The Parma Music Conservatory is named after its honorary director in 1890-91, Arrigo Boito (1842-1918).
A musician and poet, and a leader of the Scapigliatura artistic movement in Milan, Arrigo Boito was also a composer and opera librettist for works such as Amilcare Ponchielli’s Gioconda, Franco Faccio’s Amleto, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Otello and Falstaff.
The studio, set up in one of the Conservatory’s rooms, was donated by the musician’s heirs in 1984 and testifies to Boito’s wide-ranging literary and musical interests. It includes a library focusing on classical authors (Latin, English, French, and Italian) featuring a number of music-themed books as well (Palestrina, Benedetto Marcello, Beethoven), several original notebooks, a vertical piano, and replicas of artworks.
Extensive material testifies to Boito’s work as a librettist – especially for Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff and Otello (annotated Shakesperian editions, original notebooks) – and as the composer of Nerone (folders of sketches, literary sources, a lyre-guitar, a mask of Nero, and documents on the first posthumous performance of Nerone, conducted by Toscanini in 1924 at La Scala in Milan).
Arrigo Boito’s studio is part of the Conservatory’s “Riccardo Barilla” Historical Museum.