OC's dear Uncle Solly -- better known by the general public as Yuri Temirkanov -- has been named Music Director of Teatro Regio di Parma.
The 69-year-old Russian maestro will begin his five year term in January 2009. He will be in charge of the Verdi bicentennial of 2013.
What, you ask yourself, a Russian in the middle of Verdi Country? Judging by his Traviata last year in Parma -- OC was there and you weren't -- not only Parma has hired one of the greatest conductors out there, but also a wonderfully sensitive Verdi conductor.
Mad propsicles to Parma General Manager Mauro Meli who has hired, with the limited public funds available for his small jewel of a theater, one of the few giants left out there. World class, really: as of today Parma, despite its lean budget (incredibly lean when compared to other theaters in Italy and elsewhere in Europe), automatically becomes one of the big players of the opera world out there.
We are so excited by this it isn't even funnay (Parma is just an hour outside of Milan). Especially in light of the fact that la Scala sees fit to hire Carlo Montanaro to conduct Verdi (a "reckless gamble" according to Corriere della Sera) having Temirkanov right around the corner is really a blessing, whenever we're jonesing for some seriously bada$$ Verdi.