Creation of the Vittorio Gnecchi Ruscone Archive and Promotion of the Music of this important Italian Maestro of the early XX century

Project location: ITALY
Project start date: December 2015 - Project end date: December 2016
Project number: 2014-036
Beneficiary: Associazione Musicale Vittorio Gnecchi Ruscone


The Association has recovered most of his lost works and a consistent amount of documents on his activities and performances of his operas that had officially begun in 1906 when his opera Cassandra was directed by Arturo Toscanini at the Bologna Opera House.
In this last decade the Association has successfully promoted his work in Italy and Europe. It has managed to stage his best known opera Cassandra and his religious score Missa Salisburgensis in important world venues: Montpellier, Festival of Montpellier and Radio France, France; Deutsche Oper Berlin, Germany; Teatro Bellini of Catania, Italy; in the Church of Verderio Superiore, the Duomo of Milan and the church of Caravaggio, Italy. Both in Berlin and Catania the opera Cassandra was stages together with Richard Strauss' Electra.
The activity of the Association has also allowed the publishing of a book Il Caso Cassandra by Marco Iannelli both in Italian and English (2004, 2010 revised edition) and the production of a documentary by Sky Classica for the Italian television on the life and works of Vittorio Gnecchi.

The Association has now two major tasks to fulfill: the creation of the Archive of the Association and the staging of Judith, the most important opera by Vittorio Gnecchi last performed in Salzburg in 1952.

The archive

More than 6.000 documents have been retrieved and inventoried: letters, photos, scores, posters, press releases, manuscript. The material now needs to be organized in a proper archive, with a digital index and the scansion of all documents. This would allow an easy access to the documents and the possibility for scholars and students to study and publish works on Vittorio Gnecchi.
There are still some scores that are missing and documents that may arise from further researches by the Association members. The Association is currently trying to retrieve the scores of the ballet Atalanta.
Judith, an opera composed between the two World Wars on a subject taken from the fourth Book of the Apocryphal Old Testament with text by Luigi Illica, a lifelong partner and famous "librettista". The opera is in three acts and of colossal dimensions with unrestrained lyrical force and great musical value. A symphonic abstract was performed at La Scala of Milan in 1932 conducted by Mengelberg.
A great work has already been done on the recovery of the scores and the rewriting of parts of the first act which have disappeared. The music is now available. The staging of the opera is very demanding and it must be promoted with major world theatres.

For the archive:
- All documents will be numbered and provided by a record card stating a description of the document and key works on the content
- The documents will be organized by theme, type and chronologically in specially devised folders
- Finally the documents will be scanned
For Judith:
- The Association has entrusted Nikos Velissiotis, the Musical Director, to contact directors of major theatres in Europe and the world.
- Nikos Velissiotis will be visiting the theatres interested in staging Vittorio Gnecchi's music.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. The Association will publish works on Vittorio Gnecchi's music and operas. The Association strongly hopes to see the staging of Judith in more than one European Opera House.

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