The Calders travel to Italy. At the suggestion of Carandente, Massimo Bogianckino, artistic director of the Teatro dell’Opera, Rome, commissions Calder to develop a work for the stage. Calder begins Work in Progress in December 1967.
Calder’s Work in Progress is performed by the Teatro dell’Opera, Rome. For thirty years I have been thinking about a production that would be entirely mine, form and music working together. I long ago discussed this with Massine, but he insisted on having dancers. I later made
stage sets, but this is not exactly what I wanted to do … for Satie’s Socrate, Pichette’s Nucléa, John Butler’s The Glory Folk in Spoleto, for Joe Lazzini in Marseille. The idea of a production that was totally mine had already come to me in spirit in 1926 when I finished the Cirque, and when I tried to frame it in a stage opening, amusing myself by thinking it an actual theatre.
In 1963, Calder completed construction of a large studio overlooking the Indre Valley. With the assistance of a full-scale, industrial ironworks, he began to fabricate his monumental works in France and devoted much of his later working years to public commissions. Calder died in New York in 1976 at the age of seventy-eight.