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Farinelli in Bologna


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Farinelli in Bologna, an exhibition held at the Soprintendenza per i Beni Ambientali e Architettonici di Bologna, on the occasion of theTerza settimana della cultura, Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali (23 February-2 March 2001).

La Repubblica, Bologna, 23 febbraio 2001

The exhibition was rearranged at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Slovenia, on the occasion of the Third Centenary of the Academia Philharmonicorum Lubacensis (Lubiana 3-30 December 2001); in the city of Andria on  Farinelli's birth-300th anniversary (March 8-15 2005) and at the  Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna (April 6-30, 2005).




Farinelli a BolognaD uring his brilliant career, Carlo Broschi named Farinelli (1705-1782), probably the most famous singer of all times, performed several times in Bologna and was conferred the Bolognese honorary citizenship in October 1732; one month later he bought an estate outside Porta Lame, with the intention of building a villa where to spend his old age after retiring from the scenes. After a long staying in Spain, Farinelli settled definitely in Bologna on 19 August 1761, there remaining until his death on 16 September 1782. In his magnificent villa in Via Lame 228 (today Via Zanardi 30), Farinelli lived establishing connections with the most influential European courts; the precious belongings and the extraordinary musical archives collected by him were lost after his death and the magnificent villa, which had become the seat of the Head offices of a sugar-refinery, was demolished in 1949, in spite of the negative opinion of the Soprintendenza per I Monumenti dell’Emilia, which had started a dossier to  protect and  bind the building. Before the demolition of the villa , the company running the sugar-refinery had undertaken “to provide in the best way for the remembrance of singer Farinelli and of the building, by realizing, for example, the publication of a monograph with photographic reproductions and a historical account of the villa and of the dead singer, as well as the building of a plastic model to be put in a Museum, and other possible initiatives.”. In order to remember Farinelli and the events in his life linked to Bologna, in 1998 the Centro Studi Farinelli was founded.
The Exhibition Il Farinelli a Bologna, set up in the premises of Palazzo Dall’Armi Marescalchi , seat of the Soprintendenza per I Beni Ambientali e Architettonici dell’Emilia, from 23 February to 9 March 2001, on the occasion of the third Week of Culture promoted by the Ministero per I Beni e le Attività Culturali, gathers for the first time about 250 reproductions of documents, letters, images and paintings scattered all over the world,  some of which of difficult availability; particular attention is devoted to the reconstruction of the environments and of the atmosphere of Farinelli’s villa, which is lost today.
With the exhibition Il Farinelli a Bologna, the collaboration between the Soprintendenza ai Beni Ambientali e Architettonici dell’Emilia and the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna continues, after its start in 2000 with a Concert for the jubilee restorations, during which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s assignment for the aggregation to the Accademia Filarmonica (1770) was exhibited.
The exhibition has been arranged for by Luigi Verdi, with the historical and iconographic collaboration of Francesca Boris and Carlo Vitali, two of  the most important experts on Farinelli  who are also authors of the fundamental essays “Carlo Broschi Farinelli.
La solitudine. Lettere al conte Sicinio Pepoli (Palermo, Sellerio 2000), with the collaboration of Vincenzo Lucchese, Leonardo Marinelli and Paola Monari. The picture-frames have been provided for by Bruna Toneatto’s “Le piccole cose” . The exhibition has been opened by an intervention of Elio Garzillo, Sovrintendente ai Beni Ambientali e Architettonici dell’Emilia Romagna, and by a concert of contraltist Andrea Zepponi and harpsichordist Maria Pia Jacoboni.
The exhibition is divided in  9 sections, chronologically arranged in 50 panels: the early Bolognese success; The relation with Bologna during the Spanish years; Most famous guests at Villa Farinello: Gluck, Giuseppe II, Burney, Mozart, Casanova; Family life in villa; The late years; Farinelli’s death; The villa and Farinelli’s wealth after his death.