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Alfred Roller at La Scala

Alfred Roller at La Scala
by Vittoria Crespi Morbio.
Essay by Vittoria Crespi Morbio, The Indispensable One.
Biography. Sets from Der Rosenkavalier. Chronology of the Productions (Vittoria Crespi Morbio-Sara Favaro).
Amici della Scala – Grafiche Step Editrice, Parma 2019.
Italian – English edition, pp. 242.

One of the leading figures of the cultural world in early 20th‐century Vienna, the scenographer and costume designer Alfred Roller (1864‐1935) played an absolutely outstanding role. A member of the Secession, in charge of its official mouthpiece the review Ver Sacrum, director of the School of Arts and Crafts (1909‐1933), Roller was one of the reformers of opera and theatre staging, along with personalities like Gustav Mahler and Max Reinhardt: he signed memorable performances at their side. At the Teatro alla Scala he was immensely admired for his sets for Der Rosenkavalier (1911, conductor Tullio Serafin), while Richard Strauss’s waltzes set off a raucous battle roused by the dissenting group of the Futurists. Strauss again wanted Roller with him for his own creations at the Vienna Opera, in particular for The Woman without a Shadow (1919).