The Metropolitan Opera Guild

Verdi Festival

2010-10-21 - 2010-10-30

Top Highlights:

"People come here to hear the real Verdi – Verdi as it should be played and sung. We are lucky enough in Parma to have this magnificent theatre, but also magical surroundings, full of castles, theatres, art...and not least, wonderful gastronomy" Mauro Meli, general director of the Teatro Regio, A Visit to the Opera in Parma by Juliet Giraldi, Opera Now Jan/Feb 2010.

We will celebrate the life and work of Italy’s pre-eminent composer while combining the pastoral attractions of the Emilia Romagna region with the urban sophistication of Milan, capital of Lombardy. Our journey starts in Parma, the heart of “Verdi Country”, a region known for both culinary and artistic achievements. Maria Luigia, the Duchess of Parma and a wife of Napoleon, was a major patron of the arts and a key influence in the cultural development of Parma, including the 1829 construction of the Teatro Regio, the principal performance location for the annual festival. Towards the end of her life, the young composer, born in the nearby village of Le Roncole, had started to make his mark in the opera world and would become a major figure in the city’s life later in the century. The rich musical heritage was further consolidated in 1867 with the birth of one of the world’s greatest conductors, Arturo Toscanini, memorialized in the city’s excellent Toscanini Museum. Each year the Fondazione selects works to stage at the Teatro Regio and the other theaters in the area. The musical pleasures of the festival will be complemented by sightseeing at the important Verdi sites in Le Roncole, Busseto and Sant’ Agata, the composer’s country home and further enhanced by opportunities to sample the peerless Italian cuisine that reaches its apogee in fall, the perfect time to visit Italy.

Towards the end of our stay in Parma, we include an afternoon and evening in one of the finest cities in Italy, Bologna, the capital of Emilia, and site of the famous university founded in the eleventh century. The old town, built almost exclusively of red brick, features attractive porticos along almost every street. The original opera house, opened in 1653, burned down in 1745 and the Teatro Comunale was inaugurated in 1763. Having been rebuilt after severe damage during WWII and renovated in 1980, the house is known for its superb acoustics and splendid interior. We are fortunate to hold a block of tickets in this extremely sought after house.

On leaving Parma we drive to Milan and continue exploring the history of Giuseppe Verdi with an elegant dinner in the Verdi Suites at the Grand Hotel et de Milan and a visit to Casa di Riposo, Verdi’s burial site. We include a visit to Museo Teatrale alla Scala, the Ansaldo workshops featuring set and costume design while allowing time at leisure for art museums and individual pursuits. Extensions can be arranged.

Price: $5,950  

For more information or a detailed itinerary
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