As a young child, Franco moved to Belgium with his family during the wave of Italian worker migration of the 1950’s. They settled in La Louvière, in those days home to a flourishing mining industry, where Franco grew up. Franco went on to study drama at the Conservatory in Mons where he fell in love with commedia dell’arte and political theatre. By then, his hometown, like other mining towns across Europe, was slowly becoming a ghost of its past. It is at this time that Franco first created his own works, translating the sorrows and dreams of those around him into emotionally-charged, living works of art.
In the 1980’s, action theatre crossed the Atlantic and reached Quebec. Franco followed suit and set foot in Montreal where he became a teacher at the Circus of Immaculate Conception. Franco soon joined the nascent Cirque du Soleil and played an instrumental role in their planetary ascent during the 1980’s and 90’s by signing no less than ten shows over twelve years as their Creative Director: Le Cirque Réinventé, Nouvelle expérience, Saltimbanco, Quidam, Mystère, Alegria, O, … With these shows, Franco will re-invent a genre by mixing human performance, dance, the four elements of life, choreography, technology and music, all tied together by a story told without a single spoken word. The shows Franco created during that era forever changed the face of live entertainment in Las Vegas and decades later, these shows still receive standing ovations every night.