Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly” premiered 1904 at Milan’s La Scala. But in opposite to his earlier works, the reaction from the audience and critics had not been favorable. They claimed that music and story had been too similar to his earlier creations.
As a sensible artist, Puccini withdrew the opera and rewrote it, so that it had its second premiere only three months later in Brescia. Now it received a more positive reaction. In the following years Madame Butterfly travelled all over the world, including performances at the famous opera houses of Buenos Aires, Paris and the US. Puccini accompanied the opera to most of these places to arrange the performances and see how the local audience reacts to it. Based on this, Puccini still made sever changes to the opera and in 1907 finished the fifth and final version.
As he was an artist it was important to him to create a perfect work. A similar attitude, what had also his fellow countryman Enzo Ferrari: “I should like to put something new into my cars every morning.” As child, before getting the idea to become a race driver, he wanted to be an opera singer. Still later he comprehended manufacturing as the art to build hand-made cars. Until the 1960’s hardly one of his cars had been identical to an earlier one. This as the company tailored them after the individual client, but also Ferrari always included new ideas to build better cars. For this it is understandable that Enzo never became a friend of the automated factory production. He understood that it was the necessary next step for the company, but as it was not inside his nature, he searched for a partner and found it in 1969 with Fiat.
A good example of his artisan way to build cars is the 330 TRI (“Testa Rossa Independente”). After the first of the legendary Testa Rossa debuted in ’56, six years later the company built with the 330 TRI the last of them. With this car the era of the front-engine prototypes should find its final chapter, as the 330 TRI became the last car with a front-engine to win the traditional 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the car itself was not an end, as the race car development was a continuous flow. Its design included elements from other Ferraris, like the shark from 156 F1 or the back from 250 GTO, and inspired later cars.
The sound of its traditional twelve cylinder engine is like an orchestra and the combination of acceleration and deceleration composes its own opera. No surprise that 2015 Puccini and Ferrari officially came together, while the operas had been performed at Bologna’s Enzo Ferrari Auditorium.
Enzo never became a friend of industrial production. Ironically is that today’s and tomorrow’s production seems to give his approach a comeback:
- Content is liberated from physical storage mediums as CD, DVD, books and newspaper. This means that content does not have to be static, but can be in a flow to be adapted when necessary. Articles at news portal can be rewritten as soon as new information is available. With this tablets have an advantage against printed daily newspapers. Even if here the effect is most obvious, it affects also other media: books can printed on demand and musicians do not have to create a whole album, but can release continuously their songs.
- New production possibilities, including 3D-printers, give small scale production a possibility to compete with the mass producers. A good example is today the electric car manufacturer Tesla, but can go much further than that.
- Needs and wishes from today’s and tomorrow’s generations create new solutions to old topics. Often these ideas come from companies outside the traditional market. Apple revolutionized the music sector, Uber takes on the established Taxi business and online sales is slowly replacing the established department-stores.
Some established companies are not able to change and adapt, but for the consumer it is a change to see again more diversity. This offers new perspectives for artists, startups and craftsmen to challenge the big global players.
- Henz, Patrick (2017): “Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Art & History”
- Henz, Patrick (2017): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”