Busseto, Italy is our newest “Friendship City” and hopefully in the not too distant future will become a fully fledged Sarasota Sister City.
Maestro Victor DeRenzi, the Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of the Sarasota Opera has performed Giuseppe Verdi’s entire portfolio of music and also initiated this new relationship with Bussetto. This is where Maestro Giuseppe Verdi farmed the land over a century ago when he was not composing his famous musical scores that we all enjoy to this day. Therefore, it should not be a surprise for us to consider Verdi like family, and currently the family home needs help.
In 1848, Maestro Giuseppe Verdi purchased a farm in the village of Sant’Agata, on the outskirts of Busseto where he built this home with his second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi. The couple moved into their home in 1851 and remained there for the remainder of their lives. In his last will and testament, he wrote, “Upon my death - I compel that the garden and my family house be kept in its current state.” And thanks to his heirs, the Carrara-Verdi family who reside in the area and manage his villa, this is still the case.
The Verdi Villa needs serious restoration and the unexpected absence of visitors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped. Owing to the lack of revenue generated by the entrance fee to the museum, it risks being permanently closed to the public.
Before having to make a drastic decision, museum management and the family have set up a Crowdfunding website to seek donations, so our Sister Cities Board of Directors has offered to help lead an effort to raise funds to assist.
Our Sister Cities “Save Villa Verdi” Fundraising Project commits to matching up to $5,000 raised in donations by our members and others in the Sarasota community. We will be holding activities to promote the campaign and encourage you to become involved. Updates will be shared with the membership as promotional campaigns are rolled out.
CLICK HERE to watch a video showing the Villa in its current state. Note: It is narrated in Italian wth English subtitles, however you will be able to see the areas of the villa requiring restoration.
CLICK HERE to access our Zoom presentation. We look forward to your participation and assistance.