Mourning in the world of music. Milva, the historic voice of Italian song, has died at the age of 81 at her home in Milan. The singer and theater actress, whose real name was Ilvia Maria Biolcati, was ill and “had lost consciousness of time and memory,” according to the newspaper ‘La Repubblica’ when breaking the news. On March 26, Milva was also vaccinated against the coronavirus. “They vaccinate me because I care about my life and the lives of others,” she said.
Also known as ‘La Rossa’, due to the color of her hair and as ‘La pantera de Goro’, her hometown in the Emilia-Romagna region, Milva has been the protagonist of the Italian music of the sixties with Mina, Ornella Vanoni, three of the greatest Italian singers.
During her more than fifty-year career, Milva built an exceptional career, for vocal range, variety of repertoire, and talent. She is the Italian artist with the highest number of albums made: 173, including studio albums, live albums, and compilations.
She sold more than 80 million records worldwide. Endowed with great versatility, she knew how to change and transform herself through very distant musical genres with great interpretive charisma. She participated in 15 editions of the San Remo Festival and became the favorite performer of authors, directors, and composers such as Giorgio Strehler, Franco Battiato, and Ennio Morricone.
Her international success was especially notable in Germany, thanks to her command of the language, being the protagonist at the German Opera in Berlin with Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Seven Deadly Sins. Precisely, Brecht’s songs were one of the great milestones of her career and he also took them to the Palau de la Música Catalana, in 2006, including a parody of the former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.
Her departure from the stage was announced in 2010 with an emotional letter on her Facebook page: «After fifty-two years of uninterrupted activity, thousands of concerts and theatrical performances on the stages of half the planet, after a hundred of records recorded in at least seven different languages, I have decided to put an end to my career that seems unique to me, not only as a singer but also as an actress and as a musical and theatrical performer. I have decided to leave the stage forever and take a step back ».
The last tribute from the public was received in 2018. The San Remo Festival, presented by singer Claudio Baglion, awarded him the career award. In gratitude, Milva addressed to the young people a message read by her daughter Martina on stage at the Ariston Theater in San Remo: “Music sweeps the dust from the lives and souls of men. But for this to happen it is necessary to study and take advantage of the past.
When she turned 80, she gave an interview to the ‘Corriere’, helped by her daughter Martina and her assistant Edith, in which she confessed what her emotions were still: «I find emotions in music, in a work of art, in affection deep in my family and in the people close to me, in the tortellini as my mother made them … and in sleeping well ».