The Zeffirelli Collection
250 works, mostly drawings
and sketches for sets and costumes
The Zeffirelli Collection houses over 250 works by Maestro Zeffirelli, mostly drawings and sketches for sets and costumes, but also scale models, outfits and photographs. The exhibition itinerary winds chronologically through Drama, Opera, and Cinema. The great artistic personalities who collaborated with him and the theatres of the world that welcomed him mark the passage through the Collection.
The first Halls are thus dedicated to the two figures who had the greatest influence on Franco Zeffirelli’s training the beginning of his career: the mentor and maestro Luchino Visconti opens the path of the Zeffirelli Collection followed by the Room dedicated to Maria Callas.
Plays from Shakespeare to Schiller
It is Shakespeare who inaugurates the path of Drama. In fact, the historic productions of Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing in the Old Vic of London, and the Hamlet of the Teatro Eliseo stand out immediately.
The stagings in Italy and abroad of Verga plays, De Filippo, Pirandello and the romantic theatre of Alfred de Musset and Friedrich Schiller complete the section dedicated to Drama.
From joyous operettas to worldwide success
The section of the Zeffirelli Collection dedicated to Opera opens with the “operine giocose” and Zeffirelli’s professional association with Callas. Continuing with the first successes in America and at the MET in New York, one can understand the unmistakable contribution of Zeffirelli as a director and set designer to the world of Opera.
The greatest interpreters of Belcanto alternate through the rooms of the Zeffirelli Collection, in the stills taken in the major theatres in the world, from the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, to the MET, from the Vienna State Opera to the Verona Arena, up to the last opera posthumously released: La traviata.
From Shakespeare to autobiographical films
The Zeffirelli Collection then continues with the section dedicated to Cinema. The great Shakespearean transpositions such as The Taming of the Shrew with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and Romeo and Juliet with the young Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey open the path to Cinema.
The testimonies of great successes such as Brother Sun Sister Moon and Jesus of Nazareth in the 70s continue. This was followed by the Opera films that Franco Zeffirelli made in the 1980s, including Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci that earned him an Emmy Award in 1982.
He follows the American experience with features such as The Champ and Jane Eyre. After Hamlet with Mel Gibson and Glenn Close, the cinematic journey ends with Tea with Mussolini and Callas Forever.
The Inferno Room at the heart of the Zeffirelli Collection
In Room 14, halfway along the entire exhibition path, there is the Sala Inferno dedicated to the project on Dante’s Inferno, never realized by Zeffirelli. Fifty-fivesketches are exhibited here and projected spectacularly on the ceiling and walls.
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