Acqua di Parma is 100 years old and has chosen to celebrate its Centenary alongside the director, actor and playwright Massimiliano Finazzer Flory with an exceptional theatre performance.
On 25 May, the Teatro Farnese in Parma will be the setting for “Verdi legge Verdi”, a play written and performed by Finazzer Flory himself, accompanied on stage by the musical tenor Tiziano Barontini.
It is through such an initiative that Acqua di Parma is strengthening its commitment as a patron of the arts and culture and consolidating its association with Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, a partnership that started in 2014 with an intensive programme of shows that toured the world’s major theatres.
The performance on 25 May will take place in the evocative surroundings of the Teatro Farnese, one of Parma’s most charming locations. Housed within the magnificent Palazzo della Pilotta, the theatre leads to the Galleria Nazionale di Parma (National Gallery). With its spectacular horseshoe-shaped stalls, two tiers of loggias and vast stage, the Teatro Farnese recalls the pomp and splendour of the life of the court of the Farnese Dukes. The theatre was rebuilt in recent times following its destruction by Allied bombs, and is one of the most interesting examples of Baroque theatre architecture.
An ideal setting for Massimiliano Finazzer Flory’s show.
The subject matter of the piece is a homage to Parma, the cradle of music and Italian musical opera, and to one of its most distinguished sons, the composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was born in Parma in 1813. In this piece, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory presents the audience with an original interpretation of Verdi’s artistic journey, exploring the composer’s life and giving him a voice through a series of letters dedicated to Italy, to music, to politics, to art and to two of his greatest passions: Manzoni and Shakespeare.
In “Verdi legge Verdi”, both the drama itself and the musical accompaniment are reminiscent not only of the love in The Betrothed, but also of the three Shakespearean masterpieces Macbeth, Othello and Falstaff. In this theatrical performance, Finazzer Flory pays a great deal of attention to ensuring a skilful and refined stage design. Artistic lighting and magnificent stage costumes worn by mannequins borrowed from some of Verdi’s most symbolic operas, appear solemnly on the theatre steps. Massimiliano Finazzer Flory thus becomes both the face and the voice of the composer, portraying his features while at the same time playing on the imaginary encounter between the present day Verdi and the Verdi of bygone days.
Tiziano Barontini provides the musical accompaniment to the show, singing a number of well-known arias from operas such as Rigoletto, Aida and La Traviata. The event is accompanied by Massimo Morelli on the piano playing musical pieces that recreate the relationship between Shakespeare and Verdi.