La Scala mourns casting director, lost to the virus

La Scala mourns casting director, lost to the virus


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2020

Singers are lamenting the death of Luca Targetti, former casting director at La Scala who changed back to becoming an agent in 2011.

He was well liked, a discreet gentleman, fit and healthy, hugely knowledgeable.

Luca was 62. His friends report that he had fallen ill with the virus.

Message from La Scala:

Sovrintendente Dominique Meyer, Music Director Riccardo Chailly, all the artists and staff of Teatro alla Scala together with the Academy Teatro alla Scala have learnt with dismay of Luca Targetti’s sudden passing after a short illness. Luca Targetti was responsible for the singing companies of Teatro alla Scala for thirteen years from 1997 and then for international relations of the Academy before successfully returning to the agency where he started his career. His competence and sensitivity, diplomacy and sense of humor, always clear correctness and generosity have made him a reference point for artistic directions, famous artists and young talents he accompanied in the first steps of his career, but also for everyone Those who worked in the theatre have enjoyed their professionalism and joy together. Superintendent Dominique Meyer remembers him like this: ‘He was a friend of mine for more than twenty years. We used to see each other regularly when we participated in singing contest juries and every time we stayed talking for a long time: Luca always knew how to combine seriousness and fun. His disappearance is an important loss for the world of work, but today we think first of all about the pain of the many people who met him and have been his friends ‘.


  • I am in shock.

    He was such a gentleman, reliable, honorable and most competent. I am deeply in his debt.

    He was the first or second international casting director who in 2008 took notice when I told him of a fantastic young tenor and he hired him on the spot for Viaggio a Reims. Michael Spyres.

    I am sure countless other artists owe a lot to his support and guidance, be it as casting director or agent.

  • Silversled says:

    How sad, he was a very respected man on the Italian operatic scene. One of a kind. He will be missed.

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    Awful. How old was he ?

  • Guus Mostart says:

    What devastating news. Luca was a great colleague with an extraordinary knowledge of the operatic repertoire and a superb nose for singers. Only a couple of months ago I bumped into him after a performance of Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Monnaie in Brussels – so sad.

  • PB Tenor says:

    He was a lovely man! As casting director of La Scala he gave me many wonderful projects and later as my Italian agent, we became friends and had many wonderful discussions about music in general with a warmth and enthusiasm that was infectious….. he wIll be sorely mIssed…

  • Federico Mennella says:

    Luca was a true gentleman, with exquisite tact and a broad network of friends and acquaintances. He had an encyclopedic knowledge, great sensitivity and a wonderful sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.

  • Freulein says:

    Ciao Luca. Thank you for everything you did for us. It was an honor to have met you. We will miss you ♥️

  • James Vaughan says:

    Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Luca’s untimely death. A gentleman in all his dealings with artists, he lived for opera and music, and his dedication to so many singers and musicians was felt both on the professional and human levels. The above photo is rather sombre. I have in mind a different Luca, – full of fun and with a dazzling sense of humour. God bless, Caro Luca. “Und die Seele, unbewacht…..”

  • LaVoix says:

    Absolutely shocking. He was absolutely healthy before Corona!

  • Gloria Mina says:

    We’d been friends ever since our teens. In the late 70’s and early 80’s we began to spend evening after evening up in the ” Loggione ” at La Scala – left side, OF COURSE, the one of the real connoisseurs! -. I witnessed the inception of his passion, and he infected me with it. We would travel all over Italy to listen to his favourite singers, and I got to know many theatres – big and small, and many operas – known and less known. He also worked as an extra at La Piccola Scala, and I wouldn’t miss one performance….Meanwhile, we developed a language of our own, with frequent quotations and gestures from operas, and it was so much fun! Then his job began to put a physical distance between us: in 1996 he was invited to come back to Milan by La Scala, and HOW on earth could one say NO to La Scala? Yet, he was deeply in doubt, and I remember how much I encouraged him – I wanted him back to Milan! He lived through the Muti era, and certainly paid a heavy toll in terms of stress and self-control. Then the Accademia, where he hoped he would do more than he actually could. Lastly, his decision to become an agent: very hard work for a few years, but then…so much satisfaction and outcome! He travelled like crazy, his phone or laptop always on, yet he managed to find time for everyone.
    Opera made him in 20 years , hugs&kisses backstage killed him in two weeks. I’ll miss him so very much. Gloria

  • Rafael says:

    As kind and respectful as Placido? Another one who only gave repertoire advise?