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The Verdi Festival in Parma

Emilia-Romagna 6 nights Price from £3,590 per person
Departs: 19 Sep 2023
Departs: 19 Sep 2023

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The annual Verdi Festival takes place in one of Italy’s most beautiful historic cities, Parma. It is here in the countryside around Parma that Verdi was born, grew up and lived for much of his life. The special charm of Parma’s Verdi Festival is that performances take place not just in the Teatro Regio, one of the loveliest theatres in Italy, but also at the Teatro Verdi in Busseto when singers from the Verdi Voci Competition get a chance to perform. The tour will be led by art historian and opera specialist, Patrick Bade.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Six nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Two dinners
  • Two lunches
  • Tickets for four performances as described
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer


  • Day 1 - Arrival

    We fly from London to Bologna and transfer to Parma where we stay at the 4 star Sina Maria Luigia in the centre of this vibrant city.
  • Day 2 - Cremona

    The day is spent in Cremona, a delightful historic town in Lombardy. Stradivarius was born here and today the town is full of luthiers still producing finely crafted instruments in their ateliers. We will visit a typical luthier’s shop and afterwards there will be some free time to visit the cathedral and explore the town. Lunch is included at Restaurant Il Violino in the centre of Cremona and afterwards we will visit the Museum of the Violin with an unrivalled collection of historic instruments.  
  • Day 3 - Discovering Parma

    The day is spent in Parma, which was the seat of the all-powerful Farnese Family. We visit the important art collection at the Palazzo della Pilotta with many fine works including paintings by Correggio and Parmigianino. We will also see the Teatro Farnese - the first theatre with a proscenium arch and the great Romanesque cathedral with frescoes by Correggio.
  • Day 4 - Another day in Parma

    Staying again in Parma we will visit the house where Arturo Toscanini was born on 27 March 1867. Later we will go to the Camera di San Paolo where we will see one of the jewels of Parma – the frescoed ceilings by Correggio. The rest of the day is free.
  • Day 5 - Roncole & Antica Corte Pallavicina

    We drive to the humble farm dwelling at Roncole, where Verdi was born in 1813, before continuing to the banks of the River Po for lunch at the Antica Corte Pallavicina, a distinguished restaurant which was once a farmhouse on the Pallavicina estate.
  • Day 6 - Parmigiano tasting

    Today we will visit a local farm just outside of Parma. Here we will have a guided tour to see the process involved in making Parmigiano. Our visit ends with a light lunch of local produce.
  • Day 7 - Flight back to London

    We return to Bologna today for the flight back to London.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:

Depart London Heathrow 07.40 arrive Bologna 10.50
Depart Bologna 12.10 arrive London Heathrow 13.30

Flight schedule subject to change

Departure Dates and Prices

19 Sep 2023

Status Available

Price from£3590

Single Supp.£480

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Included Hotels

Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Europe

A member of the privately owned Sina Hotel Group, the Palace Maria Luigia is located in the historic centre of the city with a wide range of monuments and churches, all within easy walking distance.

Patrick Bade

Patrick Bade

Tour Leader

More Info

Music Programme

Verdi Festival programme

Fifty years separates the composition of two of this year’s operas together with Verdi’s great popular success.

21 September – Teatro Regio
I Lombardi alla prima crociata
First performed at La Scala, Milan on 11 February 1843

The huge success of this opera came less than a year after Nabucco, thus sealing Verdi’s reputation as of the maestro of Italian opera.

The demanding role of Giselda is sung here by Lidia Fridman. Born in Russia, she moved to Italy in 2015 to continue her studies in Venice and has since established herself as a major interpreter of dramatic roles.

Giselda: Lidia Fridman
Oronte: Antonio Poli
Pagano: Michele Pertusi
Arvino: Giovanni Sala
Conductor: Francesco Lanzilotta

22 September – Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Busetto
First performed at La Scala, Milan on 9 February 1893

Conductor: Alessandro Palumbo
Verdi’s final opera and his only comedy by singers from the Accademia Verdiana

23 September - Teatro Regio
Messa da Requiem

Verdi composed the Requiem in memory of the Milanese writer Alessandro Manzoni (1785 -1873). It was first performed at the Church of San Marco, Milan on 22 May 1874 followed by a performance at La Scala three days later. Both performances were conducted by Verdi himself.
Three of the four soloists had performed at the opening night of Aida, so it is not surprising that the Requiem has operatic qualities which add to the fervour of this thrilling work.

24 September – Teatro Regio
Il trovatore
First performed Théatre-Italien, Paris on 23 December 1854

Il trovatore was a great popular success and performed throughout Europe. It took just six months for it to reach New York where it received its first performance just six month after its premiere.

Eleonora Buratto from Mantua is one of the world’s leading sopranos. She heads a clutch of Italian singers who sing regularly as the world’s leading opera houses. Eleonora is a great favouri at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Leonora: Eleonora Buratto
Manrico: Riccardo Massi
The Count of Luna: Markus Werba
Azucena: Clementine Margaine
Fernando: Marco Spotti
Conductor Francesco Ivan Ciampa

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