The identity of La Scala in the 19th century can be seen from the period prints and objects in this very unusual collection.
The museum consists of a number of collections, but the exhibits on show in the fine halls are just a small part of the complete heritage, most of which is conserved in archives for use by scholars. Nonetheless, the Theatre's history can be explored in the portraits, busts and objects linked to the singers, musicians and conductors who contributed to La Scala's fame worldwide.
There are portraits of Giuditta Pasta, Bellini’s muse, with her languid upturned eyes, and of Malibran in a legendary costume for Rossini’s 1834 Desdemona. There are busts of choreographer Viganò and tenor Tacchinardi. Boito’s pen, Puccini’s watch, and Rossini’s glasses. There are many pieces of Verdi memorabilia, such as the first spinet that the composer owned, the handwritten score for the “Requiem” for Manzoni’s death, a letter to Boito announcing that he had completed Otello, and the composer’s grand piano. There are many more curious items: locks of Bellini’s blonde hair, Mozart’s dark curls, a cast of Chopin’s hand, and another of that of the divine Eleonora. There are also exhibits regarding the diva Maria Callas and the legendary Pavarotti.