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Appia at La Scala

by Vittoria Crespi Morbio.
Essay by Vittoria Crespi Morbio, Forever Anachronistic.
Appendices: I firmly believe that Tristan will show the way. Letter from Appia to Caramba, unpublished; biography; Appia at La Scala; catalogue of the works; chronology of the performances.
Collection «Performing Artists at La Scala».
Amici della Scala – Umberto Allemandi & C., Turin, 2011.
Italian edition, pp. 95.

Few performances in the history of La Scala matched the succès de scandale achieved in 1923 with Tristan und Isolde. Toscanini had insisted on having at his side Adolphe Appia (1862–1928), the great Swiss theoretician, the innovator of scenography in the name of a bare and severe aesthetic conception. Preceded by a rousing advertising campaign, the production was lambasted by the audience and taken to pieces by the press. It is still the vanguard of a modern and brilliant way of staging a performance: “I firmly believe that Tristan will show the way.”