Point of interest

Teatro regio

Via Garibaldi, 16/a, Bedonia, (Parma)

The Teatro Regio di Parma, originally constructed as the Nuovo Teatro Ducale (New Ducal Theatre), is an opera house and opera company in Parma, Italy.

Replacing an obsolete house, the new Ducale achieved prominence in the years after 1829, and especially so after the composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was born near Busseto, some twenty miles away, had achieved fame. Also well known in Parma was the conductor Arturo Toscanini, was born there in 1867.

As has been noted by Lee Marshall, "while not as well known as La Scala in Milan or La Fenice in Venice, the city’s Teatro Regio....is considered by opera buffs to be one of the true homes of the great Italian tradition, and the well-informed audience is famous for giving voice to its approval or disapproval – not just from the gallery."

The 1,400-seat auditorium, with four tiers of boxes topped by a gallery, was inaugurated on 16 May 1829 when it presented the premiere of Vincenzo Bellini's Zaira, a production which was staged another seven times, although it did not prove to be popular with the Parma audiences. Initially Rossini had been invited to compose a work for the inauguration of the house, but he was too busy and so the task fell to Bellini. However, that innauural season saw three Rossini opera staged including Moïse et Pharaon, Semiramide, and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

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.

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