I first saw the work of Emanuele (Lele) Luzzati back in 1963 in a programme book for the Glyndebourne Festival. It would be another 6 years before I saw his magical designs on stage but in the meantime, through a few children’s and music books that were available in Canada, I became enamored of the child-like exuberance and musicality of his imagination. He was known throughout Europe as a stage designer, book illustrator, muralist, film director, animator (with partner Guilio Gianni) and designer of fantastic children’s parks and playgrounds. Still actively creating at the age of 84, his death in January 2007, left the world with one less source of joy, wonder and lunacy.
It’s questionable if Rossini actually wrote the Cat Duet but god knows he heard enough caterwauling sopranos to give him inspiration.
Lele and Gianni were nominated several times for Oscars and amongst their noted animations where the titles for Brancaleone alle Crociate (Brancaleone at the Crusades) second in a series of Italian comedies featuring Vittorio Gassman as a hapless knight who becomes the leader of an army of rogues, cheats and liars. The first movie gave rise to the expression – often applied to Italian politicians: They’re as bad as Brancaleone’s Army!
11 febbraio – Nostre Signore di Lourdes