A lifetime behind the scenes.

Franco has been working behind the scenes at the Teatro alla Scala theatre in Milan for more than 40 years. Heading the wigs and make-up artists' department, Franco decided his life's mission was to seek perfection in creating the visual stagecraft details for the most famous theatre in the world.

What’s so fascinating about my work is that I create many characters, which I then see on the stage.
If you haven’t worked for the theatre you are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes. I would like to see youngsters develop a passionate love for my trade.

Starting out.

Franco discovered his vocation by chance at the age of 14, in a workshop in Milan. Franco decided to dedicate himself to this trade, which became a lifelong mission. As an artisan, he perceives the inner soul of hair, working with this material on a daily basis and creating works of art.

Heads as works of art.

What makes wigmaking so very special is that the head of each performer appearing before the public must be unique. The make-up and wig must be a one-off job, vital for bringing out each character.

Bringing this dedication to others.

The Accademia del Teatro alla Scala is a visual arts school for world-renowned professionals. Many forner students work with top theatres and festivals, in Italy and abroad. Bringing this dedication to a trade to others is vital if these practices are to survive.



Franco will dedicate 5 lessons to the art of handcrafting wigs, drawing on his experience as a craftsman.

Find out more

check out
the programme

the programme

  • 22_04_2014 22_04_2014
  • 06_05_2014 06_05_2014
  • 13_05_2014 13_05_2014
  • 20_05_2014 20_05_2014
  • 27_05_2014 27_05_2014

Lesson n° 1

Wigmaking, starting out from the sketch. Inserting the hairs on the skullcap, one by one. Gluing the front with mastic, and fixing the back with clips and hairpins.

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Lesson n° 2

Assembling: two types of tulle, ribbons and tacks. The parts to be sewn and the parts to be scrapped.

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Lesson n° 3

Hair. How to comb and insert hair, by means of various kinds of crochet hooks. The methods for combing wigs the way a hairdresser would.

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Lesson n° 4

The art of weaving, to create various hairstyles with braids, hairpieces and cascades.

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Lesson n° 5

Techniques and materials for perfect beards, sideburns and moustaches. From drawing to the join.

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Franco Restelli

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