Luca Ronconi – Biographical notes
by Mauro Sabatini
Luca Ronconi was born on March 8, 1933 in Sousse, Tunisia. At the age of twenty he received an acting degree from the Accademia d’Arte Drammatica Silvio d’Amico in Rome. Shortly afterwards he made his acting debut in starring roles in plays by Orazio Costa, Luigi Squarzina and Michelangelo Antonioni.
During the 1950’s and the early 1960’s Ronconi acted in some of the most important productions of contemporary Italian theater, but his interest in acting gradually declined with the discovery and exploration of his talent as director. In 1963 he had his first directing experiences in the company headed by Gianmaria Volonte and Corrado Pani, for which he directed La buona moglie, combining into a single theatrical text Goldoni’s plays La putta onorata and La buona moglie.
1966 saw the debut of I lunatici, a play that led Ronconi to be considered by many as one of the most promising directors in Italy’s Nuovo Teatro. The following year he participated in the Ivrea conference “For a New Theater” and was among the signers of its “Manifesto.”
In 1969 he directed Orlando Furioso, one of the most famous (and exhibited) works of Italian theater in the late 20th century, which ensured his fame first in Italy and soon, after a world tour success, abroad.
In the 1970’s his theater work was reinforced by the staging of plays such as Wilcock’s XX (1971), Aeschylus’ Oresteia (1972), Aristophanes’ Utopia [i.e., The Birds] (1976), Euripides’ The Bacchae (1977) and Hofmannsthal’s The Tower (1978). But he went even further. In 1975/1976 he took over the Theater section of the Venice Biennale, and between 1977 and 1979 founded and directed the Laboratorio di progettazione teatrale di Prato [Laboratory of Theater Design of Prato].
In the 1980’s Ronconi realized three milestones of his artistic career: Arno Holz’s Ignorabimus (1986), Bernanos’ Dialogues of the Carmelites (1988) and Chekhov’s Three Sisters (1989).
From 1989 to 1994 he directed the Teatro Stabile di Torino, whose acting school he founded in 1992 and directed. His Turin experience saw the historical staging, within the vast environment of the engine room of Turin’s Lingotto, Karl Kraus’s The Last Days of Humanity (1990).
Documents are published in original language. In case the translation is present, both the original and the translation are published.
Teatrografia,, curated by Livia Cavaglieri (sections 1953-2002) and Mauro Sabatini (sections 2003-2015)
Bibliography,, curated by Stefania Bruno with additions by Mauro Sabatini