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|Milan - La Scala Theatre Museum|
The museum, founded at the begin of 20th century, actually houses three collections: the Giulio Sambon Collection acquired in Paris, the Verdi Collection, and the Theatre Collection. Set up according to the newest museum criteria, the collections are an invaluable document relating not just to theatre in Milan, but also to the development of theatre in Italy and the world over, from its birth up to our day. Step by step we can trace the history of drama from the Greek statues of Tanagra through Italian vases with portrayals of theatrical scenes, from the masks of Ancient Rome to the relief carved on the sarcophagi of Greek actors. The first room are filled whit portraits of the great from the world of the renowned Commedia dell'Arte, such as Giuseppe Biancolelli, know as Dominque, comic actor in Louis XIV's court and Scaramuzza and Crispin, both celebrated 17th century comedians. Finally, there are portraits of famous opera singers such as Giuditta Pasta, the great soprano from Lombardy for whom Vincenzo Bellini wrote Norma and La Sonnambula, Isabella Angela Colbran, singer and first wife of Gioacchino Rossini, and Maria Felicita Malibran, another great Bellini specialist. The Verdi Collection, in two rooms, whit a well-documented collection of pictures and drawings relating to Verdi, and autographed scores of his compositions, is particularly interesting. The theatre library includes the private collection of Renato Simoni and Ruggero Ruggeri. Altogether, it's one of the largest and most complete theatrical collections, with around 80,000 volumes, on Italian and foreign productions, drama, criticism and the history of the theatre.
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