Verdi Theater

The theater is located in the “Rocca”, or fortress, once the castle of the Pallavicino family, founded in the 1200s but heavily altered. Today the “Rocca” appears to us as it did in the second half of the 1800s.

Previously there had been another theater in the exact same location, where Verdi had performed in his youth, directing a symphony from Rossini’s Barber of Seville.

The idea of building a new theater was already circulating around town in 1845 but the project was abandoned until the Municipality bought the “Rocca” in 1856.

Construction took place in the years between 1856 and 1868 regardless of the Maestro’s resistance to the idea. He opposed the townspeople because he felt they had invaded his private life and because he felt the new theatre to be “too expensive and useless for the future”.

On 15th August 1868, at the theater’s solemn inauguration, when all the ladies present wore green while the gentlemen all had to wear green ties in his honour [“Verdi” is in fact the plural of the adjective “verde” whose English translation is “green”], Verdi himself was visibly absent even though two of his operas were performed: The Masked Ball and Rigoletto. Even afterwards, he was careful not to set foot in the theatre despite having contributed the remarkable sum of LIT10,000 for its construction and owning a box. The theatre, designed by the architect Pier Luigi Montecchini, is entered from the porticoes, and then by climbing a large staircase adorned with a bust of Verdi by Giovanni Dupré. The decorations are by Giuseppe Baisi and Alessandro Malpeli of Parma, while the ceiling medallions, representing Comedy, Tragedy, Melodrama and Romantic Drama are works of art by Isacco Gioacchino Levi of Busseto (1865).

The theatre, equipped with all of the most practical facilities right from the start, was recently restored, brought up to standard and reopened. It can hold 300 people. 

In addition to the traditional visit of the Theater (see box “Admittance”), it is possible to make – by reservation – also special visits:

Visita Incanto

Visit the Verdi Theater in Busseto led by Giuseppina Strepponi

The charm of the theater to tell the theater. Here, it is truly an extraordinary possibility to be able to visit the Giuseppe Verdi Theater, the splendid sound box of Busseto, led by Giuseppina Strepponi: friend, companion, wife, confidant and inspiring muse of the Maestro. A soprano in the elegant role of Giuseppina tells, between one singing lesson and the next, anecdotes of private life and historical facts interspersed with the most famous arias of the Maestro. It will therefore be a unique and privileged voice to lead visitors from the halls of the Theater, almost through a secret door, into the heart of Verdi’s places and events.

Duration of the visit: 30 minutes.

Behind the scenes

The Theater seen from a double perspective: the viewer’s gaze and the artist’s

The thrill of discovering what lies behind the curtain of the theater, in those sectors that are normally excluded from the traditional guided tour. It will therefore be exceptionally possible to access the stage trodden by the greatest protagonists of the contemporary and past theatrical and musical panorama; visit the dressing rooms used by the artists; look out from the Royal box, like the guests of a gala evening; observe the scene from the elevated and privileged view of the gallery, like the best opera critics. The theater lived in its entirety, for the first time accessible in its most secret parts, only for small groups.

Duration of the visit: 40 minutes

In front of the Verdi Theater, at the Oratorio della Santissima Trinità

Verdi at the organ

for soprano and organ, duration about 60 minutes
for organ solo, duration approximately 60 minutes

A concert, an exclusive encounter with Giuseppe Verdi and the music of his time

Giuseppe Verdi’s relationship with the organ and with sacred music, which had such an impact on his future operatic production, was very close right from the start. At the age of four, the young Maestro was in fact initiated into the organ by the amateur Pietro Baistrocchi, of whom he took over as organist in the Church of San Michele Arcangelo in Roncole in 1823. Two years later, thanks to his studies with Ferdinando Provesi, – Maestro di Cappella and organist – he held the same position in the Collegiate Church of San Bartolomeo and in all the other churches of Busseto.
And, on the other hand, the Maestro had a very close bond with the Oratorio della Santissima Trinità, where on 4 May 1836 he married his first wife Margherita Barezzi, daughter of his benefactor Antonio.
Here then, in an exclusive concert, an intense moment of dialogue between a small group of spectators and the organist, to discover the relationship between Verdi, sacred music and that of his time.


Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, Busseto, PR, Italia
Tel. 0524.92487