Carlo Ferrario worked as an assistant at the Teatro alla Scala in 1859, taking the place of Filippo Peroni as director fo scenography in 1867. In that capacity he designed the 1869 revival of LA forza del destino. By 1871 his relations with La Scala had disintegrated. In a letter to Verdi of 23 May 1871, Ricordi informs the composter that "the management has determined to change the scenic designer, replacing Ferrario with some better artist."
But Ferrario was again on the scene in 1886-88, preparing thesets for Verdi's Otello. His designs are printed in Bignami, Cinquecento bozzetti di scenografia di Carlo Ferrario. Several drawings for the 1869 Forza can be found in "Sorgete! Ombre serene!" 63-65. Verdi must have liked the Forza sets greatly, for he apparently wrote congratulating Ferrario, a letter the designer wanted to produce but could not find, in 1886 when he was competing for an academic position.