Franco Dragone, Famed Writer, Director of Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba”, Dead at 69

franco dragone
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The Cirque du Soleil troupe at Disney Springs is mourning the unexpected death of the famed writer and director of La Nouba, the Cirque show that debuted in 1998 and enjoyed a 19-year run at Disney World’s premiere shopping, dining, and entertainment district.

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Las Vegas entertainment community pays tribute to legendary artist Franco Dragone - Las Vegas Magazine

Credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal

This week Cirque du Soleil is mourning the death of Dragone, the Italian-born Belgian theater director who founded and served as artistic director at Dragone, a company that works to create large-scale theater shows. He was well known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and with best-selling recording artist Celine Dion.

Celine Dion with Franco Dragone | CelineDionWeb.com

Credit: CelineDionWeb

Dragone CEO Francois Girard said, “This was a devastating surprise to all of us. We will look to the future with the strength of the past, on the path paved by an extraordinary man, the legend we have lost.”

Franco Dragone died of a heart attack while on a business venture in Cairo, Egypt, on September 30. He was 69. He was also away for some vacation time. Though he was known as a heavy smoker, Dragone was in “relatively good health” after having recovered from leukemia in 2021.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Franco Dragone,” the Cirque du Soleil company said in a statement after Dragone’s unexpected death. “Our hearts go out to his friends, family, and the entire Dragone organization.”

A Look At Theatre Director Franco Dragone And His Influence

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His impact and influence on Cirque du Soleil were notable.

“Franco was an industry icon,” the company’s statement said. “Responsible for some of our most successful productions, including ‘Nouvelle Expérience,’ ‘Alegría,’ ‘Mystère,’ ‘O’, and ‘La Nouba,’ he has contributed invaluably to the success of Cirque du Soleil. His passing is a loss not only for his family but for the entire industry.”

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!