It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Franco Dragone. The Dragone company and Franco’s family thank you all for the outpouring of support and love from around the world. Franco was an entertainment Titan, but more importantly, to us, he was a colleague, a father, a husband and a friend.
On September 30, 2022, he experienced a heart attack and died in a hospital in Cairo. Franco was in Egypt exploring the historic location for a potential production.
We ask all of you, as he would, to continue to “shake the stage” and stretch the limits of what is possible. We will carry his torch, and we hope all those touched by him will do the same.
Every little thing, even the most trivial, can be reinvented with imagination, as if it were seen through the eyes of a child.
Franco Dragone is the Founder – Artistic Director of the cultural creation company Dragone. One of the world’s most sought-after artistic directors, he was renowned for having invented a new genre in the 1980’s and 90’s by mixing human performance, dance, the four elements of life, technology and music. The shows Franco created during his early days forever changed the face of live entertainment in Las Vegas and, decades later, these shows still receive nightly standing ovations.
Born in a small village in southern Italy, he moved to Belgium with his family at an early age. Franco went on to study drama at the Conservatory in Mons where he fell in love with commedia dell’arte and political theatre. It was 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, Franco joined the nascent Cirque du Soleil and played an instrumental role in their planetary ascent by signing their biggest successes as Creative Director. Over twelve years he would sign no less than ten shows, among them: Le Cirque Réinventé, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Quidam, Mystère, Alegria, O and La Nouba.
In 2000, driven by artistic, entrepreneurial and social aspirations, Franco returned to his hometown of La Louvière and founded Dragone. La Louvière became home to world-class teams involved in the entire production process of Franco’s creations. In 2022, Dragone opened a permanent office in Las Vegas. Among the Company’s most significant shows: Celine Dion A New Day; Le Rêve (Las Vegas); The House of Dancing Water (Macau); Aida (Naples); The Han Show (Wuhan, China); The Dai Show (Xishuangbanna, China) ; Philipp Kirkorov – Me (Russia); La Perle (Dubai, UAE).