Friday, September 6, 2013

AUGUST VENTURA channeling Verdi and his film "27" (c) By Polly Guerin

It’s not every day that someone turns 200 and there is cause for celebration in the year 2013, which marks the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi, arguably the most influential musician of his generation. So it is timely and a fitting tribute to the great musical genius that August Ventura, author, film maker and Verdi devotee is preparing a documentary film entitled “27” about the people of the Parma, Italy and their unique relationship with the composer’s 27 operas. Mr. Ventura is a visionary, a man who brings to the audience a rare and provocative essay revealing the famed city of Parma, its celebrated opera lovers in the cafes and Verdi Clubs.

PWSA I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend an introduction to Mr. Ventura’s oeuvre presented by PWSA, the Professional Women Singers Association, held at the historic landmark Players Club. Founded in 1982 PWSA’s mission is to advance the careers of women singers and promote excellence and functions as a network of distinguished singers who support each other in their professional careers. Marguerite Roberti the featured singer in the film may be a singer from a bygone era, but she captivates the audience with recollections of performing in the early 60s as well as insights into her own brave career choices.

RETURNING to “27” Mr. Ventura is a writer, historian, archivist, and is as passionate about his film as he is about Verdi operas. He has wedded history and opera in a film that offers a fascinating glimpse into Parma, Italy’s cognoscenti, the Club of 27, the Verdi Clubs, and the city’s famed "loggionisti” at the Teatro Regio. Most captivating are the images of the everyday people whose devotion to opera permeates their life, and as if Verdi was an elixir of love, even the street sweeper bursts out in operatic song. Ventura’s talk was capped by a live-Skype conversation with Margherita Roberti who now lives in California. For more information about the film, go to For more information about PWSA and to learn about membership go to their website: Mr. Ventura who is on the lecture circuit promoting his film can visit his website at or contact him at

Men Great Visionaries brings to light the many individuals who have created, explored and contributed to the world through their talent and determination to produce and uphold the very best achievements in their business and personal endeavors.