Eleonora Duse and Arrigo Boito
Part of the celebrations for the centenary of the death of Arrigo Boito (1842-1918), this exhibition reconstructs the artistic and personal relationship of Eleonora Duse with the famous Veneto librettist, poet and composer – a man of great learning who was for long a guide for the actress and her theatre. The Institute of Theatre and Opera is thus showing to the public the Boito documents acquired through the Carandini Albertini, Sister Mary Mark and Nardi donations: these materials including fascinating items, such as autograph drafts and sketches for his opera Nerone, original photographs, the captivating correspondence consisting of letters that the two exchanged from 1884 to 1890, and the scripts of the Shakespearean plays Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, which Boito translated and adapted with Eleonora’s specific acting skills in mind. There is also a portrait of the actress by the German painter Franz von Lembach, which Boito had always kept at his bedside: on his death, in keeping with his will, it was returned to Duse.
Opened to the public in 2011, “Eleonora Duse’s Room” was created with the idea of making accessible the valuable heritage of the Duse Archives to anyone interested.
The original materials from the archive are exhibited on rotation in a series of temporary exhibitions aimed at exploring one or more aspects of the actress’s life and art.