Animation Artifacts &Luzzati & Gianini 03 Feb 2007 08:27 am

Emanuele Luzzati

Emanuele Luzzati has died. He was the brilliant Italian designer, who worked with Giulio Gianini in creating some wonderful animated cut-out films.

Their films adapted operatic overtures in reworking the operas themselves. The two were nominated for the Oscar for “The Thieving Magpie,” done in 1965 an interpretation of Rossini’s opera and again in 1973 for “Pulcinella.”

Luzzati died Jan. 26th, 2007 on the way home from work. He collapsed just outside his home. He hadn’t been ill prior to this. He spoke on the phone with Giulio Gianini, who has been very ill for some time, that very morning.

Luzzati designed sets and costumes for stage productions and operas, including the 1963 production he designed for Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” Fifteen years later he turned the opera into an animated feature that remains one of his most famous works.

He’s illustrated and written quite a few books. See this list on Amazon.

(Above: an image from his children’s book, Cinderella.)

The only Obituary I’ve seen for him was this one for the AP. It does give rather complete details of his life and work. AP Obituary.


I got to meet Mr. Luzzati years ago at a function given by the Italian Embassy in his honor. He signed a copy of his book by drawing a beautiful drawing for me (which is currently in storage). Someday I’ll post it.

As someone who loves the combination of animation with music, I have long had an enormous fondness for the works of Luzzati and Gianini. It was an honor to have met him and I continue to appreciate his films. My regret his never having seen one of the many operas he designed.

His work is wildly colorful and beautifully designed. I wish I had on hand some of his images in color. I will have some images later this week and will post them. It’s amazing how little there is about him on line.

You can get a bit more information about Luzzati and Gianini from the website to the Luzzati Museum.

6 Responses to “Emanuele Luzzati”

  1. on 31 Mar 2008 at 7:30 pm 1.Angie said …

    Hi, I’m doing an investigation about Luzzati as a set and costume designer, and I need to analize 3 of his most recent projects and I was wondering if maybe you know where I can find info and pics of his work and his scenery design. Thanks for the help

  2. on 09 Apr 2009 at 12:01 am 2.lydia said …


    In going through my videotapes and transferring them to dvd, I came across part of an animated version of Die Zauberflote. It is seventeen minutes long, and missing the opening credits. The soundtrack is conducted by Karl Bohm with the Berlin Philharmonic.

    I have been looking for information about this lovely film, and happened upon this site. I am wondering if what I have is the work of Emanuele Luzzati. The artwork which you show on this blog resembles the animation on my videotape.

    Can you help me?

    Thank you.

  3. on 09 Apr 2009 at 7:54 am 3.Michael said …

    Yes, it is The Magic Flute, a one hour program by Giannini and Luzzati. Their masterwork. I’m not sure if it’s available in dvd, though it was once released in vhs.

  4. on 18 May 2009 at 5:13 pm 4.Ioanna said …

    Giulio Giannini was a very dear friend of my parents and was very dear to me as well. I was told today that he passed away and i came across your blog by accident. I am a student and i am thinking of including his work in my dissertation. I have one of his short films in VHS but i wanted to ask if you know a possible way to find a book on his work where i could find much more information. You mention Sara Cortllazzo’s book but i believe it is impossible to find. Thank you very much for your help.

  5. on 18 May 2009 at 5:17 pm 5.Michael said …

    Hi Ioanna, Actually the book is impossible to find. I borrowed a copy, and its focus is more on Emanuele Luzzati than on Gianini. As a matter of fact, almost everything about their work seems difficult to locate. I have a vhs tape which is long out of print of several of their films. I think there may be another on sale at the Luzzati museum:

    However, I haven’t quite figured out how to know for sure without calling them directly.

  6. on 26 Aug 2009 at 10:59 am 6.Geoffrey said …

    I have three large sketches by him in colour, sketches for costumes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, bought from his dealer the Wight Hepburn gallery and framed by their regular framer Batoni.

    I want to sell them – any interest?? If so I will send you images

    geoffrey paradise

Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

eXTReMe Tracker
click for free hit counter

hit counter