Since 2015 Casa Rossini has been completely renovated thanks to an important redevelopment project that has expanded the spaces and made the latest technologies the protagonists.
A second floor was added to the exhibition area to house documents of Rossini interpreters, operas and temporary thematic exhibitions. On the ground floor, a pleasant free space welcomes the public with an exclusive store.
The multimedia tools are a significant part of the exhibition offering. In addition to the Audio and Video Room, new content and digitized graphic material (autograph scores of operas and letters) can be consulted on touch screens along the museum itinerary, and designated positions allow listening to sound recordings of the documents/letters, so as to better understand the biographical and artistic events of Gioachino Rossini.
Special attention is also paid to the accessibility: the ‘new’ Rossini House is equipped with visiting aids for blind people – Braille texts, relief tables, audio guides and tactile exploration of some of the works – and for deaf people, video guides in Italian sign language LIS.
The birthplace of Gioachino Rossini, stands on the ancient “Duomo Street” (today Rossini Street). The construction of the ground and first floors dates back to the 15th century, whereas the two upper floors were added later. In the first decades of the 18th century, a substantial renovation involved the facade and the interior, made of four floors and a basement.
In this residence Rossini was born on February 29, 1792, as commemorate the inscription placed in a room on the first floor: “La divina arte della musica arrise in questa stanza alla nascita di Gioacchino Rossini.”
The composer spent his early years here with his family. Of the original structure it is possible today to admire the arched window shutters, smoke-blackened fireplaces and some elements of an old kitchen.
In 1892, one hundred years after Rossini’s birth, the City of Pesaro bought the palace and turned it into a museum; in 1904 it was declared a national monument.
The materials exposed come largely from late 19th-century collections; the largest nucleus comes from Paris and consists mostly of prints and engravings, lithographs and portraits that belonged to the great Alphonse Hubert Martel, a collector of Rossini’s relics. In Rossini’s birthplace are exhibited Prints of Rossini’s operas and of his famous performers: Adelina Patti ( Rosina/Barbiere di Siviglia ), Giovan Battista Rubini (Otello), Giuditta Pasta (Tancredi), Gilbert-Louis Duprez (Arnold/ Guillaume Tell).
Noteworthy is the collection of thirty printed portraits of Rossini, chronologically ordered from youth to old age; a drawing by Gustave Dorè depicts him on his deathbed. In addition to the official portraits, a series of caricatures is exposed, including a statuette by Jean Pierre Dantan that scorns Rossini and other figures in the nineteenth-century musical milieu. Finally, the room dedicated to music houses a fortepiano, a keyboard instrument built in Venice in 1809, and some of the maestro’s autographs.
Since July 2015, with the renovated set-up, the Rossini House has implemented the material exposed thanks to the collaboration with the Rossini Foundation, which has granted new and interesting documents, including autographed letters and scores, original librettos of Rossini’s operas, and the digitization of entire scores.
On the ground floor there is a real Store dedicated to the Swan, the only one in Pesaro and in the world; a reference for Rossini fans, and not only, looking for a wide range of quality material: CDs, DVDs, antique publications, texts published by the Gioachino Rossini Foundation, dedicated merchandising and artistic craftsmanship of excellence, such as the ceramics, made ad hoc, by local producers: the Fonderia Bucci design interprets the statue inspired by the caricature of Dantan, and the Bottega of Claudio Sora instead refers to Rossini’s works with its hand-painted majolica. Completing the wide range of items is a selection of DVDs and CDs including Semiramide in arrangement for solo guitar and an intense performance by Maria Callas.