The Accorsi-Ometto Foundation pays tribute to beauty - understood as elegance of form, preciousness of fabrics and attention to detail - with a splendid exhibition dedicated to the “Magician” of theatrical costumes: Luigi Sapelli, known as Caramba.
From 7 April to 4 September 2022, the exhibition “On stage!” highlights the very high level of the Piedmontese costume designer’s production through about forty costumes, chosen from the over three thousand belonging to the Devalle collection in Torino. Among the most iconic pieces of the work of the House of Art Caramba, founded in 1909 in Milano, there are precious examples for the drama “Parisina” by D’Annunzio and for the premiere of “Turandot” in 1926, conducted by Toscanini at La Scala in Milano; the Renaissance costumes made with the precious velvets of Mariano Fortuny and those for Elisa Cegani and Luisa Ferida, designed by Gino Carlo Sensani, in the 1941 film “The iron crown” by Alessandro Blasetti.
Also on display are several fabrics from the Manifattura Mariano Fortuny, underlining the collaboration between the two artists that began after the creation of the House of Art Caramba, a veritable forge of the “Magician” - as he was often called - in which various professionals came together, from tailors to embroiderers, shoemakers and blacksmiths capable of creating costumes of exceptional artistic value. The sketches from the collection of the Sartoria Teatrale Pipi of Palermo are magnificent, and are very detailed from a pictorial point of view compared to the usual production of Caramba, who often drew less detailed ones.
The research and studies undertaken for the exhibition have led to exciting discoveries: for example, the splendid “feathered” mantle, which until now was not known for which opera it was made, has finally been assigned to Pietro Mascagni’s “Parisina”; or that Elisa Cegani’s mantle in “The iron crown” was later worn by Maria Callas for “Nabucco” at the San Carlo Theatre in Napoli on 20 December 1949.