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Luca Ronconi (8 March 1933 – 21 February 2015) was an Italian actor, theater director and opera director.
Ronconi was born in Sousse, Tunisia. After growing up in Tunisia, where his mother was a school teacher, Ronconi graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome in 1953. He acted in productions of Luigi Squarzina, Orazio Costa, Michelangelo Antonioni and others. In 1963, he directed his first play, La Buona Moglie, and from then on worked almost exclusively as a director.
Ronconi is considered to have been one of Europe's most influential theatrical directors. He worked for renowned companies, such as the Burgtheater in Vienna (The Bacchae by Euripides, 1973; The Birds by Aristophanes, 1975; The Oresteia by Aeschylus, 1976), Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1974 Die Walküre and 1975 Siegfried by Wagner; Don Carlos by Verdi, 1978; Les Troyens by Berlioz, 1980, with Dunja Vejzovic as Didon), the Vienna State Opera (Il viaggio a Reims by Rossini, 1988), the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and the Salzburg Festival (Die Riesen vom Berge [I giganti della montagna] by Luigi Pirandello, 1994; Don Giovanni by Mozart, 1999).
Ronconi managed the Teatro Stabile di Torino from 1989 to 1994, where he directed an imposing edition of Karl Kraus' The Last Days of Mankind, with more than sixty actors, staged in the Lingotto (1991). The play was performed soon after the First Gulf War and its anti-militaristic content was evidently tied to that conflict.
Ronconi collaborated with important stage designers, among them Pier Luigi Pizzi (The Bacchae, Die Walküre, Siegfried), Luciano Damiani (The Birds, The Oresteia, Don Carlos), and Ezio Frigerio (Les Troyens). He also inspired the architect Gae Aulenti to design certain of his productions (Il viaggio a Reims). Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld also created the costumes for some of Ronconi's stagings (Les Troyens).
His operatic productions included Carmen (1970), Das Rheingold (1979), Nabucco (1977), Il trovatore (1977), Norma (with Renata Scotto, 1978), Macbeth (1980), La traviata (1982), Aïda (1985), L'Orfeo (1985 and 1998), Fetonte (1988), Don Giovanni (1990 and 1999), The Makropulos Affair (1993), The Turn of the Screw (1995), Tosca (1997), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1998), Lohengrin (1999), L'incoronazione di Poppea (2000), Il trittico (2008), and Intolleranza (2011).
- Verdi: Ernani (Freni, Domingo; Muti, 1982) [live]
- Verdi: Aïda (Chiara, Pavarotti; Maazel, 1985) [live]
- Verdi: Macbeth (Zampieri, Bruson; Sinopoli - Berlin 1987) [live]
- Rossini: Guillaume Tell (Studer, Merritt, Zancanaro; Muti, 1988) [live]
- Puccini: Tosca (Guleghina, Licitra, Nucci; Muti, 2000) [live]
- Puccini: Il trittico (Frittoli, Marrocu, Machaidze, Lipovšek, M.Dvorsky, Nucci; R.Chailly, 2008) [live]
- F. Paul Driscoll (May 2015). "Obituary: Luca Ronconi". Opera News 79 (11).
- John Francis Lane (March 1, 2015). "Luca Ronconi obituary". The Guardian.
- Alasdair Steven (March 7, 2015). "Obituary: Luca Ronconi, theatre and opera director". The Scotsman.
- "Europe Theatre Prize - VI Edition - Program". premio-europa.org. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- "Italy: Prominent theatre director Luca Ronconi dies aged 81". Euronews. February 22, 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- IMDb entry on Luca Ronconi
- Official biography (in Italian)
- Excerpts from Luca Ronconi's production of Tosca on YouTube.