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''The Adventure of the Curtain''

 

Paul Oertel (1859-1897), Sketch of the curtain for the celebration of 25°anniverary of proclamation to emperor of Guglielmo I, Kassel, Königliches Theater (1896).Distemper on paper, 35,7 x 55,8 cm.Cologne, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft der Universität.The text of Morpurgo was used often, in scenography, as an iconographical font.The notable examples are those subordinated to Josef Svoboda.When Giorgio Strehler asked him (Lettera a Joseph Svoboda, 1990) to insert a painted curtain in the scenography of his Piccolo Teatro, ''Faust, fragments'', Svoboda chose this as model.
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Atelier Julius Mühldorfer (acting 1890-1954), Sketch of the most important curtain, Lübeck, Stadttheater (1904).Tempera on paper, 40 x 56,5 cm.This is the model of the curtain that Josef Svoboda made to paint on the floor that, reflected in a giant mirror, opened the famous installation of La traviata realized in 1992 by Arena Sferisterio of Macerata.Once more, the idea had been suggested by Strehler, as the director Henning Brockhaus remembers in a interview of great interest contained in the text that collects essays and testimonials about the important experience of the Bohemian Master in Macerata at the beginning of the 1990s: Massimo Puliani, Alessandro Forlani, Svobodamagika. Polivisioni sceniche di Josef Svoboda, Halley Editrice, 2006.
Otto Miller-Godesberg, Sketch of the main curtain, Barmen, Stadttheater (1905).Distemper on paper, 54,8 x 79,7 cm.Cologne, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft der Universität.«A magniloquent and absurd curtain, painted and luxurious metaphor of theatrically and illusionistic fiction of the bourgeois home. At one time a break on the theatre, the tent of the Sheikh and a drapery that is an end in itself.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit., page 130.
Angelo Quaglio (1829-1890), Sketch for a curtain (around 1870).Water-colour on paper, 27,9 x 37,3 cm.Cologne, Institut für Theaterwissen-schaft der Universität.«Angelo Quaglio belonged to a artists family, it is native to Lake Como and active in Germany since the beginning of the seventeenth century, which gave to the theatre scenographers and architects.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit., page 126.
Napoleon Sacchetti, Curtain (end of XIX Century).Mixed technique on paper, 39,2 x 50 cm.Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée de l'Opéra.«During the period between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the first World War, becomes popular the new model of bourgeois theatre with redundant space, advanced technologies, excessive decorations that in the Opéra of Paris an ''exemplum'' to make obligatory reference.»V. Morpurgo, op. cit. page 144.
Philippe Chaperon (1823-1907), Curtain of the Éden-Théâtre (end of XIX Secolo).Mixed technique on paper, 38,4 x 41,5 cm.Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Musée de l'Opéra.
Anatolij Gel'cer, (1852-1918), Sketch of the curtain for the Malyj Teatr of Petersburg (end XIX - beginning of the XX century).Gouache on paper applied on cardboard, 29,7 x 47 cm.Moskow, Bachrusin Museum.«Set designer of Malyj Teatr since 1888, Gel'cer installed pompous stagings of Shakespeare and Schiller tragedies, which was the interpreter the renowned Mary Ermolova.The rich wings formed the characteristic of its scenes and its curtains. Ge'lcer is the last representative of the Russian romantic scenography of the nineteenth Century.»V. Morpurgo, or. cit. page 125.
F. Navrozov, Sketch of curtain for an unknown theatre (1894).Water-colour, gouache on coloured cardboard, 16 x 26,3 cm.Mosca, Musée Bachrusin.Proposal for a curtain into two parts in neobarocco style.
In 1984 the City of Prato installed a monographic show devoted to one of the most representative artefacts of the theatre.

Conceived and designed by Valerio Morpurgo, now only of its kind for the vastness of the material and the complexity of the contributions collected, the exhibition documented:
«...the different moments of the figuration and the evolution of his styles until the break with every formal episode (for overcoming of the traditional convention) when the curtain disappears or becomes routine curtain so it hasn’t reason to be an decorative episode.
But, the Curtain, it is not complete died.
Today it is somewhat revalued and the actors and directors recove it in a scenic game, perhaps with elision of that appearance significance more right for the ceremony of the pause and of suspense.»

Asserted it Morpurgo in L'avventura del sipario - Figurazione e metafora di una macchina teatrale, Ubulibri, 1984, page 12, the catalogue of the show includes writing, between the others by Jean-Louis Barrault, Gillo Dorfles, Francesco Leonetti e Franco Quadri that, as numerous other texs of the milanese publisher, today is a cult for scenografers and theatrical operators, unfortunately it is out of print and unobtainable used too.