Child of artists
Chiara Muti. Born under the sign of the “Maggio”
“Mother is the sun that shines on us all, father is the sky, I can find no better words to describe him. I’m more of a moony girl, I have a melancholic temperament. She is Chiara Muti, a brilliant actress, a cultivated woman with an unexpected sense of humor, married to the French pianist David Fray with whom she lives in Paris. Her mother is Cristina Mazzavillani, a former opera singer, the founder, president, and artistic director of the Ravenna Festival. The “sky” is the great conductor Riccardo Muti.
The story of Chiara starts in Florence, on February 27th, 1973. “In those years, my father was the permanent conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra. That is why my brothers, and I were born in Florence under the sign of the “Maggio” festival”, she told us when she came back to Florence a few months ago.
What memories do you have of Florence?
I remember the Cascine park where I played as a child, the house we lived in, the theatre, the orchestra pit and that sort of square hidden behind a huge curtain that opened onto a world of mystery.
Is it true that your father did everything he could to keep you from pursuing an artistic career?
When my father told his parents that he wanted to be a composer, my grandfather, of humble birth, nearly had a stroke because he was sure his son would have gone hungry, but he allowed him to study music at the conservatoire. Thank goodness! My father reserved me the same treatment.
Did you develop a passion for theatre at an early age?
Of the three children, I was the most naturally attracted to the theatre world when we were very young. I had a deep passion for stage costumes, and I enjoyed designing costumes myself. Everyone thought I would become a costume designer.
You also studied piano and singing, didn’t you?
My parents talked about music all the time, so studying music – and I had to explicitly ask them for it- was my way of becoming part of their world.
What have you inherited from your father and mother?
The love and respect for what I do.
Who is your mentor?
What quote would you say that you live by?
The one a teacher once told my father and that he goes on telling us: “You have to serve art, not the reverse”.
What trend do you not agree with?
The pursuit of success and turning everything into a show at all costs, which drags even the most sacred and prestigious of activities down.
Mrs. Muti, what is happiness to you?
The inner balance that maturity brings.