Museum spaces in Vincenzo Bellini’s birthplace, in Piazza San Francesco, have been revitalized and reopened to the public with new displays, annotations, narrative paths, and multimedia support. The exhibition area dedicated to the great musician and composer from Catania “returned” to Palazzo Gravina Cruyllas after restoration work that included the historic city building.
The opening of the Vincenzo Bellini Museum was attended by the Adviser of Culture Barbara Mirabella with the advisors Enrico Tarantino and Pepo Arsedicono, Professor Maria Rosa de Luca, Professor of Musicology in the Department of Humanities at the University of Catania and the scientific responsible for the university project, Supervisor of Cultural and Architectural Heritage Donatella April, Commander of the Guard Malian, General Antonino Raimondo, Chairman of the Council’s Culture Committee, Giovanni Grasso, Director of the Department of Culture, Paolo Di Caro, and in charge of the Museums Network, Valentina Noto, Research Fellows of the University of Catania, Daniela Cacamo and Daniel Canavu, Monsignor Barbaro Chioni who also blessed the place of culture and knowledge renewed.
The reactivation of museum spaces is part of the “Virtual Museum of BellinInRete Music” project, funded by Pact for Catania (Presidency Development and Cohesion Fund / ERDF 2014-2020 / Pact for Catania) and was concluded on the basis of an agreement provided by the municipality Catania with the University of Catania (Department of Human Sciences) and with the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of CNR-Catania.
“Choral work as always – said Commissioner Mirabella – which made it possible to give new life to the museum and the spaces of the Swan’s birthplace, with interventions also carried out to take advantage of the period of closure to the public due to the pandemic. The museum narrates the biographical stages but also tells of Bellini’s passion and his artistic career.A walk that brings us all as citizens and also tourists to the greatness of this character, the music giant, which it will be possible to discover in more depth also through the virtual museum already very much ready, with all the digital works, which will represent an immersive space, a place where the senses are entertained The five and “Long live” Vincenzo Bellini “.
“The University of Catania, thanks to the Department of Humanities – emphasized Prof. De Luca – and CNR, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, made an important contribution to the contents and study of the collections exhibited in the “Casa of the Swan”. A much broader project that includes three steps: reactivating the spaces of Muscat Head of Bellini, the creation of a multimedia museum and a digital platform on which the collections of Bellini’s heritage will be available. Today’s opening represents the realization of the first part of a project that also aims to restore and revive the musician’s relationship with the city of Catania. It is no coincidence that the first hall is dedicated to the musician’s youth from 1801 to 1819, and the second after his return to Sicily after the success of the opera “Norma”, while the third was to recover the remains of Catania “Hero” in 1876 in Catania, the city that restores the ownership of the memory and value of its son. But we have also implemented two other initiatives: the joining of this structure to the network The European birthplace of great opera artists such as Beethoven and Chopin, is an opportunity of fundamental importance to Catania; the second has already provided for the inclusion of the city of Catania, together with the Bellini Museum, in the circle of the five great opera cities since the year Addi, specifically Pizarro with Rossini, Parma with Verdi, Luca with Puccini, Bergamo with Donizetti, and finally Catania with Bellini.
The texts of the paintings, the annotations and the scientific design of the place of birth were processed by the working group of the University of Catania, led by Professor Maria Rosa de Luca.
The reopening of spaces on the ground floor and first floor of the museum is the first step of the “BellininRete” project, which will be completed by the end of the year with the opening of the second floor of the building, with a dedicated multimedia area for the swan. This first stage is part of the complex project developed by the professor. Francesco Antinucci (Professor Emeritus of CNR-Rome) aims to reorganize the Civic Museum by rearranging the Place of Birth and the Multimedia Museum.
A small part of the initiative was undertaken by students of the Art School “Emilio Greco” who took an interest in cleaning the museum’s furniture.
Project “Virtual Museum of Beleninrit Music”
The “Virtual Museum of Music BellinInRete” project, funded by Pact for Catania, aims to revitalize the Belliniano Civic Museum by adopting strategies to protect, preserve and promote its heritage that exploits technology and digital technology.
The project reveals a strong interdisciplinary system and benefits from the teaching and research staff of the University of Catania (through the Department of Humanities, Scientific Director Professor Maria Rosa de Luca) and the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of CNR-Catania, on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the three institutions signed in May 2016 and entered into force in February 2017.
By involving experts in musicology, archival, linguistics, art history, theater and entertainment history, experts in communication processes and technologies, in knowledge technologies and methodologies, information sciences and computer science, the project “Virtual Museum of Music” BellinInRete focuses on a very broad use of information, This allows to combine texts – sounds – images in digital format and create a scenography and multimedia setting for the Bellini Museum.
Creating a multimedia museum:
This exhibition will take care of various rooms in the Bellini Museum (formerly Museo Emilio Greco, first floor of Palazzo Gravina Croilas), which will be used to narrate the main periods in the life of Vincenzo Bellini. The itinerary tells the artistic and autobiographical story of one of the four great opera artists of the nineteenth century, tracing the phases of his youth in Catania, his formative studies in Naples and his practical experiences in the music capitals. The narration is entrusted to the audiovisual techniques, inserted into the scenographic settings that evoke the different environments of the theaters of the time.
Renovation of his home
On the other hand, another part of the project concerns the reactivation of the birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini (dedicated to the Civic Museum starting from May 5, 1930, inaugurated in the presence of Vittorio Emanuele III) through a reinterpretation of exhibition spaces aimed at re-establishing Bellini’s relationship with her native city for the visitor:
1. Family Room (1801-1819)
2. Passage Room – Return to Sicily (1832)
3 – The Ashes Interpretation Chamber (1876)
A digital platform for museum collections
All of the museum’s documentary heritage has been the subject of study and cataloging as well as the digitization of ancient collections (handwritten grades, documents and letters) in order to create a knowledge base available through a digital platform.