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Conductor Riccardo Muti demands that Villa Verde be saved

Conductor Riccardo Muti demands that Villa Verde be saved

The conductor said Mozart's birthplace of Salzburg should be a model for renewal. The Italian Ministry of Culture began proceedings to seize Verdi's property this week.

Italian conductor Riccardo Muti has launched an appeal to the Italian authorities to save composer Giuseppe Verdi's (1813-1901) villa in Sant'Agata, near Piacenza, northern Italy. Mozart's birthplace of Salzburg should be a model for the renewal process, Muti said, according to media reports on Saturday. The Italian Ministry of Culture began proceedings to seize Verdi's property this week.

The goal is to save the house where Verdi lived for nearly 50 years from decay. Through expropriation, the Italian state wants to avoid selling the villa at auction. Since the artist's heirs had been at loggerheads for years and neither was able to repay the other, in the final case the court decided that the house should be sold and auctioned. Officials visited the property and found some of it to be in “poor condition.”

“I do not judge the method of expropriation, but if the goal is to make Verdi's house like, for example, Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg, then I can only be happy. We hope it will be an important center for the world to learn about the environment in which he created,” Muti said. Verdi contains most of his operatic works.

Hundreds of sketches from Villa were brought to the state archives

More than 600 sheets of sketches and drafts for the opera, most of them unpublished, were taken from the villa in 2017. They are housed in the State Archives of Parma. Verdi composed some of his most beautiful operas at the villa. Here you can find the maestro's furniture and personal belongings, including a Viennese fortepiano made by Fritz, on which he composed “Il Trovatore” and “La Traviata.”

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Muti completed his “Autumn Trilogy” on Friday evening at the Teatro Dante Alighieri in Ravenna. In one week, he conducted Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma, Verdi's Nabucco, and a gala evening of Verdi's arias with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra. Muti was appointed life conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in June. The maestro ended his 13-year tenure as music director of the orchestra with three concerts. (Abba)

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