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Tamagno al Borgo
Tamagno at the Medieval Borgo
The Mediaeval Fortress and Village, built for the great Italian General Exposition in Torino in 1884, was inaugurated when Francesco Tamagno, at the height of his career, was in South America. But the tenor certainly could not forgo returning to his native town for the great events organised on that occasion, visiting the Pavilions of Electricity, Science and Work, in addition to the Fortress and Village. And it was there at the Fortress that he found himself in a theatrical atmosphere, in a realistically mediaeval setting, so well-finished in its details that even the surveillance personnel of the castle were dressed in fifteenth-century costumes: costumes similar to those of his celebrated characters, interpreted all over the world.
During the Exposition Tamagno probably met Giuseppe Verdi and their mutual friend Edmondo De Amicis; together, from Piazza Vittorio Veneto, they watched the spectacular fireworks at the Monte dei Cappuccini that Verdi liked so much. Tamagno then went up to Superga with the new funicular railway before performing, obviously, for the Turin public: on 7 October 1884 he was at Teatro Regio for an extra performance of Poliuto, the work that had made him famous eleven years earlier; on the following days he held charity concerts at Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, Teatro Scribe and the Rotunda of the Exposition in Valentino Park.
The symbolic “homecoming” of Francesco Tamagno, with the display of some of his prestigious costumes in the same places where the apex of his career was celebrated, is the confirmation of the historical continuity of an artist who, setting out from Turin, travelled the world.