John MacInerney on the Italian actor’s distinguished stage careerRonald Bergan offers a judicious summary of Valentina Cortese’s film roles (Obituaries, 15 July) but omits even a passing mention of her distinguished career on the Italian stage – can you imagine an Italian obituary of Laurence Olivier that spoke only of his films?

Her long artistic association with Giorgio Strehler’s Piccolo Teatro in Milan bore fruit most notably, perhaps, in the legendary version of Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard (1974), which I was lucky enough to witness when they brought it to Paris in 1976: I can still hear those inimitable cadences, feel that lightness of movement, see those gestures (seeming at once improvised and sculpted) which brought her Ranyevskaya wryly – and at moments heartbreakingly – to unparalleled life.

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Read More Valentina Cortese’s magical performance in The Cherry Orchard | Letter

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