Daniele Finzi Pasca (Lugano, Switzerland), co-founder of Compagnia Finzi Pasca

Author, director, choreographer, lighting designer and actor

Daniele Finzi Pasca lives in three worlds at once: stage directing, circus 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 Inlevitas with his wife Julie Hamelin Finzi, aiming to create and develop various artistic projects, where the opera L’Amour de Loin (Love from Afarfor 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 (the latter dedicated to the life of his wife Julie), 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 Mehta), 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, back in 2018 and Luzia, ongoing since 2016), Montréal Avudo a multimedia outdoor show on the banks of Montreal’s river for the city’s 375th anniversary (2017), Abrazos an interactive show addressed to families, presented at the fair Feria de León in Mexico (200’000 spectators) and the Fête des Vignerons (Winegrowers’ Festival) in 2019,  a celebration held in Vevey (Switzerland) every 25 years approximately.

Daniele published some books: 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, appeared in various languages. Other projects are on the making.

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.