The "Multiplex" Music Production Center
The glorious and historic “Tartini” music production centre, which was used for several years as the location for the orchestra’s rehearsals, has finally been closed. Since
This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Fondazione Toscanini. Its ensembles now have three rooms: the largest hall will be used for the orchestra’s rehearsals, the mid-sized one will be used as a smaller rehearsal room and some dressing rooms will be made, while the third room will be dedicated to the instruments. The largest hall has 250 seats for the audience. Opened in October 1997, the Multiplex was
San Pancrazio, however, will not be the final location. “We have a contract for the next four years that enables us to solve the problem of the inadequacy of the headquarters in via Tartini” - explains Maurizio Roi, President of the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini – “but in the next four years we will have to find a location that will allow us to have the offices and the rehearsing rooms in the same place”. The former multiplex, due to its acoustic qualities, represents a respectable temporary solution although it will require some adjustments. “Obviously, we will not hold concerts in San Pancrazio” – affirms the Secretary General of the Foundation, Luigi Ferrari – “but we will continue our Educational activities for school students who will have an opportunity of attending programs designed especially for them rather than simple rehearsals.
Since 2009, the offices of the President, Secretary General, Artistic Director, Marketing Department, Public Relations, and School Activities of the Fondazione Toscanini are located in Palazzo Melli (Via Emilia Est 38).
The box office
The box office was also moved last year. It is now located in the historic centre of
The new venue of the Fondazione Toscanini was donated by a local entrepreneur, Roberto Melli of Colorno. It includes three rooms belonging to the “complesso Sacco” (the Sacco complex) - as it is called in the list of heritage sites of
The history of the building still has to be reconstructed but dates back to the Middle Ages. It was probably built at the same time as the Cathedral and was used as a monastery. It was later owned by several families including the Sacco family. From monastery it became the residence of noble families and finally what it is today: a lively accumulation of artisans’ workshops, shops, residences, and clinics. It is not accidental that we are in one of the most characteristic parts of the old town, where
The box office and the historical archives of the Foundation are to be found in three large rooms: two of these rooms have vaulted ceilings and are located in what is probably the oldest part of the building, which was used for representative purposes, as can be deduced by the importance of these rooms.
Roberto Melli bought the premises from Mr. Dalcò who ran a famous bindery from the end of World War II up to the late 1990s, which was also a meeting place for writers and intellectuals. During the renovation works, several pictorial works were found including some frescoes of the first half of the 16th century that have been restored. Very little was understood during the renovation work. Were the rooms part of the Sacco theatre that is mentioned in some documents? Were they decorated with special designs on occasion of an important wedding, as might be expected from the research done on the coats of arms in the room overlooking vicolo San Moderanno? And what families do the coats of arms refer to? We hope that further research may shed light on the history of the “Sacco complex” and the pictorial cycles that have been found. But for the moment, we will enjoy this little gem!
Special thanks are due to the Superintendence, in particular to the architect Mr. Ferrari for the precious collaboration; to Mrs. Minetti, the restorer, for her careful work; to the surveyor of the works V. Ferrari; and to all the workers who have participated in recovering these rooms.
The idea of creating the historical archive of the Fondazione Toscanini here immediately caught Roberto Melli’s interest and he contributed to the project by donating the rooms. With this donation, made in a particularly significant moment of his professional career, Mr Melli would like to ideally thank all of those who have been close to him during his long and arduous, but also successful and rewarding career.
First of all, his mother Luigia Zanardi Melli, the person who most supported him during these years. She passed away in 2003, but her memory is always present within her family members. The Archive will be dedicated to her.
Secondly, the people belonging to the city of Parma and its towns and villages, the human soil that makes this region so rich and has favoured its entrepreneurial and human adventures.
During the renovation of the Box office of the Fondazione Toscanini in December 2009, valuable paintings were found under a thick layer of paint and plaster which covered them for many years and partially preserved them. The restorer Liliana Minetti from Fidenza carried out the restoration and clean-up work.
The frescoes are on the ground floor of the palace known as “Sacco”, in the portion of the building that is considered the oldest and which also has paintings of the 16th century on the upper floors. There are two rooms: the first one has dome vaults and the decoration (frescoes) is limited to a festoon of leaves and fruits that defines the outline of the architectural profiles. In the center there is a framed rosette depicting a female figure. The second room, rectangular in shape, is completely decorated with grotesques and male figures (nudes) that seem to be dancing while holding flower wreaths.
All the figures face the side of the room where a French-window used to be, which probably overlooked an external garden (this is also evident in the 18th century Sardi atlas that contains the building’s plan when it was already the residence of the Sacco family).
On each of the four sides figures hold quartered coats of arms. In the center a female figure, probably Diana, is accompanied by a cupid carrying a bow and arrows.