Press Release

Press Release | Milano, 11/14/2016

‘Madama Butterfly’ Exhibition at Milan’s La Scala Showcases Historic Gems from the Archivio Ricordi

The Bertelsmann-owned archive presents stage designs, the original score and sketches of costumes from the famous Puccini opera

Puccini’s famous opera “Madama Butterfly” is the subject of an exhibition at the La Scala Museum in Milan, where artefacts including historic rarities from the Ricordi Archive are now on view. Titled “Madama Butterfly – l'Oriente ritrovato - Foujita e Asari per Puccini”, the exhibition focuses on the making of Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece and its influence on subsequent generations of artists. From last weekend until the end of February, documents and costumes from four historic productions of “Madama Butterfly,” including the premiere in 1904, can be admired at La Scala in Milan.

The Archivio Storico Ricordi, part of Bertelsmann, is contributing a sheet from Puccini's original score, as well as colorful set designs by Vittorio Rota and costume designs prepared by Giuseppe Palanti for the opera’s long-ago premiere at La Scala in Milan. Libretti, historical photographs, and select items from the correspondence between composer and publisher are also on display in the exhibition curated by art historian Vittoria Crespi Morbio. The Teatro alla Scala for its part presents elaborate costumes decorated with Japanese motifs, which were once worn by famous singers in "Madama Butterfly" performances. In December, Puccini’s popular opera about the young geisha Cio-Cio-San’s tragic love for a U.S. navy lieutenant will open the 2017 opera season in Milan.

The exhibition will be accompanied by two publications whose compilation the archive was also involved in: a brochure containing essays by Vittoria Crespi Morbio, Riccardo Chailly, Gabriele Dotto, and Maria Pia Ferraris, and a catalog.

In 2015, the Ricordi Archives had already brought to life the making-of and triumphs of Giacomo Puccini's last opera “Turandot” at the La Scala Museum, providing one of the highlights of La Scala’s program to accompany the World Expo in Milan.

The inventory of the archive administered by Bertelsmann includes 7,800 original scores from more than 600 operas as well as about 10,000 librettos, 6,000 historical photographs and the company’s complete business correspondence from 1888 to 1962.

Madama Butterfly, l’Oriente ritrovato – Foujita e Asari per Puccini
November 12, 2016 - February 28, 2017

Daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: 10 € / Reduced 7 € / Students 3 €
Museo Teatrale alla Scala
Largo Antonio Ghiringhelli, 1
20121 Milan, Italy 

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group, and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.1 billion in the 2015 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.