Teatro Regio di Parma's October Verdi Festival pairs the local hero's blood, guts & tears opera with the sumptuous fall harvest booty -- pumpkin purée wrapped in sweet eggy pasta, deeply-pink veined culatello and spalla cotta, juicy wild game and crisply-bubbling Lambrusco reds. And unbashful pear and apple mostarda. Or not. Or w/e. There's always the Autogrill's reheated pitstop panini.
In October, the petite Parma theater marks the 199th birthday of Maestro Verdi with two operas and a concert -- Rigoletto opens the festival on October 1 with five replications in Pier Luigi Samartini's 1987 production and stars Leo Nucci, Desirée Rancatore and Michele Pertusi, conducted by Daniel Oren.
After a sixty(+) year absense, Verdi's overtly patriotic sausagefest La battaglia di Legnano opens on October 6 and runs four replications in a new production by Pier Luigi Pizzi. It's conducted by Andrea Battistoni and stars William Corrò, Emanuele Cordaro, Gezim Myshketa, Aurelia Florian, Alejandro Roy, Valeriu Caradja, Erika Beretti and Cosimo Vassallo.
The concert falls on Verdi's birthday, October 10,with Inva Mula, Piero Pretti, Leo Nucci and Michele Pertusi singing Verdi's greatest hits.