Italy Celebrates Verdi Bicentennial: The Guide

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 05:49
Giuseppe Verdi

Carol King highlights what to look out for as Italy unites to sing Verdi in 2013.

Italy and the world are honouring the 200th year of the birth of Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi this year.

Verdi was born on 10 October 1813 in Northern Italy, in the small town of Busseto in Parma, Emilia-Romagna. So far, 2013 has seen the numerous productions of Verdi operas, among them, the first-ever performance of ‘Rigoletto’ in Bahrain, and an acclaimed production of ‘Nabucco’ by the Leipzig Opera in Germany. There are more than 360 events planned worldwide from New York and Sydney to Milan and Zurich.

The so-called ‘Swan of Busseto’ is being celebrated throughout the year in the boot from top to toe with performances of his works and special events. One essential purchase for Verdi lovers is a new book from Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director and acclaimed Italian orchestral conductor Riccardo Muti, ‘Verdi, l’Italiano’ (Verdi, The Italian). Muti asserts that Verdi’s genius has been overlooked – particularly in his native country. The conductor argues that Verdi was the patriarch of Italian music and able to stage the great human passions. Muti teaches readers how to listen to and appreciate music by guiding them through the twists and turns of Verdi’s life, unveiling a historical background that reveals much about Italy and the Italian people. The release date of the English translation is yet to be announced.

Aida - Giuseppe Verdi
Aida - Giuseppe Verdi

Guide to Verdian Events In Italy

Teatro Petruzzelli, Bari
In January, the opera house is mounting ‘Otello’ (Othello), followed by ‘Rigoletto’ from 31 May and his final opera, ‘Falstaff’ from 20 November.

Teatro Comunale, Bologna
The theatre will begin to pay its homage to Verdi on 5 February with a production of ‘Macbeth’ to open the season.

Teatro Ponchielli, Cremona
On 19 April, Cremona’s theatre will stage an evening dedicated to Verdi’s

Teatro Comunale, Ferrara
On 15 and 17 March, the theatre will present ‘La Traviata’, 160 years after its premier in Venice.

Teatro Comunale, Florence
The opera house is tagging productions of ‘Don Carlo’ from 2 May and ‘Macbeth’ from 17 June.

Teatro alla Scala, Milan
The world’s most famous opera houses honoured the great composer with a series of performances of ‘Falstaff’ that commenced on the 15th of January. Other Verdi operas to feature in the season are ‘Nabucco’ from 1 February, ‘Macbeth’ from 28 March, ‘Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio’ from 17 April, ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (A Masked Ball) from 9 July, ‘Don Carlo’ from 12 October and ‘Aida’ from 25 October. La Scala closes its Verdian year with a performance of ‘La Traviata’ on 7 December.

Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi
Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi

Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti, Modena
The theatre is mounting a production of ‘Otello’ from 10 March.

Teatro di San Carlo, Naples
Staging Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ from 24 February and ‘Rigoletto’ from 17 May.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo
Sicily’s Teatro Massimo will stage productions of ‘Nabucco’ from 22 March, ‘Aida’ from 12 April, ‘Rigoletto’ from 3 May and ‘I Vespri Siciliani’ (The Sicilian Vespers) from 11 to 13 June..

Teatro Regio, Parma
The opera season 2013 opened on 12 January with ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ and from 4 March, the theatre will stage ‘Nabucco’.

Teatro Municipale, Piacenza
The Verdi family lived in Piacenza for a time and the local theatre is celebrating their favourite son with a series of productions, starting 22 March with ‘Otello’, followed by ‘Rigoletto’ on 6 April, ‘Il Trovatore’ (The Troubadour) on 7 April and ‘La Traviata’ on 8 April.

Teatro Comunale Alighieri, Ravenna
The opera house begins it celebrations with a trilogy of productions in the autumn, starting with ‘Rigoletto’ on 9 November, which is followed by ‘Il Trovatore’ from 10 November and ‘La Traviata’ from 18 November.

Teatro Municipale Valli, Reggio Emilia
The theatre is mounting a production of ‘Macbeth’ from 1 March.

Teatro dell’Opera, Rome
The opera house is staging ‘I Due Foscari’ (The Two Foscari) from 6 March directed by Italian conductor Riccardo Muti and German film director Werner Herzog. From 16 July the theatre is staging ‘Nabucco’ under Muti’s direction.

Teatro Verdi, Trieste
The first opera house in the world to be named after Verdi, the theatre started its Verdi celebrations with a production of ‘Il Corsaro’ (The Corsair) on 11 January that inaugurated the season. From 8 March, the opera house is staging ‘Macbeth’.

La Traviata - Giuseppe Verdi
La Traviata - Giuseppe Verdi

Teatro Regio, Turin
On 5 March, the theatre kicks off its Verdi season with ‘La Traviata’ and follows that up on 10 April with ‘Don Carlo’. RAI-Radio3 will broadcast both operas.

Teatro La Fenice, Venice
On 18 January, the theatre began its celebrations with ‘I Masnadieri’ (The Bandits), and the season includes productions of ‘Otello’ from 10 July and ‘La Traviata’ from 30 August.

Arena, Verona
The prestigious Arena Roman amphitheatre opens it season on 14 June with ‘Aida’. The season continues with ‘Nabucco’ from 15 June, ‘La Traviata’ from 22 June, ‘Il Trovatore’ from 6 July, Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ on 13 July, ‘Rigoletto’ from 9 August, and a gala evening on 17 July features selections from various Verdi operas. On 4 July and 18 August, revered Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo will perform the title role in ‘Nabucco’. On 24 August, Domingo will also conduct a version of ‘Aida’ inspired by the original 1913 stage version.