February 12 Open Day at the Zeffirelli Foundation

The late Franco Zeffirelli

In honor of the 97th anniversary of late Franco Zeffirelli’s birth (1923-2019), the Zeffirelli Foundation museum will offer free admission to residents of Florence metropolitan area with an I.D. on February 12 from 10 am to 6 pm.

The displays of Zeffirelli Foundation (piazza San Firenze 5) details the life’s work of the great Italian director and producer, almost year by year, room after room. Growing up in Florence and attending the Accademia di Belle Arti in Piazza San Marco and later the University of Florence, Zeffirelli is renowned for his set designs and costumes.  He also left his mark on cinema: his films include “Romeo and Juliet” (1968) and “The Taming of the Shrew” (1967), his semi-autobiographical “Tea with Mussolini” (1999) which stars Joan Plowright, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Cher, while also adapting operas to screen.  Zeffirelli is also known for the TV mini-series “Jesus of Nazareth.”

The producer who had an eye for detail, never failed to deliver alternative and impressive works. At the museum, his set design for Aida, performed in Tokyo (1998), portrays Egyptian characters dressed in tones of gold, silver and blue. Other techniques used were stencil designs, exhibited in Tosca (1985) on stage at the Met, and metallic gold foil used for his movie rendition of Hamlet (1990) after which he was said to be the first artist to use such technique. One of the most impressive rooms is dedicated solely to his sketches, storyboards and a multimedia presentation of his interpretation of Dante’s Inferno, a work-in-progress which never achieved release.  There, in the “Sala Inferno,” Florence University dean Luigi Dei will give a reading, accompanied by Paolo Zampini of the Cherubini Conservatory on the flute (6:30 pm).