The province of Emilia-Romagna stradles the Po Valley and is fondly referred to as the "bread basket" of Italy. Whilst the capital is Bologna, the food epicentre is the city of Parma.
Parma is just a short distance from the small town of Busseto where Giuseppe Verdi was born (and where Carlo Bergonzi lived and had a restaurant for many years after retiring from the operatic stage) and within an hour of the historic cities of Mantua & Cremona.
Each year the city holds a festival dedicated to the music of Verdi with performances taking place in the classic Teatro Regio of Parma as well as the ‘piccolo’ 300 seat opera house Teatro Verdi in Busseto and the beautifully restored 17th century wooden baroque masterpiece Teatro Farnese.
We have received a ticket allocation of 30 seats for each of the performances. For the Requiem and Falstaff (both at the beautiful Teatro Regio in Parma) we have top price stall seats. For the performance of La Traviata in Busseto we have secured 20 stalls tickets and currently a further 10 gallery tickets (3rd level up on the photo right). For those of you familiar with Buxton Opera House the gallery seats are similar to their gallery so relatively high up with some restriction to view (although this is a tiny theatre) and are mainly bench seating.
The performance of Stifelio is an optional performance (at additional cost). The renowned British director Graham Vick has designed a production that involves the participation of the audience! He says “The public will assist the opera standing, moving freely around the stage, thus determining his own point of view and listening. Seats are not foreseen: an eventual seat number printed on the ticket is only for booking necessities. We invite the public to wear comfortable shoes. The performance lasts 2h 30’ about, with a 20’ interval”! SO if you are up for that you can add the ticket cost (£120) to your order or otherwise have a night off!
We will stay at the 4* Hotel du Parc in Parma on a bed & breakfast basis. As well as getting to know Parma itself, the day to day sightseeing will include visits to Verdi's home in Busseto; a visit to Cremona, the hometown of Stradivari (and 21st century luthiers) and the renaissance gem of Mantua. We will also focus on the superb gastronomy of the region.
We will fly from Manchester to Bologna on Ryanair (reserved forward seating and 20kg baggage allowance) and return from Bergamo to Manchester. Flight times are as follows:
Manchester – Bologna 1050 – 1415
Bergamo – Manchester 1720 – 1840
For our guests from the South we are will fly you from Gatwick to Milan Linate and you will then be transfered by minibus to Parma (just under two hours). There is no supplement for this service. Flight are with Easyjet and include forward seating and 20kg baggage. The details are:
Gatwick – Milan Linate 1320 – 1620
Milan Linate - Gatwick 1705 – 1755
During our stay we will also include two dinners, two suppers and two lunches (all with wine of course) and a full programme of sightseeing.
The deposit is £500 + your ticket subscription of £280 (covering the two performances at Teatro Regio and one in Busseto) is due at the time of booking. If you wish to add the performance of Stifelio please add an additional £120.