Festival Verdi


You may not know the composer Giuseppe Verdi, but you sure know his operas. Va’ pensiero,Libiamo i lieti calici and the famous Aida march are just a few of his famous works, renown the world over thanks to their modern style and the relative ease they can be sung. In Italy, Verdi is so beloved that his face long appeared on the 1000 lire, the basic banknote used before the introduction of the Euro.

Nowhere he is more loved than in Parma and the nearby village of Busseto, where he was born 201 years ago. As a matter of fact, he was the reason behind building the Teatro Regio – one of the most important opera houses in the world – in a minor town like Parma. This is where his works were celebrated when he was alive, and still are through the Festival Verdi, a month-long event attracting people from all over the world.

The central event of this festival are two operas (in 2014 they were La forza del destino andLa traviata), whose ticket sales fund the constant restoration of the theatre. Around these shows, performed by major artists, the city organizes many other smaller events, all of them conceived to bring opera music closer to the general public. Some examples of these fun (and free) performances are Verdian concerts for sax, an ocarina ensemble, marching band, or a duo of guitar and accordion. If you feel too serious for them however, Parma has a program of conferences, lectures, exhibitions and conventions covering every possible aspect in the life of Verdi and its featured works.