With talons snapping and incisors gnashing, Parma's Teatro Regio rolls out its 2013 month-long Verdi Festival during the best month of the year -- (R)october -- and turns Verdi's 200th birthday into a total rager. Forget Avicii, they've enlisted emcees of the first order: Carlo Bergonzi (October 2); Mirella Freni (October 10); Raina Kabaivanska (October 19) and Bruno Bartoletti (October 31) -- some of Verdi's coolest, living protagonists will speak about career-defining moments in generous round-tables.
Riccardo Chailly bows the festival on September 30 with an all-Verdi setlist played by Filarmonica della Scala in snatches of Oberto conte di san Bonifacio, Un giorno di regno, Jérusalem and I Vespri siciliani, and there are three operas that span Verdi's career -- Simon Boccanegra (Roberto Frontali in the title role and Carmela Remigio as Maria); Falstaff (Renato Bruson with the kids from the theater's academy) and I masnadieri (Mika Kares as Massimiliano and Roberto Aronica as Carlo).
Yuri Temirkanov will host an all-Verdi concert on October 10 at Busseto's petite Teatro Giuseppe with Macbeth, Otello, La forza del destino and Aida's second act in concert form.
Daniele Gatti holds two appointments: October 30 with the Orchestre National de France in an all-Wagner program (Die Götterdämmerung, Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal and Die Meistersinger) and he closes the festival on October 31 wtih Verdi's Requiem sung by Fiorenza Cedolins, Daniela Barcellona, Francesco Meli and Michele Pertusi.
Additional events span the festival, such as a special evening to toast Leo Nucci and Fiorenza Cossotto and free, open-to-the-public rehearsals. Music aside, we'll be there to sample Emilia-Romagna's delicious Fall harvest of wild turkey, utilitarian Lambrusco, sweet pumpkin ravioli, un-bashful mostarda and marbled culatello.