Everybody knows that Parma is the home of some of Italy’s most famous exports, namely Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), Parmesano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese), Balsamic Vinegar and, of course, Ferrari and Maserati! But did you know that one of the greatest composers of all time also hails from the province of Parma? Giuseppe Verdi was born there in October 1813, and every year the region celebrates the life of one of their favourite sons! The Verdi Festival takes place every year in and around Parma and people come from near and far to listen to his operas being performed in his home territory. This year will be especially wonderful as 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of his birth, and no effort has been spared to make this anniversary a very special showcase for his work.
Giuspeppe Verdi and Parma province.
Giuseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole and later lived in near-by Busetto in the province of Parma. It is in Busetto that Verdi’s musical talent was first nurtured by Ferdinando Provesi, of the local Philharmonic. After some time spent in Milan learning all he could about music, the prodigy returned to the province of his childhood and became the town’s music teacher. His twenties were marred by great hardship when he lost both his children and his wife, but the Maestro went on to overcome his grief and his best works were composed in the years that followed his tragic loss.
The Giuspeppe Verdi Festival in Parma
The 2013 bi-centennial Verdi festival is a must for all opera lovers, and many special tours and opera packages have been arranged to bring music lovers to Parma. There will be an opera or concert every day at the historic Teatro Regio di Parma (which is also the final resting place of Nicolo Paganini, one of the most renowned violinists in the world) and at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto. Many other side events will take place all over the countryside.
Attending a Verdi Opera or concert at the fabulous Teatro Regio in Parma is an experience you will not easily forget; the beautiful neoclassic style of the theatre makes this an exceptional venue to enjoy the music, and you will be moved by the enthusiasm of the local opera patrons who are very knowledgable about Verdi’s music and respond most enthusiastically.
Operas are usually performed in their original language, and if you do not speak Italian, your experience will be enhanced by reading the libretti – an English synopsis of the story of the Opera – before you arrive for the concert. ( Libretti usually accompany your tickets). Oh yes, do dress smartly for the Opera – on opening nights formal attire is the norm, and for the other performances at least a tie and/or jacket would be acceptable.
The 2013 festival runs from the 30th September to the 31st of October and you can browse all the performance dates and book online at: