Maria Bonzanigo (Lausanne, Switzerland), co-founder of Compagnia Finzi Pasca

Composer and choreographer

Maria Bonzanigo composes music and choreography for dance, theater, opera, major events, circus, cinema, soloists and chamber ensembles, orchestra and choir. She studied composition with Paul Glass and dance, dance pedagogy and choreography with Rosalia Chladek. In the nineties she was a professor for the IGRC training courses (Chladek®System).

In 1984 she met Daniele Finzi Pasca, with whom she began an intense and lasting artistic collaboration. Together they developed a theatrical technique which they named “Teatro della carezza” and founded the theatre company Teatro Sunil (together with Marco Finzi Pasca, and later also with Antonio Vergamini, Hugo Gargiulo and Dolores Heredia). From the 1980s until 2010 Maria Bonzanigo was active as a dancer and actress, as well as a composer and choreographer. Since 2010 she chooses to no longer be on stage as an interpreter in order to focus more on composition and choreography, perfecting and developing her vision and style, especially regarding the relationship between music and stage.

In 2011, together with Antonio Vergamini, Daniele Finzi Pasca, Hugo Gargiulo and Julie Hamelin Finzi, she co-founded Compagnia Finzi Pasca, a new structure to unite the destinies of Teatro Sunil and Inlevitas. Some of the most important projects in which Maria Bonzanigo participated as creator are Rain, comme une pluie dans tes yeux (music), production of Cirque Eloize, Corteo (music) 2005 production of Cirque du Soleil (over 8 million spectators), the Closing ceremony of the 2006 Turin Olympic Games (part of the original music and acrobatic choreography), Montréal Avudo (a production for the 375th anniversary of the Canadian city in 2017 with its original music recorded by the Orchester Métropolitain of Montréal), Fête des Vignerons 2019, a celebration-show that is created in Vevey, Switzerland, 4 to 5 times a century and for which she was music director and principal composer.

Among the various productions of the Compagnia Finzi Pasca, the following stand out: Donka, A letter to Chekhov (2010, music and co-choreography), created for the 150th anniversary of Anton Chekhov’s birth; La Verità (2013), Per Te (2016), and Nebbia (2007, music and co-choreography) for which she received the Gascon-Roux Award of the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in Montréal. The music for these three shows and other occasional compositions has been recorded by the OSI Orchestra della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. Her important and fruitful artistic collaborations in the world of theater, circus, opera and major events, have always been within the same team of creators: the director and author Daniele Finzi Pasca, the set designer Hugo Gargiulo (her husband), the costume designer Giovanna Buzzi and the video artist Roberto Vitalini.

For cinema, aside from contributing to several documentaries, she wrote the original music for Oro verde (2014) and L’Afrique des Femmes (2021) by Mohammed Soudani and for The sense of beauty (2017), Valerio Jalongo’s documentary about CERN.

For opera she signed the choreographies of: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 2011), directed by Maestro Donato Renzetti, then by Maestro Nello Santi; Bizet’s Carmen (Teatro San Carlo, 2016) directed by Maestro Zubin Mehta; Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Staatsoper Hamburg, 2021), directed by Maestro Ken Nagano. With Daniele Finzi Pasca she co-signed the choreography for Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach (Grand théatre de Genève 2019), directed by Maestro Titus Engel. Her music has been published by Jecklin, Teatro Sunil, Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, Edizioni de Agostini, Compagnia Finzi Pasca, VDE GALLO, Editions Schola Cantorum.