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Category Archives: ballet news


After Tamara Rojo, another prima ballerina has taken over an important managerial role in one of the most prestigious European theatres. Eleonora Abbagnato is a world-famous ballerina, the only Italian etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet after Carlotta Zambelli (dating back to the XIX century). However, not everyone may know that she has recently been appointed director of the corps de ballet at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and has big projects for the theatre.

Her first official presentation was held at the National Theatre in via del Viminale before the Lezione Aperta (open class) of the School of the Rome Opera Ballet on the 10th of May. Organised by Laura Comi, it was a presentation of the different technical levels of the ballet students in the form of a real every-day class routine, with the presence of the teachers on stage.

After the huge loss following Riccardo Muti’s departure, the acquisition on board of such an important figure feels like a new start for the theatre.

Italy has always been in my heart and I believe the Rome Opera House needs people with passion who believe in ballet.

These were Eleonora’s first words at the press conference.

Eleonora Abbagnato during the press conference.

Eleonora Abbagnato during the press conference.

My plan is to keep my role as an etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet, where there is now a new director who is the same age as me, Benjamin Millepied. I do not exclude, however, the possibility of dancing again for the public in Rome.

She announced that her aim is to bring the company to the same level as its historical rival, the La Scala Theatre in Milan, and has very clear views on how to make it possible:

Long-term contracts for the corps de ballet are essential for the growth of the company. It’s also important for the dancers to be followed by the same coaches and teachers.

For this reason, she has already appointed, as permanent maitres and repetiteurs, Patricia Ruanne, Frédéric Jahn (long-term collaborators of Nureyev at the Paris Opera Ballet) and Stephane Phavorin.

Patricia Ruanne and Frederic Jahn with then Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev.

Patricia Ruanne and Frederic Jahn with the then Director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Rudolf Nureyev.