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Verdi's Theatres

Verdi Theatre in Busseto

verdi theatreThe Giuseppe Verdi Theatre in Busseto was built after 1856, when the Municipality became the owner of the Pallavicino Fortress  which dominates Piazza Verdi, and took the place of the small theater space located in the fortress where Verdi directed the philharmonic symphony of Busseto. 

The theatre was opened in August 1868 with a performance of Rigoletto then of Un ballo in maschera. The women in the audience wore green and the men wore green ties, but Verdi himself did not attend the performance, due to public quarrels which forced him to leave his hometown. The dance scene was performed by Virginia Zucchi, who was destined to become one of the greatest ballet dancers of her time.

Toscanini conducted there in 1913, centenary of Verdi’s birth, and again in 1926, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the composer’s death.
Recently restored, this theater has maintained its original two tiered wooden stage, gallery and elegant golden molding, along with its beautiful allegorical decorations.


The entrance of the theater consists of a portico and then a large staircase decorated with a bust of Verdi done by Giovanni Duprè. There are also many decorations done by Parma citizens Giuseppe Baisi and Alessandro Malpeli, while the medallions on the ceiling were done by the Busseto resident Isacco Gioacchino Levi (1865). The stage still preserves the stage sets for Falstaff created in 1926 for the La Scala Theatre in Milan.

Tourist information:

Local site: Parma


Magnani Theatre in Fidenza

fidenza theatre

The "Girolamo Magnani" Theatre in Fidenza in the province of Parma was built in the first half of the 19th century. Designed by Nicola Bettoli, the ducal architect of Maria Luigia, who also built the Teatro Regio in Parma, this theater is one of the loveliest monuments of the city. 

A particularity of this theatre are the hand executed decorations by the set designer Girolamo Magnami which are rich in precious gilt stucco-work, allegoric figures, and perspective games which are multiplied in the large mirrors with gilt wooden frames in a style reminiscent of French models.

Magnami himself also designed and painted the scenes for the performance of Trovatore on the occasion of the inauguration of the theatre in October 1861, besides the many other sets he desined for Verdi's works, including that of Simone Boccanegra in 1881 at La Scala.

Between 1870 and 1871, a dance floor was built above the stage with a parapet for carnival bals and seven years later the theatre became the home of a musical theater school. Recently restored, this theater also has a lovely foyer with frescoed vaults with little angels among flower garlands, which where also done by Girolamo Magnani, to whom this theater is dedicated. 


Visits upon reservation:

Telephone: 0524.517412


Tourist information

Local site: Parma



Regio Theatre in Parma


The Regio Theatre of Parma, built according to the wishes of Duchess Maria Luiga in 1829 is a must visit for lovers of Verdi's music: in the magnificent setting of its architectural structure, this theater hosts a spectacular series of operas, while its archive includes all the correspondence, iconographic material and press releases about the activity of this theater

The first years of this theater were those in which, in addition to the supreme works of Rossini, both Belllini and Donizetti began to make a name for themselves.  In Parma during the decade from the summer of 1830 to the spring of 1840, 69 shows were put on of which 17 were by Rossini, 15 by Donizetti and 12 by Bellini for a total of 44 out of 69.  Just ten years later, the situation changed drastically with the arrival of the “cyclone” of Verdi. Out of 71 shows, Donizetti did 11, Rossini 7, Bellini 4, and Verdi 23.  Verdi alone did more shows than the old trio all together. Verdi was, just a few years after his “popular trilogy”, the most important Italian composer, and maybe even the most important in the world: the same title was held just a few decades before by Rossini.

Verdi's works championed 1800s Italian opera, even if there were many historical and economic changes as well as other artists from abroad who began to compete with Italy such as Meyerbeer,  Gounod, Halévy, Flotow, Bizet, Gomes, Massenet, Thomas, Saint-Saëns, and last but not least Wagner; these changes were did not go unnoticed by the Regio theater.  Despite all of this, many works by Verdi left their mark on this period: Don Carlo in 1869, and the celebrated Aida in 1872, which was directed by Verdi himself.


To visit the theatre:
Teatro Regio
via Garibaldi, 16 - Parma
Telephone: 0521.218685


Tourist information

Local site: Parma

Last modified Jan 10, 2017

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