|The Duomo in Milan|
Despite rain, the Sarasota Verdi lovers spent the morning touring two of the major sites of Milan, the Duomo and Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. The painting, housed in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, is one of the glories of western art despite its severely deteriorated condition. The Sarasotans were struck by its beauty in, what was for some, a very moving visit.
|Sarasotans enjoying a tour of the Teatro Regio di Parma|
|Sarasotans enjoying lunch at the Corale Verdi|
This year, the Sarasota Opera group visited “the 27” in their clubhouse, a small cove underneath Parma’s musical school “Casa della Musica.” The visitors entered a dark room the only illumination highlighting a bust of Verdi.
|The Sarasotans in front of a statue of Verdi in his hometown of Busseto|
Everyone (including the artists) then moved to a restaurant just outside of Parma, Il granaio. The Sarasota travelers were the guests of the Club of the 27 for another typical and generous Parmesan meal: Tortelloni in brodo, ravioli alla erba, and a selection of delicious Parmesan meats including coppa, salami, and of course Prosciutto di Parma. Despite the pleas of the guests that they were stuffed, their hosts continued to bring out more food including wonderful desserts of fruit, various tortes, a delicious treat of apples baked in wine and gelato.
One more presentation ended the evening: a plaque that commemorates the friendship between the Club of the 27 and Sarasota Opera. Members of the club promised that many of them would join their new friends in Sarasota for the Grand Finale of the Verdi Cycle in March 2016.