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Dolce & Gabbana has expanded its collaboration with the Archivio Storico Ricordi in Milan and has incorporated numerous historical illustrations from famous Verdi operas in its new Alta Sartoria collection. The motifs from works including Falstaff, Rigoletto, Otello and Don Carlos grace – as reproductions or reinterpretations of the originals – unique pieces that Dolce & Gabbana unveiled last weekend at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. Dolce & Gabbana, which is one of the main supporters of the Teatro alla Scala opera house, gave its creativity free rein and replicated motifs from the Ricordi Archive on select pieces from its men’s collection.
The Archivio Storico Ricordi contains documents and artifacts from 200 years of Italian opera history, including valuable original manuscripts by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, numerous stage designs, and costume drawings. In 2016, the archive, which is part of the Bertelsmann group, had first licensed ornamental and floral illustrations from the world of Opera to Dolce & Gabbana, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Karin Schlautmann, Head of Bertelsmann Corporate Communications and responsible for the Ricordi Archive, said: “For the Archivio Storico Ricordi, this licensing cooperation is a wonderful opportunity to keep the musical treasures of yore alive and allow them to serve as inspiration for contemporary creatives and artists. It also is a perfect example for how Bertelsmann as the archive’s owner ensures an inflow of funds in a respectful scope. All earnings from license agreements go towards preserving the archive for posterity.”
The Archivio Storico Ricordi has been part of Bertelsmann since 1994 and is seen as one of the world's most valuable privately owned music collections. The archive’s holdings include 7,800 original scores from more than 600 operas, as well as around 10,000 libretti, close to 6,000 historical photographs, numerous costume drawings, and the entire business correspondence of the Casa Ricordi publishing house from 1888 to 1962. Bertelsmann is having the archival documents comprehensively indexed, digitized and in many cases, restored. Thousands of documents can already be digitally viewed and researched on the Collezione Digitale online platform (http://digital.archivioricordi.com ).
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.