Opera is dead – Long live opera!

The Archives contributes to the Opera exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn

Archivio Storico Ricordi is the protagonist of a major exhibition dedicated to the world of Opera at the Palace of Arts and Exhibitions of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundeskunsthalle) in Bonn from September 30, 2022 to February 5, 2023.

Opera conceived and experienced as a total art form, a spectacle that involves and unites multiple artistic disciplines such as music, singing, acting and dance, as well as craftsmanship, including costumes, staging and lighting. An experience that transcends the boundaries of reality, alive with dramatic, magical and irrational extremes. Opera as an event as unique as it is ephemeral. Starting with the beginnings of Opera in Italy, the exhibition offers a kaleidoscopic overview of its different expressions, from Baroque performances in the courts of Europe to commercial venues in 17th-century Venice.

Taking the example of famous opera theatres such as La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera or the Met in New York, the exhibition traces the growth and change of the institution in the 19th and 20th centuries and sheds light on the people whose vision and creativity built a sumptuous spectacle to be heard and admired.

A selection of paintings and costumes, stage posters and models, caricatures and programs-supplemented by recordings of numerous works-tells known and unknown stories of a genre and institution that constantly reinvented itself. The Archivio, in addition to contributing to the exhibition as a whole, loans numerous works from its own collection: about seventy items among portraits, costume designs, postcards, libretti, concert programs, theme guides, drawings, stage arrangements, set designs, and sketches, as well as actual objects – several prop designs and an original straight trumpet specimen – used for the sets of Aida, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Parsifal, Otello, and Falstaff.

More info: Bundeskunsthalle

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