Friday, November 09, 2007

Parma - Strike Up the Band

Someone in the Commune di Parma had the bright idea of turning an abandoned sugar factory into a concert hall - eccola Auditorium Paganini Though not in the centre of town its a pleasant 10 minute walk from the Duomo. The sound - from where I was sitting in the front row (more about that later)- was exceptional, a bit of a surprise given the glass and brick construction and high ceiling. Entrance to Auditorium PaganiniAuditorium Paganini Interior
Every Sunday morning during the Verdi Festival there's a free Military Band concert. October 28th it was the Banda Musicale dell'Aernotica Militare (Air Force Band) under a very distinguished looking Partizio Esposito. They gave us an hour of arrangements of Verdi - Forza, Luisa Miller, Nabucco and the Aida Triumphal March plus an encore of Rhapsody Espanol.

When I arrived at 10:50 it looked like there was no way I would get in: there was a crowd of people waiting to be seated and the auditorium looked full. But I decided what the heck and joined the crowd - in true Italian fashion elbowing my way towards the front; and no is wasn't me that knocked that little old lady over - honest. A very attractive but harried young lady finally admitted in groups of 14 and lead us all down to the front two rows - for some reason they had been set aside for latecomers. By the way that accounts for the crotch-level shots of the band - honest.

It was a fun way to spend the morning and I actually got to practice my Italian with a few of the people around me.
Banda Musicale Aeronautica MilitareBanda AeronauticaBanda AuronauticaBanda Aeronatuica
The park around the Auditorium is a pleasant green space; the fountains and pool were constructed using the old holding tanks from the factory. Even on a chilly morning there were local families strolling and children playing in the park.
Auditorium Paganini ExteriorAuditorium PaganiniAuditorium PaganiniAuditorium Paganini
Its an brilliant use of an old facility renovated to serve the community.

(photos taken) 28 ottobre - SS Simone e Guida


Doralong said...

What a brilliant re-use of a space that could have easily become a neglected and ugly shell..

BigAssBelle said...

that is just amazing, what they've done with that factory. i love the colors on the exterior. and thanks for the crotch shots :-)

so how is it coming, the learning of italian? say something, sweetie!