Daniele Finzi Pasca (Lugano, Switzerland), co-founder of Compagnia Finzi Pasca
Author, stage director, choreographer, lighting designer and actor
Daniele Finzi Pasca lives in three worlds at once: stage directing, performing arts, and the art of clowning. Born into a family steeped in the arts, he starts his career as a gymnast and becomes a circus artist before delving into the world of theatre. In 1983, he heads to India where he volunteers to care for terminally ill patients in Calcutta. On his return to Switzerland, with Maria Bonzanigo and his brother Marco he creates the company Teatro Sunil and its peculiar vision of the art of clowning, dance and acting: a theatrical technique they name the “Theatre of the Caress”. With Teatro Sunil he creates and directs around 30 shows depicting a profound sense of humanity and playfulness, performed in about 20 countries. In 1991 he writes Icaro, a monologue imagined for a single spectator that he performs nearly 800 times, in 6 languages, still on tour. In 2009, he co-founds with his wife Julie Hamelin Finzi who died in 2016 Inlevitas, aiming to create and develop various artistic projects, where the opera L’Amour de Loin (Love from Afar) for the English National Opera London is its first production.
In 2011, together with Antonio Vergamini, Hugo Gargiulo, Julie Hamelin Finzi and Maria Bonzanigo, he co-founds Compagnia Finzi Pasca and continues creating and directing numerous shows like Donka – A Letter to Chekhov (a production with The Chekhov International Theater Festival, coproduced with Vidy-Lausanne Theater to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Anton Chekhov), La Verità, Bianco su Bianco and Per te (show dedicated to Julie’s life), lyric operas like Verdi’s Requiem and Aida (with Maestro Valery Gergiev) for Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Pagliacci (Maestro Donato Renzetti) and Carmen(Maestro Zubin Metha), both for Teatro San Carlo in Naples, big events like 3 Olympic ceremonies (for Turin and Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games, in 2006 and 2014 respectively), 2 shows for Cirque du Soleil (Corteo with 8,400,000 spectators on a 10-year tour, relaunched in 2018 and Luzia, ongoing since 2016), Montréal Avudo, a multimedia outdoor show on the banks of Montreal’s river produced by Compagnia Finzi Pasca for the city’s 375th anniversary (2017), Abrazos, an interactive show for families at the Feria de León in Mexico (2019, 200,000 spectators, production Compagnia Finzi Pasca) and also the 2019 Fête des Vignerons (Winegrowers’ Festival), a celebration held in Vevey (Switzerland) every 20 years approximately. Amongst his most recent directions, the opening opera for the 2019-2020 season at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva: Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, co-produced by Compagnia Finzi Pasca. Other international projects are on the making with the Company and with Inlevitas, in which Melissa Vettore, his wife, has been an artistic collaborator.
Daniele published some books, appeared in seven languages: a collection of short stories, two dramaturgies of his shows, a novel, a novella and a long interview-book by Facundo Ponce de León, Daniele Finzi Pasca. Teatro de la caricia.
Amongst many recognitions (e.g. 3 nominations in Broadway for Rain, 2006), Daniele received the Montréal English Critics Circle Award (MECCA) 2009 for Icaro, the Hans Reinhart Ring (2012), the highest distinction of Swiss theatre for his lifelong contribution to the performing arts and the Best Director of Circus Performance Award 2016 (Russia) for La Verità.