Margherita Palli was born in Canton Ticino, Switzerland in 1951. She studied in Switzerland and Italy, graduating in set design at Brera Fine Arts Accademy in 1976.
She immediately began working on several art exhibitions. Between 1980 and 1984 she was assistant to Gae Aulenti for theatre productions and she worked on Musée d’Orsay layout for two years.
In 1984 she began a long professional partnership with Luca Ronconi, creating sets for most of his major projects in many Italian and European theatres as Venice Biennale, Piccolo Teatro and Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Theatre of Roma, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Salzburg Festival, Monnaie de Bruxelles, Greek Theatre of Siracusa.
Some of the most acclaimed productions are The Merchant of Venice (1987, Paris,Odéon-Comédie Française), Oberon (1993, Milano, Teatro alla Scala), The Damnation of Faust and The Makropulos Affair (1992-94, Turin, Teatro Regio), Trovatore (1992, Munich, Bayerische Staatsoper), Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana and Mourning Becomes Electra (1996-97, Rome, Teatro di Roma), Tosca (1997, Milan, Teatro alla Scala), Don Giovanni (1999, Salzburg, Salzburger Festspiele), Lolita and The Venetian Twins (2001, Milan, Piccolo Teatro); Prometheus, Bacchantes and The Frogs (2002, Siracusa, Greek Theatre), Traviata (2002, Tokyo, New National Theatre), Falstaff (2006, Florence, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Armida (2014, Pesaro, Rossini Opera Festival).
She has also worked for drama and opera with directors as Franco Branciaroli, Andrea Barbini, Mauro Avogadro, Liliana Cavani, Cesare Lievi and Mario Martone.
She is also valued as exhibition designer for celebrated brands (Artemide, Molteni, Gianfranco Ferrè, Dior) and art events (Van Dyck, Sebastiano del Piombo, China – Birth of an Empire).
Winner of many prizes (Award UBU for 6 times, Award Abbiati for 3 times, Award ETI,Guinness World Record for the biggest wall screen), Teatro alla Scala Foundation has recently pubblished her monograph.