Director Luca Ronconi: in making ready a production of Rossini’s “Un viaggio a Reims” at La Scala, had the bright idea of extending the scene to include the wings of the Galleria.
In addition to being a triumph, the show was a revelation: the art world showed itself to be the sole defender of the decorum and dignity of the drawing room with “the glass sky” where embarrassing signboards were about to go up, bearing names from afar: Autogrill, Quick, Burghi, Megastore, McDonald’s.
What sacrilege to offer Mengoni’s creation to the enemies of the language of Dante. Deploring the situation, those Milanese fond of their Galleria reacted: musicians conducted by Riccardo Muti played under the glass vault, the voice of architect Norman Foster rang out in the Octagon; ballerinas from the La Scala school of dance performed; members of the Cirque du Soleil exhibited their supple skills; a memorable Traviata was staged to unconditional applause, and Moschino put on bis sumptuous fashion shows.
The Galleria was enjoying its newfound dimension.
It was no longer – or not just – the heart of the city, but a modern agora, a global village piazza open to the world, where the vital breath of culture would blow through the open space, making the old adage current once more: “If you want something to be known in Milan, go say it in the Galleria.” When politics, culture, theatre and advertising are at home in the arcade, news spreads through Milan in a flash.
- Fashion show reharsal
- Tiziano Terzani
- Naomi Campbell
Nostalgia, the usual spoilsport, will certainly have to say, will regret the effervescence of a culture that permeated daily life, will regret the fact that today in “Piazza Mengoni” the Milanese count on their fingertips and flicker only in the days of prime.
“The Gallery as a modern but orderly Babel for the resounding of a hundred dialects and many foreign languages, which under its high and luminous vaults chase each other to form a singular sonic magma that seems to underline the beautiful and generous spirit of the Ambrosian metropolis “. “Metropoli”: the ambition that from the very beginning had been the Gallery’s raison d’être and had animated the will of the 200,000 Milanese present at the laying of the first stone was fulfilled. Milan has become a “metropolis”; the city has achieved its goal, even surpassed it. They called it the moral capital of Italy; the locomotive that drives the nation’s economy, the heart of Italian finance, Rome’s rival for fashion.