Bonaveri Bust forms for “Sempre libera. Maria Callas at La Scala”​ exhibition in Paris

Bonaveri Bust Forms have been used to display five stage costumes worn by Maria Callas at the famous La Scala Opera House.

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Written by Ian Thompson | 04 October 2017

Bonaveri donated the bust forms to the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, sponsoring the event for two years.

The Italian Cultural Institute in Paris hosted the exhibition which was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the singer’s death in Paris on 16 September 1977. The 5 garments on show were recreated from the originals by students of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala and have been meticulously copied using the same techniques and materials. Each garment reflects the same precise level of detail of the original costumes worn by Maria Callas during her performances at La Scala Opera House in Milan. Bonaveri donated the bust forms to the students of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala to enable them to prepare and display the costumes.

40 years after her death, she remains one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists and a regular performer at La Scala from December 1951 until her last performance in 1960.

There are many very good artists, but very few who have that sixth sense, the additional, the plus quality. It is something which lifts them from the ground: they become like semi-gods.

Franco Zeffirelli

Curator, Maria Chiara Donato, costume designer and theatrical costume historian has staged this first part of the exhibition, dedicated to the city of Milan. A further two exhibitions will focus on Milan’s art, architecture, the theatre, literature, cinema, music, design and fashion in support of the city’s application to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Bonaveri supplied the bust forms in a calico fabric with a timber base, each with a classic Bonaveri styled head.  The bust forms were supplied without arms, enabling a clear focus on the costumes displayed.

For more information, visit the Italian Cultural Institute’s dedicated page.

Bonaveri has also participated in other exhibitions featuring garments created for Maria Callas. Read more here.

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