Passion for great music flows in the veins of the city of Parma. Refined and elegant Ducal court, Parma has welcomed music lovers and seen the birth of internationally renowned and immortal artists of the calibre of Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi, Ildebrando Pizzetti and Ferdinando Paer.
The people of Parma are deeply attached to their musical traditions. On the occasion of the bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth (1813-2013), Parma Incoming set up Musicaparma to give added value to the musical culture of the city. The programme combines musical events with a journey into the Verdi homelands. Thus, you can experience exclusive private concerts given by internationally renowned artists, by talented young musicians or by exceptional ensembles as well as discovering the cultural and artistic treasures, the talent for handicrafts and the local wine and food traditions of the land associated with Maestro Verdi.
The cultural calendar inspired by the memory of the great Maestro is rich and varied but the high point is the Verdi Festival. This internationally renowned opera event has taken place every year since 2007 in October, the month when Verdi was born. Over the years, world famous artists as well as highly gifted young performers have attracted a truly international following amongst opera lovers. The festival includes operas, concerts and related events held in the Parma Teatro Regio and the Teatro Verdi in Busseto.
Busseto itself together with the villages of Roncole and Sant’Agata are obligatory stops on a journey to discover the cultural background and the spirit which allowed Giuseppe Verdi to flourish. The Trail of Music and Melodrama develops in the Verdi homelands with visits to the house where Verdi was born, the Verdi Theatre, the Barezzi House, Villa Verdi itself and the Renata Tebaldi museum. The trail concludes in Cremona at the Violin Museum with its treasure house of Stradivarius violins. The annual manifestation in Busseto to find a Verdi voice, the Concorso Internazionale Voci Verdiane “Città di Busseto”, was begun in 1961 and is now an important date in the musical calendar thanks also to the fact that major artists of the calibre of Carlo Bergonzi and Jose Carreras have acted as judges.
The true temple of music in Parma is the Teatro Regio: a real jewel both in terms of its elegance and the fine acoustics system. The fame of this theatre will forever be linked to that of Giuseppe Verdi, Arturo Toscanini and Niccolò Paganini. All great performers aspire to tread the boards at the Teatro Regio, to breathe the spirit of its long tradition but also because of the audience reputation for competence and knowledge.
Ideally this theatre is part of the circuit of the significant theatres along the Via Emilia including the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza, the Teatro Comunale in Modena named for Luciano Pavarotti, the Teatro Valli in Reggio Emilia and the XVIII century Teatro Comunale in Bologna.
In the Parma area there are many small centres which host prestigious theatres, heritage of a past when opera really was a passion felt throughout society. The most important example is the above cited Teatro Verdi in Busseto but other small jewel- like theatres are the Teatro Magnani in Fidenza and the Teatro of Fontanellato.
Though much appreciated for its tradition associated with the music of Verdi, Parma is also a natural destination for elite tourism linked to organ music. Precious antique organs can be found in many city churches and the annual Organ Festival Fiori Musicali is a unique occasion to listen to the exquisite sound of these extraordinary instruments.
Verdi, Stradivari and Monteverdi, land of maestri and much more
Verdi in concert in Busseto and in opera in Modena
Verdi Homelands tour
Parma International Organ Festival “Fiori Musicali”
Verdi between Busseto and Piacenza: the places, the music and the opera
Verdi in Busseto and “Falstaff” at the Ravenna Festival 2015
In the footsteps of Verdi and Toscanini