The DAM internal digital archiving project and the resulting ArchivioLaScala, that is accessible to the public on the Web, would not have been possible without the support of the Milano per la Scala Foundation and the Bosch Group, and without the technical support of Fastweb and Oracle.
MILANO PER LA SCALA and the DAM Project
When support for La Scala Theatre means protecting its historic heritage through new technologies
Starting from 1998, following the positive results obtained with the “Project for the Salvage of the Sound and Musical Archive of the La Scala Theatre”, during the course of its Special Projects, the Milano per la Scala Foundation promoted and coordinated the feasibility study of the DAM Project, that was developed to provide the La Scala Theatre with an integrated system to allow it to acquire, classify and make usable in a digital form its "assets" and archives. The production plan of this project began operationally in January 1999.
The initial objectives of the DAM Project, that were agreed with Superintendence and with the operational sectors of the La Scala Theatre, were the following:
- provide the Artistic Management and the Management of the Scene Set-up with an operational instrument for the daily and economic management of the theatre’s productions;
- provide the Management with data and information for the creation of an effective control and management system;
- prepare for La Scala an archive of its priceless heritage in order to also be able to use it for collateral initiatives.
With characteristics that were totally innovative for that era, Milano per la Scala set up a “co-production prototype” which for several years involved the La Scala Theatre, in the role of the reference cultural Institution, University Researchers, the pool of specific Companies, with their extremely high technical know-how and economic contribution, and the Foundation itself, in the role of coordinator between the parties. It was only in more recent times that the DAM Project was completely internalised by the La Scala Theatre, although a link was maintained with the Milano per la Scala Foundation and the companies for financial and technical support for the project.
Thanks to the DAM it is possible to access in real time the artistic heritage of La Scala to more fully exploit the knowledge and experience of the past in creating new productions. In its first phase the project produced nine digital archives, that are active today, for the management, conservation and cataloguing of the artistic heritage: costumes, accessories, props, posters, photographs, sketches, costume designs, audio. This represented the new starting point for the subsequent creation of a centralised intranet application - La Scala DAM – which made all of the archives and poster data of La Scala shows from 1950 through to the present available not just to current users (Managers of the archives and warehouses), but also to the Superintendence, Management and all Departments of the Theatre.
Milano per la Scala is the only institution that over the years also believed in and supported and pushed the DAM project. Today, as the DAM is finally published and made available to all interested parties, Milano per la Scala is very proud to have contributed to its development and to have been the organisational and economic force behind this ambitious project.
Milano per la Scala – a private Foundation– was set up in 1991 by a group of citizens and leading companies from Lombardy with the exclusive aim of promoting, and supporting the La Scala Theatre. It is the first institution to be developed exclusively to support an operatic foundation in Italy. The Foundation offers an opportunity to whoever loves the cultural and artistic heritage of La Scala and participates towards towards maintaining its high quality, history and tradition.
Bosch, state of the art technologies: the future requires roots
At the start there was the “Precision mechanical and electro-technical workshop” created by Robert Bosch (1861 – 1942). That was in 1886. Today Bosch is a global leader in industrial Technology, in consumer goods and construction Technologies. In one-hundred and twenty-three years the dimensions, undertakings and scope may have changed, but the spirit is the same as it was at the outset.
In 1964 the Robert Bosch Foundation was created with the objective of pursuing the philanthropic and social undertakings of its Founder.
The Foundation has the majority shareholding in the Company, guaranteeing and safeguarding the economic independence and the possibility of pursuing long-term strategies.
Amongst its activities and objectives, the Foundation incentivises cultural projects at a national and international level, be it theatrical performances or major cinema productions.
In Italy, and in particular in Milan, Bosch has been present since 1904.
In 2008 in Italy the Group generated a turnover of Euro 2.3 billion, employing about 5,500 people in fifteen premises in the North and South of Italy.
In more than 100 years in Milan, in the spirit of the Foundation, Bosch has supported various ventures in a cultural and charitable context, with the purpose of contributing to the spread of knowledge and solidarity.
In this context, the partnership with La Scala Theatre saw the involvement of Bosch Rexroth (a producer of the main technologies for the activation, control and movement of machinery), that provided the technology for the movement of the sets during the recent refurbishment of the La Scala Theatre. As well as Bosch Security System, whose video surveillance and anti-intrusion technologies the La Scala Theatre uses for its security.
As a result, given also the cultural values and objectives of the Foundation, Bosch decided to support the DAM project, that provided the La Scala Theatre with an integrated system for the digital management of its heritage.
Our Company has always supported the principle that “The future needs roots”. Bosch operates in a perfect balance between tradition and modernity, and derives from this the energy it requires for its evolution.
This is why Bosch shared the objectives of the DAM project: preserving the extraordinary history of La Scala, organising and improving the public’s accessibility to the Theatre’s cultural heritage, while promoting and spreading the Theatre’s heritage.
FASTWEB: technical sponsor of the digitalization project of the archives of the La Scala Theatre
FASTWEB is currently participating in the presentation of the digitalization project of the archives of the La Scala Theatre of Milan that will provide access to photographs, posters, sketches, scores of the Theatre over the web to the studios “We are happy to associate the name of FASTWEB to an institution that is renowned for its excellence like La Scala Theatre” commented Luca Pacitto, Communications Manager of FASTWEB. “This project is a demonstration of how new technologies can enhance the artistic heritage by facilitating the archiving and use of the documents, by making them available to a larger audience. The involvement of FASTWEB in the development of this project demonstrates the company’s commitment to supporting high level cultural initiatives relating to music and the city of Milan”.
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