Monday, June 14, 2010

Visions of Verdi – October 1 - 28, 2010 - Parma, Italy Invites Us to Celebrate Its Favorite Son

Nestled on the ancient Roman road between Milan and Bologna, the city of Parma and its surrounds harbor treasures far beyond its diminutive size. For food, it offers mouthwatering Prosciutto di Parma, Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, Colli di Parma wines, and balsamic vinegar aged in antique barrels from nearby Modena. For history, ancient castles grace its countryside and the beautiful Palazzo Ducale, its interior. For music, the birthplace of Arturo Toscanini, Paganini’s Studio and resting place, and of course, Giuseppe Verdi.

One of opera’s most influential and best loved composers, Verdi was born in Roncole, a village outside of Busseto on the outskirts of Parma. Every year, Parma itself becomes an enormous stage as it erupts in celebration of Verdi’s birthday. This October, Parma’s streets will be filled with movement, sound and colour for 28 days through music, artistic exhibitions and colourful puppet shows. Cafes, bars and restaurants will showcase the Tastes of Verdi. If past Festivals are any indication, many a patron will burst into spontaneous operatic song, inspired by the sheer joy of the experience.

On October 13 and 16, the Arturo Toscanini Conducting Competition will be held at the Auditorium Niccolo’ Paganini di Parma. As described by Giancarlo Liuzzi, the Communications Director for Teatro Regio di Parma, the excitement of the Competition is “…to see a new career born in that precise moment.”

And we haven’t even discussed the Festival’s 15 days of operas yet! This year, the Main Events are:

Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio di Parma. Featuring Marcelo Alvarez, Norma Fantini, Caludio Sgura, Marianna Tarasova, Deyan Vatchkov, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov.

I Vespri Siciliani at the Teatro Regio di Parma. Featuring Fabio Armiliato, Daniela Dessi, Leo Nucci, Giacomo Prestia, conducted by Massimo Zanetti.

Attila at the Teatro Verdi di Busseto and Teatro Magnani di Fidenza. Featuring Roberto De Biasio, Giovanni Battista Parodi, Teresa Romano, conducted by Andrea Battistoni.

To learn more about this amazing Festival, download the Festival booklet in English. (Although the webpage is in Italian, I assure you that the booklet is in English.)

Please keep in mind that the city of Parma is small, and rooms fill up very quickly for the Verdi Festival. Luckily, nearby cities like Milan and Bologna are about a half hour’s drive away and offer many more accommodations. For travel arrangements, contact

No comments: