(b Montecchio, Lombardy; fl 1653–8). Italian composer and organist. He was a minorite whose only known employment was as organist and maestro di cappella of Noventa di Piave, Lombardy. Two volumes of music by him survive: Salmi di compieta concertati, for three voices and continuo, op.1 (Venice, 1653), including a four-part Nunc dimittis; and Letanie della Madonna concertate, for four voices and continuo, op.2 (Venice, 1658).
(b Milan, 8 Sept 1833; d Milan, 12 May 1907). Italian scene painter and stage designer. He went to the Accademia di Belli Artì di Brera in Milan in 1852, and joined La Scala the following year as assistant to F. Peroni. From 1859 he taught stagecraft at the academy and, later, courses in the landscape department. At La Scala he designed the premières of Boito’s Mefistofele (1868), Ponchielli’s La Gioconda (1876) and Gomes’s Maria Tudor (1879), as well as new scenes of operas already in the repertory, including Norma and Mosè in Egitto. After falling out with the La Scala management in 1881, he worked for the Teatro Carcano (where he had painted a curtain in 1872). Without assistance, he created all the scenes there, a stunning achievement that led to commissions from other major theatres, notably the Argentina in Rome (for whom he had designed Gomes’s Salvator Rosa in 1878) and the S Carlo in Naples, with which he had a long association.
Ferrario accepted Verdi’s call to return to La Scala in 1887 to design Otello, and was subsequently appointed art director (1889) and director of scene painting (1890). He also supervised the replacement of the stage machinery. He was Verdi’s preferred designer and created the first sets for Falstaff and a new Rigoletto (both 1893). He also designed La Scala’s first Meistersinger (1899). The most influential Italian scenic artist in the second half of the 19th century, Ferrario continued an unbroken tradition that had begun with the Bibiena family. His style evolved over more than 40 years, adapting to changes in taste and musical form. Although he was regarded as a champion of realism, a strong romanticism pervades his work. He consistently achieved a harmony between what the audience saw on stage and what they heard in the orchestra. His scenic realizations for Verdi are the foundation of the Verdi tradition, and his ideas were carried on by a number of his students and disciples, including Vittorio Rota, Antonio Rovescali and Mario Salas. His sketches are found in the La Scala Museum, the Brera academy, the Ricordi archives and private collections.
V.Bignami: Cinquecento bozzetti di scenografia di Carlo Ferrario (Milan, 1919)
DAVID J. HOUGH
Ferrario [De Ferraris], Paolo Agostino
(b Codogno, Lombardy; fl 1578–1607). Italian composer. He was a Servite monk. He is known by two publications: the four-voice Psalmi omnes qui ad vesperas per totum annum decantantur (Venice, 1578), and Letanie della Madonna (Venice, 1607). The title-page of the Letanie suggests that he was then connected with the Santa Casa, Loreto. It contains litanies for four, five, six and eight voices, six motets for two voices and a setting of the Salve regina, all with a part for basso continuo.
(b Alessandria, Piedmont, 25 Aug 1884; d Rome, 17 April 1964). Italian composer and organist. He studied under Mascagni in Pesaro, and from 1929 to 1955 he was director of the Parma Conservatory. His slight, ingratiating talent found its best expression in music for children, ranging from small piano pieces and choruses to operas: the most successful were Ciottolino (which initially ran for 70 performances when presented by the famous puppet theatre, the Teatro dei Piccoli di Podrecca) and Ghirlino. These deft little stage pieces, pervaded by the simple, fresh spirit of nursery rhymes and seasoned with ‘modernisms’ that never go beyond mild postwar Ravel (as, for example, in the ‘movimento di Fox’ intermezzo from Ghirlino), deserved their success. The more ambitious later operas, L’orso re and La capanna dello zio Tom, stretched his gifts beyond their natural limit.
Ops: Ciottolino (fiaba musicale, 3 scenes, G. Forzano), Rome, Piccoli di Podrecca, Palazzo Odescalchi (Sala Verdi), 8 Feb 1922; La bella e il mostro (3, F. Salvatori), Milan, Scala, 20 March 1926; Le astuzie di Bertoldo (3, C. Zangarini, O. Lucarini), Genoa, Carlo Felice, 10 Jan 1934; Ghirlino (3, E. Anceschi), Milan, Scala, 4 Feb 1940; Buricchio (3, epilogue, Anceschi), Bologna, Comunale, 5 Nov/?Feb 1948; L’orso re (Anceschi, M. Corradi-Cervi) (1943), Milan, Scala, 8 Feb 1950; La capanna dello zio Tom (Anceschi, after H. Beecher-Stowe), Parma, Regio, 17 Jan 1953; Il ragazzo dei palloncini (teleracconto, L. Deli), RAI, 1959; at least 6 others, destroyed or unperf.
Orch: Contemplazione, triptych
Cantatas, church music, children’s choral music, chbr music, songs, pf music incl. much for children
Principal publishers: Bongiovanni (Bologna), Carisch, Ricordi, Sonzogno, Suvini Zerboni
GroveO (J.C.G. Waterhouse)
C.Gatti: ‘Prime rappresentazioni scaligere: Ghirlino di L. Ferrari Trecate’, Illustrazione italiana, lxvii (1940), 183–4
E.Campogalliani: Luigi Ferrari Trecate: operista (Verona, 1955) [incl. list of works]
R.Zanetti: La musica italiana nel Novecento (Busto Arsizio, 1985), 861–4