most critically acclaimed young actors of the Italian stage. He also memorably performed as the interval act at the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest in Rome.
He returned to London to perform in Tony Harrison's production of "Square Rounds" at the National Theatre. In 1993/94 was also a co-presenter of 12 TV shows: "The Best of Magic" for Thames Television. Then off to Disneyland Paris where, with Mickey Mouse, he co-hosted the show A Night of Magic, which was transmitted internationally.
From 1995, with the Italian production company Compagnia Della Rancia and the director Saverio Marconi, Arturo continued to concentrate on creating and developing musicals for the Italian audience. His original musical "Fregoli" won the Biglietto D'Oro (Golden Ticket Award) for the best selling show in a season (280,000 tickets). His popularity continued with the production of "Brachetti in Technicolor" and "Midsummer's Night Dream". In the opera field, he played the starring role in Stravinsky's "Histoire du soldat" and "Peter and the wolf"(2011)
In 1999 he presented his new show in Montreal, produced by the Just for laughs festival. With his one-man-show "The Man With a Thousand Faces" which featured more than 80 transformations. The show won the Moliere Award in Paris and then the Canadian Olivier Award the same year. After 700 sold-out performances in Paris, the show went on tour in French-speaking countries, Germany and several cities in the USA. In Christmas 2004, he was invited to perform in the Élysée Palace in Paris in the presence of President Chirac.
In 2006, Brachetti's show reached the proportion of a big musical production with over 1000 performances completed and in excess of 1.5 million tickets sold.
Arturo Brachetti directed several shows from 1994 onwards. In Germany: "Fantasissimo" and "1000 Nachte" at the Wintergarten Theatre in Berlin; in Italy: "I Corti", "Tel chi el Telun", "Meta fisico metà fa schifo" and the tour of singer Angelo Branduardi. In 2012 the last show by Aldo, Giovanni & Giacomo "Ammutta Muddica".
In February 2006 he directed the show Anplagghed with the Italian comedians Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo. A film version of the show came out in cinema's in Italy in November 2006. In 2008 he created and toured the show "Gran Varietà Brachetti" a big production involving 25 artists and celebrating the world of Music Hall. The same year he received the diploma Honoris Causa from the Accademia Belle Arti
On 26 October 2009, Just for Laughs presented Arturo Brachetti in a new production by Sean Foley titled 'Change' at London's Garrick Theatre due to run through until 3 January 2010. For this show he was nominated for the 2010 "Laurence Olivier Award".
From 2010 he is touring with his new One Man Show directed by Serge Denoncourt dedicated to the world of Cinema playing more than 80 characters.
The animated statue of Arturo Brachetti, changing costumes every 20 seconds, is presented in Musée Grevin, the wax museum of Paris and Montreal.
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