GIOACHINOS NEW HOUSE
Gioachino Rossini’s historic museum house was completely renovated and redeveloped in July 2015 thanks to the joint effort by Sistema Museo, Fondazione Rossini and the Municipality of Pesaro.
Its unique characteristics and the special financial support that it received make it the only one of its kind in Italy, and it confirms Pesaro’s identity as the city of music.
The exhibition area, previously limited to the first floor, now extends itself over the second floor as well, where documents relating to Rossini’s works and to opera singers are displayed. It will be partly dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions.
The ground floor has been radically transformed ad it has now become a free entrance area, where visitors can not only purchase tickets, but also find a “store” dedicated to Gioachino Rossini, the “Swan” of Pesaro.
State-of-the-art technologies enable the visitors to read a large number of documents of scientific interest in an easy and amusing way.
The multimedia appliances are part and parcel of the exhibition. New contents and digitalized versions of music sheets and letters can be read on touch screens along the tour and audio recordings of documents and letters are also available, in order to provide complete information on Gioachino Rossini’s life and career.
Furthermore, the company Art Glass has been involved in the process of technological enhancement of Casa Rossini and has designed special eyeglasses which will give visitors a new emotional experience. This “wearable” technology will give access to a new world, the Maestro’s world! Computer animation and videos will make the tour through the museum house a totally new experience.
By wearing the digital eyeglasses, the visitors will see the Maestro standing next to them and accompanying them on a tour through the rooms where he spent an important part of his life. Gioachino will tell anecdotes about his life, show documents and sheets of his works and read some of his letters.
Thanks to a deliberation of the Marche regional council (“Sviluppo del Sistema Museale Marchigiano: interventi di accessibilità fruitiva” DGR n. 954 del 04/08/2014), new technical solutions have been introduced in order to help visitors with sensory impairment to enjoy the cultural heritage on display both on an intellectual and on a sensorial level. However, since Rossini’s house was listed as a national heritage site in 1904 and is protected as a historic building under art. 10 of the legislative decree n. 42/2004, it was not possible to carry out changes on its architectural structure.
The aim of these technical solutions was to improve the informative material and to make use of the newest digital tools. Blind and low-vision visitors can now find Braille versions of the introductory brochure and of the captions of the main works on display, as well as Braille boards to read music sheets and letters by Rossini. In the audio and video room on the ground floor (where the entrance is free), it is possible to listen to operas by Rossini and to watch a video about places and institutions in Pesaro which are connected to Rossini.
Audio guides are available for blind visitors, whereas deaf visitors can watch videos in Italian Sign Language.
Furthermore, some works on display, such as the busts portraying Rossini, are available for tactile exploration.
The redevelopment of Casa Rossini was financed both by public resources (coming from the province, through the CreAttività cultural project, and from the municipality of Pesaro) and – for the most part – by private resources (thanks to Art Bonus, an initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism).
The number of companies which believed in this project has increased over time and all of them will be involved in new projects dedicated to the composer until 2021. These companies (“Rossini’s Angels”) are: DMM SpA from Montecalvo in Foglia, Dago Elettronica from Fano, Formula Servizi from Forlì, Impresa Edile Menale from Saltara, Ominia Comunicazione from Fano, Guidobaldi Allestimenti from Foligno, Esatecnoimpianti from Fano, Della Chiara snc from Tavullia PU, Rudolf Colm.
The house where Gioachino Rossini was born is located in Via Rossini, formerly known as Via del Duomo. One hundred years after Rossini’s birth, in 1892, the Municipality of Pesaro purchased the building. In 1904 it was listed as a national heritage site and transformed into a museum. Made up of four floors and a cellar, the house was built between the 15th and the 18th century. Rossini was born here on February 29th 1792, as the memorial inscription in a room on the first floor reads: “"La divina arte della musica arrise in questa stanza alla nascita di Gioacchino Rossini" (“The divine art of music blessed the birth of Gioachino Rossini in this room”). The composer spent his early childhood here with his family. The shutters of the arched windows, the old fireplaces blackened by the smoke, and some parts of the old kitchen are all that is left of the original architecture.
Most of the items on display come from late 19th-century collections, especially from Paris, such as the prints, engravings, lithographs and portraits that belonged to Alphonse Hubert Martel, a great collector of Rossinian memorabilia. In the house where Martel was born, prints of Rossini’s works and of some famous opera singers, such as Adelina Patti (Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia), Giovan Battista Rubini (Otello), Giuditta Pasta (Tancredi) and Gilbert-Louis Duprez (Arnold, Guillaume Tell), are exhibited.
Thirty printed portraits of Gioachino Rossini, in chronological order from his youth to his old age, form another noteworthy collection. There is also a drawing by Gustave Doré portraying the composer on his deathbed. As well as official portraits, caricatures are also on display, such as a small statue by Jean Pierre Dantan making fun of Rossini and other prominent personalities of the 19th-century musical scene. Last but not least, a fortepiano (a keyboard instrument produced in Venice in 1809) and some autographs by the Maestro are exhibited in the room dedicated to music.
Thanks to the renovation carried out in July 2015 and to the collaboration with Fondazione Rossini, Casa Rossini has been able to expand the number of items on display by adding new documents of particular interest, such as letters and music sheets written by the Maestro himself, original librettos of operas by Rossini and digital versions of full scores.