Livia Simoni Library

By Teatro Alla Scala

The library at the second floor of the Museum is dedicated to Livia Simoni. Let's discover these wonderful volumes on the world of music, dance and theater.

Livia Simoni library (The library, inside the museum, was inaugurated in 1954)Teatro Alla Scala

The library opened in 1913, when the museum was inaugurated, and it boasted some 10,000 volumes. In the early Fifties, the collection was enhanced with a further 54,000 volumes thanks to the legacy of Renato Simoni

Renato SimoniTeatro Alla Scala

a theatre critic and playwright who wrote Turandot's libretto together with Giuseppe Adami

Title page of Turandot's librettoTeatro Alla Scala

Today, with almost 150,000 books, it is known as the “Livia Simoni” library, after Renato Simoni’s mother.

Livia Simoni library (The library, inside the museum, was inaugurated in 1954)Teatro Alla Scala

The oldest volume was printed in Venice by Lazzaro Soardo in 1511 and contains the comedies of Plautus. There are 363 books dating to the 16th century, and some of them are fine examples of rare editions, while there are more than 400 books published in the 17th century.

Livia Simoni library (The library, inside the museum, was inaugurated in 1954)Teatro Alla Scala

However, the collection of volumes from the following centuries is even larger and more remarkable. The library is annexed to the archives which include 2,255 sketches for sets, 6,959 sketches for costumes, 3,000 theatre posters, 6,000 librettos, 10,300 signed letters by actors, directors, composers and singers, 30 manuscripts of complete works, including Verdi’s Requiem and Rossini’s Tancredi, 300 single pieces by Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Puccini, Beethoven, Mozart, 7,000 photographs and 10,000 engravings.

The oldest volume in the library is an edition of the works of Tito Maccio Plauto published in Venice in 1511 by Lazzaro Soardo. (1511/1511)Teatro Alla Scala

The oldest volume in the library is an edition of the works of Tito Maccio Plauto published in Venice in 1511 by Lazzaro Soardo. (1511/1511)Teatro Alla Scala

The oldest volume in the library is an edition of the works of Tito Maccio Plauto published in Venice in 1511 by Lazzaro Soardo. (1511/1511)Teatro Alla Scala

The oldest volume in the library is an edition of the works of Tito Maccio Plauto published in Venice in 1511 by Lazzaro Soardo. (1511/1511)Teatro Alla Scala

The first catalogue of the Museum

The first catalogue of the Museum is part of the collection. It was published one year after its inauguration. It shows on its cover a miniature by Quaglia depicting the singer Giuseppina Grassini.

The first catalogue of the Museum (1914/1914)Teatro Alla Scala

The first catalogue of the Museum (1914/1914)Teatro Alla Scala

The first catalogue of the Museum (1914/1914)Teatro Alla Scala

The first catalogue of the Museum (1914/1914)Teatro Alla Scala

The first catalogue of the Museum (1914/1914)Teatro Alla Scala

LIbretto for the first performance of the opera La Gioconda, music by Amilcare PonchielliTeatro Alla Scala

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