Ópera y Teatro musical

Los palcos de La Scala

martes, 12 de noviembre de 2019

El Teatro alla Scala de Milán está presentando una interesante exposición sobre la historia del público del teatro a partir de la 'vida' en los palcos de La Scala. La exposición, que tiene lugar en el Museo Teatrale alla Scala desde el pasado 8 de noviembre, presenta la historia del teatro desde el punto de vista de la audiencia, en concreto a partir de los palcos, sus propietarios, y en general la vida que se desarrollaba en ellos. Para ello se han reunido no sólo fondos del museo de la Scala sino también otros provenientes de diversos archivos, fundaciones y museos milaneses. El comisario de la exposición es Pier Luigi Pizzi, con la asesoría científica de Franco Pulcini quienes cuentan "180 años de vida, música e historia de Milán contados a través de las glorias y vicisitudes del público del teatro más famoso del mundo". 

Nota de prensa completa (en inglés)

Rain or snow outside of La Scala, what does it matter? All the best company is gathered in one hundred eighty boxes of the theater.” Stendhal

The exhibition Nei palchi della Scala - Storie milanesi, curated by Pier Luigi Pizzi with the scientific advice of Franco Pulcini, opens to the public from Friday, November 8 in the halls of the Museo Teatrale alla Scala. Rich in historical content (in addition to the heritage of the Theatre and Museum Archives, the exhibition is also supported by other prestigious cultural institutions and archives in Milan, including the Ca' Granda Foundation and the Ricordi Historical Archive) and valuable iconographic documents, the exhibition unfolds through portraits, photographs, clothing and reconstructions of environments, starting with the Ridotto dei Palchi and continuing on the two floors of the Museum.

The exhibition is the continuation of the previous La magnifica fabbrica, curated by Fulvio Irace and Pierluigi Panza and dedicated to the architectural development of the Theatre by Giuseppe Piermarini with the intervention of Mario Botta. Now Nei palchi della Scala investigates the social and also human aspects of the Theatre as the centre of city life, from its foundation in 1778 to the expropriation of the private boxes in 1920, but it also recounts the splendour following years until the ‘60s. The exhibition, with the collaboration of Mattia Palma for the texts, has been completed by a new photo shoot created by Giovanni Hänninen, which offers an unprecedented frontal view of the boxes, and a documentary by Francesca Molteni.

The exhibition is part of a research project that has united Teatro alla Scala with Conservatorio G. Verdi di Milano and with Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense in the realization of a study on I palchi e i palchettisti del Teatro alla Scala (1778-1920). The research, coordinated for the Theatre by Franco Pulcini, was conducted by students and graduates of the Conservatory selected through a call for research grants, with the scientific supervision of Pinuccia Carrer, Professor of Musicological Disciplines of the Institute, Antonio Schilirò as the creator of the project and external expert and Massimo Gentili Tedeschi for the Braidense Library. 

The results of the research have been collected in a database that traces, box by box, the map of all the owners and guests of the Theatre from 1778 to 1920, the year of the expropriation, and that constitutes the scientific foundation of the exhibition. Here we trace the history of the great families of Milan, from the Trivulzio, to the Litta, the Belgiojoso and all the way to the Visconti, whose events are intertwined with those of the patriots, such as Luigi Porro Lambertenghi, Federico Confalonieri and Silvio Pellico, as well as the great writers from Stendhal to Foscolo, from Parini to Manzoni. 

The website that collects all the materials of the research will be visible within the exhibition from the 8th of November and will be available to the online public from December 7th, 2019.

The exhibition is supported by JTI, institutional Partner of the Museo Teatrale alla Scala. With the publication of the catalogue of the exhibition Nei palchi della Scala. Storie milanesi, the successful collaboration between Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana and Teatro alla Scala continues, with the aim of protecting and spreading the immense cultural heritage of our country. A process that began with the publication of catalogues of the exhibitions of Gioachino Rossini at Teatro alla Scala and La Magnifica Fabbrica. 240 years of Teatro alla Scala, from Piermarini to Botta.

The technological partner of the exhibition is LG SIGNATURE, who will also be present with its high technology. The collaboration with La Cimbali and MUMAC, Gruppo Cimbali's Museum of Coffee Machines, created on the occasion of the exhibition dedicated to the work Madama Butterfly in 2017, continues today with the support of this new exhibition. For this exhibition, the lighting system of the second floor of the Museum, supplied by the technical partner Zumbotel, has been renewed. The "Teatro" upholstery is a Fornasetti courtesy.

The exhibition path

Ridotto dei palchi: images of worldliness and culture. In the Ridotto dei Palchi 'Arturo Toscanini' eighteen panels evoke the intellectuals, the great artists, the personalities of national and international politic hosted in the boxes of La Scala from the post-war period to the present: from President Luigi Einaudi to Rita Levi Montalcini, from Senator Liliana Segre to Eugenio Montale, from Maria Callas to Patrice Chéreau. Every evening, the public at La Scala knows they are entering a place where culture and worldliness overlap without excluding themselves.

Entrance: Guido Visconti di Modrone. The exhibition begins at the Museum entrance with a large portrait of Guido Visconti di Modrone, benefactor of La Scala, who in 1898 managed to reopen the Theater after a closure that lasted more than a year. But the Visconti family is also one of the most significant representatives of the “palchettisti”, Milanese families who for almost one hundred and fifty years have transformed the Theatre into that "grand living room that concentrates all the living rooms of Milan," as Stendhal once wrote.

First floor: boxes and society. Looking at the numerous reproductions of the portraits of the “palchettisti” of La Scala, always painted by important artists including Francesco Hayez, one can observe the change in the society of Italy and Milan over the decades. From the years of the Lombard Enlightenment to the Napoleonic age, from the Restoration to the Unification of Italy, one can grasp the fundamental passage of the ruling class from the aristocracy to the great industrial bourgeoisie. Some documents from the Archivio Ricordi concerning Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini testify the regularity with which composers frequented La Scala in some passages of their careers.

Second floor: access to the exhibition. Going up to the second floor of the Museum, you can enter the actual exhibition path. It begins with a historical section (hall 2 and 3) that, in addition to some reproductions of engravings from that period, evokes how Milanese families lived in the Theater daily, with the boxes furnished as if they were an extension of their homes: there will be exhibited original furniture and two game boards that were used during the shows. Two halls (the 4th and the 5th) will host various images of the photo shoot taken by Giovanni Hänninen in search of a new point of view on the interiors of the Scala. Finally, the last section of the path (rooms 6 and 7) is a reference to the Fifties and Sixties, the years of the reconstruction, in which fashion began to become a protagonist in Milan, making the Scala the largest showcase of elegance in our country: clothes signed by designers of the time (including Curiel, Schön, Valentino, Capucci) will be exhibited in an environment that recalls the atmosphere of a box. Finally, the protagonists of the last hall will be some of the great ladies of the Fifties and Sixties, from Grace Kelly to Elisabeth Taylor to Valentina Cortese, always in evening dress on the occasion of the seasonal openings that have made La Scala an international showcase.

The website. The exhibition path will also include three stations where the visitors can consult a new website which will provide a digital map of the Theatre that will make available all the information in the database of the Research about the “palchettisti”, with an impressive amount of information on the most important families in the history of Milan. 

The new boxes: towards an improvement of the Theatre’s acoustics

During the summer of 2019, Teatro alla Scala embarked on an important intervention on the boxes to improve the acoustics of the hall. By solicitation from the members of the orchestra themselves and on the base of the results of a research carried out by Jürgen Reinhold of the Müller-BBM studio in Munich, the process of removing the padding from the walls began: the upholstery of the walls will be applied directly to the plasterboard underneath and the padding of the elbow supports will be modified. During this first summer, the works, which began in occasion of the closure of the Theatre, have involved all the boxes of the first order, while in the next two years the works will continue with the other orders. With this new intervention, based on new studies and experience gained in the years following the renovation, La Scala continues a series of changes to the structure aimed at bringing more and more the acoustics to an optimal level.

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