The bond between Renata Tebaldi and Parma started off rather early.
Although born in Pesaro on 1 February 1922, the future famous soprano spent her entire childhood in Langhirano, Parma.
At the age of 17, she began studying and singing at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma.
A path that, despite being her mother against a future on the stage for her, allowed her to be already performing on Regio Theatre’s stage in 1945.
It was the beginning of a love story between the sapphire-eyed soprano and the velvet voice, and the Parmesan music lovers, who will always call her, simply, Renata.
"Voice of an angel": this is how Arturo Toscanini defined it in 1946, after having conducted her in Verdi's "Te Deum" for the reopening concert of La Scala in Milan, putting his seal on the career of one of the most famous opera voices in the world.
Some time later, the arrival in Italian theatres and in particular at La Scala, of another famous singer, Maria Callas, gave rise to a rivalry which Renata decided to escape from, agreeing to work in the United States. The overseas public immediately followed her in large numbers, so much so that she was affectionately called "Miss Sold Out".
Her poodle, New II, also became very popular. He was used to accompany her vocalizations with whines (obviously in tune), which Renata performed to warm her voice up before going on stage.
Renata conquered America, who rewarded her with a star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame".
Her last performance at the Regio Theatre in Parma was in 1962. She sang La Bohème, directed by Arturo Basile, one of her troublesome loves.
The third act, when the soprano sings the agony of abandonment, definitively conquered the audience of Parma. The personal stories of the artist emerged in the song, touching the hearts of the entire theatre.
After a year of resting time, Tebaldi returned to the stage right at the Met.
Not only did her ancient rival Maria Callas send her a telegram of encouragement but, at the end of the show, she went behind the scenes to greet her.
A gesture that marked the definitive reconciliation between the two divas.
Her farewell to the stage was a triumph too. It took place in 1976 at La Scala, with an unforgettable charity concert in support of the earthquake victims of Friuli.
A woman of great class, during her life she collected photos, jewels, clothes, memories of an extraordinary career: they are now housed in the "Renata Tebaldi" Museum, at the Villa Pallavicino Stables, Busseto. The hometown of Giuseppe Verdi, who she loved so much.
Music, opera, passions that have deep roots in our territory. If you want to know more, find out about our itineraries MUSICAL WALKS IN THE CITY or VERDIAN ITINERARIES