Happy birthday Giuseppe Verdi!

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Giuseppe Verdi (October 9 or 10, 1813—January 27, 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer of operas. Some of his most notable works include Rigoletto (1850), La Traviata (1852), and Messa da Requiem (1874).

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Verdi was born Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto, which was, at the time, part of the First French Empire. His parents moved him to Busseto when he was young, where he formed the basis for his interest in music, which included taking lessons in composition.

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Verdi spent his early twenties in Milan, where he continued his study of music and began to attend operas and salons.

Verdi gave his first performance in 1830, and then, becoming somewhat known, began to teach music. He fell in love with one of his students and they married.

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His first opera, Oberto, produced in 1839, earned Verdi important recognition. However, not only did his wife die while he was writing his second opera, Un giorno di regno, but the show was a flop once it was performed. Disheartened, Verdi vowed never to return to musical composition, but was eventually persuaded otherwise. He wrote Nabucco and in 1842, it became a huge success.

The following 15 years saw Verdi produce work in rapid succession. His work from this period included I Lombardi (1843), Ernani (1844), Macbeth (1847), and Rigoletto (1850). Then came Il trovatore (1852) and La Traviata (1852), which became his most performed opera. (Image source)

Later in his career, he composed Un ballo in maschera (1859), La forza del destino, Les vêpres siciliennes (1855), and Don Carlos (1867), among others.

After Verdi died in 1901, musician Arturo Toscanini organized his funeral and it remains the largest ever public assembly in the history of Italy.Verdi was known to have a longstanding rivalry with German operatic composer Richard Wagner, though the two never actually met.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
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