Verdi’s Places – The Master in Parma

Today, everything in the city is about Verdi. If you’re tourists or lovers of Verdi, turning the streets of Parma you will always find references to the Master, sites and monuments dedicated to him.

Let’s start with a monument that no longer exists (or rather: is still there, but only in part): the one that stood right in front of the train station, designed by Lamberto Cusani in 1913 to celebrate the centenary of Verdi and finished to build in 1920. the monument consisted of a large triumphal arch, crowned with twenty-eight statues representing the works of the Master.

monumento verdi

Source: clubdei27.it

The monument was slightly damaged by bombs during the Second World War, but at the end of the conflict, instead of repairing it, it was decided to knock it down to build palaces. Some statues were stolen from private individuals, other even thrown into the river Parma. Only nine were rescued and transported to the Cinema “Arena del Sole” in Roccabianca, where they still reside.

Guareschi explains the reasons for this ‘treatment':

During the preparation period to the constitutional referendum [1950 NDR], the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in the square of former prefecture was blown up with dynamite.  So the men of the “liberation” did not forgive Verdi that he, in the bronze high relief of the monument, shake his hand with Vittorio Emanuele, nor forgave the “Viva VERDI” mentioned in the same figuration” (Source: gazzettadiparma.it).

There was therefore a (short) period in which Verdi was not loved in Parma, mainly because of its relationship with King Vittorio Emanuele II. Of the monumental complex remains today only the central granite altar with reliefs in bronze by Ximenes, located near the walls of the Pilotta Palace, in a corner of the Peace Square.

Monumento a Verdi Pilotta Parma

Source: wikipedia.it

For a complete description of the altar, we refer to the website of the “Club of 27″ (if you do not know what the “Club” is, have a look here) and if you are interested in finding other monuments “disappeared” in Parma I invite you to consult the exhaustive Wikipedia page.

Right next to Peace Square there is also another place inextricably linked to Verdi: The Crypts “Farnesiane”, where – somebody said – the Master went to look for inspiration. The crypts are located inside the Basilica of Santa Maria of the Steccata and host the bodies of fourteen princes and dukes of Bourbon-Farnese, including Alexander Farnese, Ranuccio I and II Farnese, Francesco Farnese, Philip of Bourbon.

Cripte farnesiane Giuseppe Verdi chiesa della Steccata

Source: canino.info

A few steps from Steccata at n. 1 of Via Melloni, there is the National Institute of Verdi Studies, which is responsible to protect, enhance and promote the work and the figure of Giuseppe Verdi through a number of initiatives and activities . The Institute can claim an extensive network of facilities (library, archive of Verdi’s correspondence, discoteque, visual archive) that provide their stuffs for anyone who want to undertake research on Verdi.

The Library contains about 16 thousand volumes, especially music, books, orchestral scores, but also bibliographies of Verdi and other composers of the nineteenth century, periodicals, scenography books. The Archive of Correspondence is a collection of about 28 thousand reproductions of letters, more or less all the letters written or received by Verdi over a lifetime. Very interesting is also  the Visual Archive, which has about 3,200 images, including sketches of sets, of costumes, of stage equipment, pictures of Verdi, of singers and musicians.

Here is a complete list of preserved material by the various departments.

If from Peace Square you pass the Pilotta heading towards the Ducal Park, you’ll have to go under a stone bridge, called the “Verdi Bridge” in honor of the Master. After visiting the park, then you may feel the desire to go to another site dedicated to Verdi: the headquarters of the “Verdi Chorale“, a place that for decades is the center of cultural life in Parma, staging concerts, taking part in opera productions, achieving success home and abroad.

la-corale-verdi

Here is an article about the “Chorale”.

Finally, the “Royal Theater“: it is the fulcrum of the opera season in Parma, as well as being considered one of the most important traditional theaters in Italy. They are called “traditional theaters” all those theaters that show to give greater support to local artistic and musical traditions (Source).

Fonte: dormireaparma.it

Source: dormireaparma.it

Teatro Regio Parma Giuseppe Verdi Festival Verdi

Source: teatroregioparma.it

Although it is not known abroad like other Italian theaters (such as “La Scala” in Milan and “La Fenice” in Venice), the “Royal Theater” is considered by fans one of the greatest world temples of the Opera. It was Marie Louise, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, to “push” for its construction, arguing that the Teatro Farnese was inadequate to the needs of the city. So in 1829, after eight years of work, was inaugurated with the opera “Zaira”, specially composed for the occasion by Bellini.

More information about the architecture of the theater are available at the official website of the “Royal”.
HERE there is a huge photo album that shows every corner of this marvel temple of music.

 

If you want to discover other places related to adolescence and maturity of Verdi’s take a look at the first and second part of this journey.



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