Anna Anni: Good Morning Teacher!

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Sketch Anna Anni, private collection

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“The Duchess” by Beatrice Brandini 

In high school I had the good fortune to have a great teacher, rigorous, capable, creative, authoritative, reserved, and above all generous, the generosity of those who excel in their field or profession and not did they make a boast but rather share it and gives it to others: this “teacher” was called Anna Anni and she was a costume designer famous all over the world. 

“The night I went to Rome on the set, the next day I was at my teaching post”. Anna Anni

I want to remember she for love, but above all to bring those who do not yet know (the younger), this great creative figure who has, through its customs, characterized the last century, making magnificent films or theater.

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Anna Anni watercolor, private collection 

Anna Anni began in 1953 by creating the costumes for two works, the Volpone and Locandiera, both directed by Orson Welles. She dressed Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Carla Fracci, Anna Magnani, Valentina Cortese, Rossella Falk, Rudolf Nureyev, and many others.

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Anna Anni watercolor, private collection 

Crucial was the meeting with Franco Zeffirelli with whom she worked for more than sixty years, the onset training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence to Rome. The meeting and the association of these two genes of the theater is inseparable from the House of Art Cerratelli, famous tailoring where both realized their first professional experience, from a tailor’s shop in Via della Pergola to theaters around the world.

Zeffirelli remembered her like this: “Anna was gifted with great talent, perhaps more than all of us, but she was shy, modest.The knowledge of the historical cut and the meticulous research of the detail made her extraordinary costumes, emblems of precious historical evocations. moved to see the costumes he had designed for Maria Stuarda with the two primedonne Valentina Cortese Rossella Falk and for an unforgettable Carmen at the Verona Arena.  But all of her things were beautiful and they triumphed in the most prestigious theaters of the world ».

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Sketch Anna Anni, private collection 

The House Of Art Cerratelli was born in 1916 at the behest of the baritone Arturo Cerratelli that he decided to collect his costumes. But it was in the thirties, who became an important couture, specializing in period costumes for film and theater. Also collaborated with artists such as tailoring Felice Casorati, Salvador Dali, Pietro Cascella, Primo Conti, Renato Guttuso, Mino Maccari, Piero Tosi.

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Anna Anni: costume for Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1983, played by Rossella Falk 

In 1987, together with Maurizio Millenotti was nominated for an Oscar for best costumes for Zeffirelli’s Otello.

“My little Anna was a rare talent …. it was the best costume I’ve ever seen.” Franco Zeffirelli

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Anna Anni: costume for Othello, in 1986, played by  Katia Ricciarelli 

    

Sketches by Anna Anni

I remember she as being “outside world”, the daughter of another era, one in which education, culture, sense of responsibility still had value and were key features for a more just world.

Still Zeffirelli said: “In a spiteful planet inhabited by people always ready to want to look better than it is, she stood taller than anyone, even if it was necessary – and almost never succeeded – to get her out of her swamp of humility and modesty. that sometimes, I confess, it seemed to me even unbearable: as soon as it was said good she immediately shook her head and scoffed with embarrassment “.

“I’ve always been behind the scenes, I’ve never wanted to steal space from the directors I’ve worked on for the rest of my life I’ve taught drawing at the Tornabuoni school”.  Anna Anni

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Anna Anni while receiving the Award of Excellence in 2007 of the Italian Academia

All those who have had the chance to meet her, collaborate with her or, like me, draw from her important and valuable lessons have been lucky. Thanks Anna Anni for giving us emotions through your work, your class and your commitment! I certainly will never forget you.

    

    

Sketches through some decades of the twentieth century, by Beatrice Brandini

Good life to all!

Beatrice

 

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