Founded in 1928, the Ballet School was created in order to assist the establishment of a fully fledged Ballet Company. Initially a single entity was formed denominated “Corpo di Ballo della Scuola del Teatro dell’Opera”. The first directors were Ileana Leonidoff for the female pupils and Dimitri Rostaff for the male pupils. Following on from them was Nicolas Guerra. In 1934 the reins passed to the Russian, Boris Romanoff and the Corpo di Ballo della Scuola del Teatro dell’Opera, which by 1935 contained forty seven members, developed significantly in artistic terms thanks to the presence of Ettore Carosi, primo ballerino of international fame. In 1938 The Ballet School and Ballet Company separated, the former entrusted to sisters Teresa and Placida Battagi while the Ballet Company was directed by Aurelio Milloss, the leading personality in the world of dance in Italy at that time. Attilia Radice, one of Enrico Cecchetti’s last pupils, was nominated “prima ballerina assoluta”.
From the post-war years until today, the Ballet Company of the Teatro dell’Opera has featured illustrious maestros and directors including Miloss himself, Anton Dolin, Erik Bruhn, Zarko Prebil, André Prokovski, Maya Plissetskaya, Pierre Lacotte, Vladimir Vassiliev, Elisabetta Terabust, Giuseppe Carbone, Amedeo Amodio and Carla Fracci.
In the Company’s repertoire includes main traditional ballets and works by the most distinguished Italian and foreign choreographers: from Marius Petipa to George Balanchine, from Michel Fokine to Frederick Ashton, Roland Petit, Leonide Massine, Vaslav Nijinsky, John Cranko, Luigi Manzotti, Auguste Bournonville, Amedeo Amodio, Antonio Gades, José Limón, Rudolf Nureyev.
Since the 1st September 2010 Micha van Hoecke has been the director of the Ballet Company.