The Regio Theatre in Parma is considered the birthplace of Italian melodrama and is famous, or perhaps infamous if you are a performer, for its highly enthusiastic and critical public. It was built between 1821 and 1829 by the architect Nicola Bettoli who was commissioned by Duchess Maries-Louise of Austria. The theatre was inaugurated in May 1829 with the lyric opera 'Zaira' by Bellini.
The neoclassical portico with its ionic columns boasts decorations featuring the allegories of Fame and Lyre while the interior has four tiers of private boxes around the stalls. This contrasts strongly with the new Niccolò Paganini Music Hall built by Renzo Piano in the nearby Eridania Park. Converted fron an old sugar factory dating from 1899 the open square plan is the venue for the Concert Season of the Regio Theatre.
To complete your musical education in the city head to The House of Music in Piazzale San Francesco. Recently restoring the Cusani Palace to its former splendour, it is the home for local cultural and musical institutions, as well as the Regio Theatre's historical archives, the International Research Centre for Musical Periodicals and The National Institute of Venetian Studies.
The Palace also has an auditorium of its own, libraries, multimedia museum and even a coffee bar. Do check out objects and instruments associated with Giuseppe Verdi and the most significant items from Arturo Toscanini's birthplace.
The Regio Theatre of Parma - www.teatroregioparma.org - also for the Verdi Opera Festival annual event in October
The Nicolò Paganini Music Hall, 5a Via Toscana, Parma
La Casa della Musica - www.lacasadellamusica.it