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Enchantments. Costumes of the Teatro alla Scala from the 1930s to our days

Milan, Palazzo Reale
October 10th, 2017 – February 4th, 2018
Exhibition curated by Vittoria Crespi Morbio
Installation design: Anusc Castiglioni, Massimo Zanelli
Multimedia Project and Video Directing Luca Scarzella, Vertov
Graphic design: Emilio Fioravanti, G&R associati
Lighting design: Massimo Zanelli
An exhibition for the 40th anniversary of the Amici della Scala

Sounds, words, gestures, lights, scenography: there are so many ingredients behind the magic of an evening at La Scala. The stage costume is one of the most important because it relates to the individuality of the performer, singer or dancer, and establishes an aesthetic touchstone that is echoed in the furnishings and the directing.
A mask while also the very signature of a personality, the theatre costume is a paradox: it is made to be seen from a distance and yet the artists who create it and the craftsmen who make it like to attend to it down to the tiniest detail, even an invisible one.
Each costume contains a thousand secrets, from the colour combinations to the ornaments, the choice of a fabric to the technique of a cut. Exhibiting twenty-four costumes that represent the history and prestige of the Teatro alla Scala implies retracing a story laden with cultural stimuli, dialogues with the fashion of the time, traces left by famous personalities, costume-plate designers, stylists, performers.
But it also means refreshing the stage costume, highlighting it, offering the opportunity to grasp the richness and variety of its details. Stars and divas like Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Boris Christoff, Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci wore the costumes shown in the exhibition. Fashion creators like Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace designed them. Artists like Franco Zeffirelli, Lila De Nobili, Piero Tosi, Pier Luigi Pizzi conceived them in harmony with the inspiration of the directing, the music, the dance.
From the 1930s to our days, ours is an eighty-year-long journey filled with endless magic, spectacular theatre enchantments.

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