The city of music
One enters Parma as if it were a small, unique world. A splendid art city where food is an aspect of the culture, almost of erudition.
Parma has one of northern Italy’s most beautiful theatres, the Teatro Regio, forever one of the most feared testing grounds for opera singers.
Here the failure of an opera can be even more clamorous. Every autumn, around 10 October, Giuseppe Verdi’s birth date, the Regio hosts the Festival Verdi: a whole month of Verdi’s music.
This is also the birthplace of Arturo Toscanini. Nowadays, the house where he was born, in the working class Oltretorrente district, is a House-Museum open to the public.
Near Piazza Garibaldi, is the former Royal Music School, now the Arrigo Boito Music Conservatory, where Toscanini studied the cello.
Nowadays concerts are held in the Regio’s glorious auditorium and in the acoustically perfect new Auditorium Paganini, designed by Renzo Piano on the site of a former factory. It is also the headquarters of the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, a repository for the Master’s musical legacy, where the historic Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna and the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini play.
Also recent is the Casa della Musica, located in the 15th century Palazzo Cusani and the site of conferences, meetings, classes, concerts, a library and media centre, all open to the public.