MeMus is the Museum and Historical Archive of the San Carlo Theatre, and is housed at the Palazzo Reale. Inaugurated on 1st October 2011, this new space devoted to opera in Naples is not designed like a traditional museum, but instead has been set up as a multifunctional centre equipped with the most cutting edge technology to tell the story of the San Carlo Theatre, which is almost three hundred years old. The acronym MeMus is a fusion of the words ‘memory’ and ‘music’, thus already stating its mission at the moment of its inception: to make a museum of the theatre’s historical archives, as a way of sharing a memory that is revived by this enhancement of its heritage. A place of memory and innovation, multimedia screenings and signature works, designed to bring back to life the great artistic events that have lit?up the history of Europe’s oldest opera house, MeMus is a permanent institution at the service of the community, which safeguards, preserves, enhances and promotes the study and knowledge of its collections, documents and, in general, of the heritage it constitutes. Its intention is to open a privileged window onto the huge legacy of a theatre that has always been the city’s beating heart, a place/ symbol of excellence, experimentation and innovation. MeMus came into being out of the desire to recover, preserve and communicate the historical heritage of San Carlo, which has not been catalogued since 1737, the year in which the theatre was built. MeMus uses new technologies to subvert the very concept of an historical archive: the various types of document – from theatre programmes to opera librettos, from stage sketches to costume designs, from autograph manuscripts to vintage photos of the greatest artists who have trodden the boards?of this theatre and to rich audio-video material?- come to life thanks to technology and are reincarnated for visitors as part of what is at once an emotional and cognitive experience, enhanced by a spacious 300 m2 exhibition area, a 3D gallery, an events room that can seat at least 50 people, a shop (where visitors can buy products made ad hoc by the theatre’s tailoring department), and, lastly, a documentation centre on the prestigious history of San Carlo, accompanied by documents and multimedia accounts that can be viewed on iPads and shared online through email and social networks. The archive is ‘open’ to sharing, and ‘lives and breathes’ through the memory of ‘representation’, reinterpreting it in the most imaginative way: this archive does not set out?to ‘mummify’ its assets but instead makes them active and reactive in the very act of engagement.