A special mention should go to a Renaissance building in Ortona’s historic Terravecchia district: Palazzo Corvo, the headquarters of the Istituto Nazionale Tostiano. The institute is unique in Abruzzo and is dedicated to musicological studies, with its scope and raison d’etre specifically defined as the life and works of composer Francesco Paolo Tosti, other musicians from this region, and more generally vocal chamber music.
The Istituto Nazionale Tostiano vaunts a rich historical and artistic heritage that led to the foundation of the Museo Musicale d’Abruzzo – Archivio Francesco Paolo Tosti, inaugurated on 9 April 1994 by the famous soprano Renata Tebaldi. This is the first museum dedicated to music in this region and one of only a few in Italy.
The museum rooms are home to historical documents available for consultation, with a section dedicated to musical instruments, a music room for concerts and seminars, and two large rooms dedicated to the famous Abruzzo musician. The first room offers an essential timeline of the musician’s life from his studies (in Ortona and Naples) and early professional experiences (Rome) to his move to London in 1870. The second is a replica of Tosti’s music room in his London residence in Mortimer Street, reconstructed thanks to photographs and to a large number of donations made by his heirs. Visitors will enjoy exhibits including invitations from the royal court, hand-written and printed theatre programmes, Tosti’s own manuscript texts, and the Maestro’s original furniture, cutlery and silver, canvases by famous painters (Michetti, Sartorio, Chartran, Stoppoloni), numerous photographs with hand-written dedications, and interesting documents from Puccini, Verdi, Di Giacomo, Ricordi, D’Annunzio, Michetti, Leoncavallo, Cilea, Mascagni, De Leva, Serao, and Boito.