3 In General Info/ Italy/ Northern Italy

Exciting Festival Verdi in October | Parma, Italy

Festival Verdi when in Parma, Italy is a must, ouritalianjourney.com

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Teatro Regio and Festival Verdi


So you are in Parma, Italy – home of Parmesan Reggiano and Prosciutto but guess what else? Home of one of the greats… Giuseppe Verdi!

Teatro Regio di Parma

The Teatro Regio di Parma was originally constructed as the Nuovo Teatro Ducale Theatre and is the opera house in Parma, Italy. Located in the heart of Parma, at Strada Giuseppe Garibaldi, 16/a. It’s a must-see when visiting this beautiful town.

Gary and I took a private tour just before we were lucky to attend the 2016 Festival showing of Giuseppe Verdi’s, Il Trovatore.

The 1,400-seat auditorium, with four tiers of boxes topped by a gallery (which used to be complexly open), was inaugurated on May 16, 1829, when it presented the premiere of Vincenzo Bellini’s Zaira, but with all of its showings, it did not prove to be popular with the Parma audiences.  


The Teatro Regio achieved prominence in the years after 1829, especially after the composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was born only 20 miles from Parma, achieved fame after he came to direct Nabucco in 1843, which was a huge success. Since that time, the Teatro Regio has staged every one of his operas. Verdi was adopted by Parma as its native son.


Teatro Regio, Parma
the royal seats

For those who might not recognize the name, Giuseppe Verdi was to opera what the Beatles and Rolling Stones were and are to rock and roll.

Teatro Regio, Parma
the stage

Festival Verdi

Today, the company stages about four operas each season from mid-January to April, and, since 2003, it has presented an annual Verdi Festival each October in honor of the Maestro’s birthday. The festival is a delightful way to experience traditional and contemporary stagings of Verdi’s works.

Gary and I were very lucky to get the last few seats (and great ones too!) for the October 23rd showing of Il Trovatore, as part of the 2016 Festival Verdi. A central figure in Italian opera for much of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi wrote a total of twenty-eight operas. Almost half of them have been staples of the international operatic repertoire since their first productions. Verdi composed some of the most enduring operas of all time. 


Il Trovatore | Our night at the opera

The opera was amazing. We sat in Box 11 and met several nice people. Three of the people we met traveled from Milan, Bologna, and Genoa to see this opera. What struck me was that the words were projected above the stage in Italian and English. I asked Fabrizio (one of the gentlemen in our box seat) if that was common in Italy and he said that it was. Interesting.

Teatro Regio, Parma
Gary and I in 2016
Ilene from Our Italian Journey, ouritalianjourney.com

Editor’s Note:  This article was initially published in October 2016 and was updated in April 2023 for accuracy and additional information.


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  • Reply
    Nancy Petralia
    November 7, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    You did MUCH better than we did. Our seats–only ones available for the obscure opera Le Due Foscari–were up against the ceiling! Couldn’t see a thing. But the music was beautiful. No supertitles as I recall. Maybe that’s a new thing.

  • Reply
    Bernardine Codella
    February 19, 2021 at 10:32 am

    We visited this beautiful opera house when in Parma 2 years ago but unfortunately, there were no performances scheduled. We Did attend an opera at Teatro Massimo in Palermo and while it is certainly a thrilling experience, the boxes are small, confining and stiflingly hot. As we usually travel in warmer weather weather, we will have to look for outdoor performances in the future. Beautiful article, though.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2021 at 10:56 am

      Thank you so much Bernardine for the comment. We hope to return to Parma again for another performance!

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