Omar Galliani creates anOpera for Zeffirelli, on the centenary of his birth

Omar Galliani has created a work for Franco Zeffirelli, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth. On display from Oct. 28 to Nov. 30, 2023 at the non-profit Franco Zeffirelli Foundation in Florence.

From Oct. 28 to Nov. 30, 2023, the Fondazione Franco Zeffirelli Onlus in Florence presents the installation Un’Opera per Zeffirelli, created by Omar Galliani as a tribute to director and set designer Franco Zeffirelli on the centenary of his birth. The project is realized in collaboration with the artMacs Cultural Association and the Maestro Cultural Association, performing Artists from Zeffirelli Foundation, with the patronage of the City of Florence and the Region of Tuscany and the participation of Tornabuoni Arte.

Un’Opera per Zeffirelli, the title of the exhibition project, stems from the idea of playing on the double meaning of the word “opera” in the artistic sphere: on the one hand, Zeffirelli’s operas, which have become part of the history of entertainment and of the collective imagination, and on the other hand, Galliani’s works of art, capable of renewing and reinventing the great tradition of Italian design, bringing it to a monumental dimension. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is also the subject from which Galliani was inspired to pay homage to the director.

The Music Room of the Franco Zeffirelli Onlus Foundation, which began as the Oratory for the Oratorians of San Filippo Neri, houses a large panel by Omar Galliani. A beam of light illuminates an ultramarine blue face, made with polychrome pastels and gold leaf. The woman’s face, an expression of fragility and fortitude, is reflected in her double, in a flight of flowers and butterflies. A long printed carpet is instead projected toward the apsidal basin.

“Omar Galliani is a Master who, while looking to the past, has developed an art that is exquisitely contemporary,” writes Pippo Zeffirelli, president of the Franco Zeffirelli Onlus Foundation. “The same love for the past and the same adherence to the present have always characterized Franco Zeffirelli’s work. An ancient wisdom combined with a profound knowledge of contemporary technical and expressive means have made his works instantly classic.”

“Both as a curator and as president of the Maestro Association,” said Matteo Corati, “I am happy that one of the best international contemporary artists has chosen to celebrate one of the greatest artists of Italian staging and directing, who is also esteemed worldwide, through an installation that enshrines the primacy of drawing, in search of an idea of beauty expressed through an ancient technical wisdom that addresses and uses the language of our present. A living and open installation that will also be an object of training and testing for young students.”

“Among the objectives of the artMacs Cultural Association, established in memory of my brother Maximilian,” concluded Michelangelo Galliani, “is the support and promotion of young artists. It is therefore with pleasure that we accepted the invitation of the Franco Zeffirelli Onlus Foundation and Matteo Corati, Massimiliano’s fellow student and president of the Maestro Association, to be part of an artistic project that reserves great space for youth creativity.”

During the opening month, a number of concerts in the dark will be held by the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence, thanks to the availability of director Giovanni Pucciarmati. There will also be a masterclass by Omar Galliani, titled Dal disegno all’installazione (From drawing to installation), aimed at teachers, students and graduates of Fine Arts Academies and schools of higher education (information and registration at

The Zeffirelli Museum can be visited Tuesday through Sunday with hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 5 p.m.). Closed Mondays. For info:

Image: Omar Galliani, Un Blu Oltremare for Madama Butterfly, detail of installation at the Franco Zeffirelli Onlus Foundation

Omar Galliani creates anOpera for Zeffirelli, on the centenary of his birth
Omar Galliani creates anOpera for Zeffirelli, on the centenary of his birth

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