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More about Giuseppe Verdi

19th century
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Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer of opera, whose life and career spanned the breadth of the Romantic era. Of Verdi’s 26 operas, standout works such as “La traviata”, “Rigoletto” and “Aida” have consolidated his reputation as one of the foremost opera composers in the genre’s history. Although he did compose pieces for Church and concert hall - most notably the “Requiem” - his legacy centres entirely on his work for the stage.

The maestro was born near the town of Busseto in northern Italy in 1813. After a thorough and promising musical education, Verdi operatic debut came in 1839 with “Oberto”. After “Nabucco” earned international acclaim three years later, Verdi’s fame grew relentlessly with each new production, culminating with the sensational reception of his final opera “Falstaff” in 1893. After his philanthropic twilight years, Verdi died in January 1901. It is estimated that 300,000 mourners saw his funeral cortege pass through the streets of Milan, where he was finally laid to rest.

Italian opera is an adored institution; those that rise to the top win exaltation unlike anything else in the world of classical music. For the majority of the 19th century, Verdi occupied the number one spot without challenge, becoming by the end of his long life one of Italy’s most cherished sons. Over a century later, Verdi’s operas remain hugely popular. In the last decade, “La traviata” has been staged more frequently worldwide than any other opera.


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