Cirque Visionary Franco Dragone Passes Away

The world has lost an entertainment visionary who left an indelible impression on Las Vegas.

Franco Dragone died Sep. 30, 2022, at the age of 69, in Cairo, Egypt.

Dragone didn’t just make shows, he made magic.

Dragone’s impact on Las Vegas and the world of theater are undeniable, even if there were some misses along with the hits.

In the 1980s, Italian-born Dragone brought to life some of the most successful Cirque du Soleil shows in the world.

He directed “Mystere” at Treasure Island, for example, which set the stage for myriad other Cirque shows on The Strip. For decades, such shows have been creative and financial juggernauts, and it’s estimated 100 million people have seen Dragone’s shows.

Dragone was also responsible for “O,” another huge success, at Bellagio.

During his time with Cirque, Dragone created 10 shows in a dozen years.

As the Dragone Web site says, “The shows Franco created during that era forever changed the face of live entertainment. But it is his work since he founded Dragone that will serve as his legacy.”

After Dragone left Cirque to start his Dragone Group in 2000, he worked with Celine Dion on “A New Day” at Caesars Palace.

Dragone also directed “Le Reve” at Wynn Las Vegas.

There was a reason people thought “Le Reve” was a Cirque show. That reason was Dragone.

Learn more about Dragone.

Dragone’s most recent Las Vegas endeavor was a collaboration with Criss Angel. The show, “Amystika,” isn’t breaking any box office records, a testament to the fact even a theatrical genius couldn’t make Criss Angel watchable.

We kid because we love, presumably.

On a more serious note, the loss of Franco Dragone is sad for not only his family and friends, but for those of us who have enjoyed his incredible productions.

Dragone didn’t just create stage spectacles, he invited us to use our imaginations and to dream.

Dragone’s legacy lives on in his shows in Las Vegas and beyond. His creative voice will be missed.

Update (9/30/22): Cirque du Soleil released this statement about the passing of Franco Dragone: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Franco Dragone. Our hearts go out to his friends, family and the entire Dragone organization. Franco was an industry icon. Responsible for some of our most successful productions including Nouvelle Experience, ‘Alegria,’ ‘Mystere,’ ‘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. Out of respect, tonight’s performances of ‘Mystere’ and ‘O’ in Las Vegas will be dedicated to his life’s work.”