Theatre Museum of Romagna – Forlì

The Theatre Museum of Romagna, housed inside the impressive, recently renovated Palazzo Gaddi, features materials, instruments, and mementos from the music and theatre scenes and their protagonists in Forlì in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The museum’s core collection comprises donations from the heirs of the tenor Angelo Masini and the soprano Maria Farneti.

Angelo Masini (Forlì 1844 -1926) was one of the most famous tenors of his time, with a sweet yet powerful voice and a nearly limitless repertoire. He earned his first accolades performing Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. After his retirement, he funded the construction of the music lyceum in Forlì.

Maria Farneti (Forlì 1877 – 1955) is famous for her performances in Iris, L’amico Fritz and Isabeau by Pietro Mascagni, who discovered her when she was very young, and in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

Another important presence on the music scene in Romagna was the musician and composer Cesare Martuzzi (Alfonsine 1885 – Forlì 1960). His forty-year collaboration with the poet Aldo Spallicci resulted in the creation, in 1910, of the “Canterini Romagnoli”, the first choir dedicated exclusively to performing the so-called “cante”, multi-voice compositions inspired by the area’s vast repertoire of folk and peasant music.

Finally, the museum holds documents and other material on the actor Ermete Novelli (1851 -1919), the operetta dancer and singer Ines Lidelba (1893-1961), and the town’s ancient municipal theatre. The building that housed the latter, designed by the architect Cosimo Morelli and inaugurated in 1776, was unfortunately destroyed in 1944.