Milan's Rinascente holiday windows.


MILAN Luxury department store Rinascente in Milan strengthened its bond with the city’s Teatro alla Scala, also known as La Scala theater, dedicating its holiday windows to six iconic opera performances.

Last year, the store introduced the partnership with La Scala staging Christmas windows inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly,” which opened the theater’s season in 2016.

“This edition is particularly interesting because we combined our 100th anniversary with an excursus of the theater’s [last] 100 years,” said Rinascente’s chief executive officer Pierluigi Cocchini, who succeeded Alberto Baldan in February.

“We’re celebrating La Scala but also offering something out of our context, because we sell clothes and cosmetics and these kinds of displays are intriguing for visitors,” he concluded.

This year, Rinascente appointed stage designer Margherita Palli to create its windows and retrace the history of the theater throughout 100 years of opening nights. In particular, Palli conceived the scenography of the theater’s annual opening opera, Umberto Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier,” which will premiere on Thursday evening.

“The windows take the viewer inside the atmosphere of the theater on the nights of great premieres,” Palli said.

Each display showcases an artistic installation representing La Scala’s signature interior elements — as the red tapestry and chandeliers — “deformed in an imaginary perspective,” as well as characters, playbills and small stage objects of historic opera plays.

The operas include Arrigo Boito’s “Nerone,” staged in 1924, and “I Vespri Siciliani,” the opera that in 1951 launched Maria Callas’ career and the tradition of kicking off the theater’s opening season on Dec. 7 — when the city celebrates its patron Saint Ambrose.

Milan's Rinascente holiday windows.

Milan’s Rinascente holiday windows.  Courtesy Photo

“Then the three central windows, which I love particularly, are dedicated to three directors and conductors considered a little bit Milanese,” explained Palli, mentioning Giorgio Strehler and Claudio Abbado for the “Macbeth”-themed window; Luca Ronconi and Riccardo Muti for the “Guglielmo Tell” one; Patrice Chéreau and Daniel Barenboim for the “Tristan und Isolde” display.

The last window is dedicated to this year’s “Andrea Chénier,” which has been missing from La Scala’s show schedule since 1983.

The windows will be on show until the first week of January.

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