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Milva

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Milva, real name Maria Ilva Biolcati (born July 17, 1939) is an Italian singer, actress and TV personality. She is also known as the Red (due to the coulour of her hair) or as the Goro Panther, which stems from a journalist naming the 3 most talented Italian female singers of the 1970s with the birth place plus an animal name (the other two more are the Cremona Tiger and the Ligonchio Eagle).

She was born in Goro, province of Ferrara.

In 1959 Milva won a contest for new voices, and was named the overall winner from more than seven thousand participants. In 1960 she recorded her first 7” single with Cetra records: Édith Piaf’s song “Milord”. Her real debut was on the stage of the Sanremo Music Festival in 1961, where she took third place. She competed many times at the Festival (14 times in total, the last time in 1993). The highest position she has reached is second place in 1962, but she has never won to date.

In 1965, a fortunate meeting led to a definitiive change in her career: Italo-German actor, dramatist and director Giorgo Strehler helped to develop her skills in staging and singing in Italian theatres (especially the Piccolo Teatro in Milan) and she began to perform a more committed repertoire (songs of Italian resistance movement, songs from Bertold Brecht’s pieces, etc.). In the following years she alternated success in singing (especially in Germany where she won platinum and gold records for top sales) and success in theatre, where a remarkable 1973 edition of The Threepenny Opera met with success all over Europe.

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