Giusepppe Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer best known for his operas. Along with Richard Wagner, he is considered to have been the preeminent opera composer of the nineteenth century. Verdi’s works, such as Aida or La Traviata, are performed in operas throughout the world.
Giuseppe Verdi was born in 1813, in Italy, prior to the Italian unification. He was the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini. Although he was born in Le Roncole, the composer moved with his parents to Busseto during his childhood. His new hometown became a favorable medium for Verdi. His education bloomed thanks to the many visits at the local libraries. It was in this city that Giuseppe Verdi received his first lessons in composition.
In 1832, Verdi applied for admission at the Milan Conservatory, but was rejected because of his age. As a result he started studying with Vincenzo Lavigna, a famous composer from Milan. He started his career in Italian music industry a year later. In 1833, Verdi was hired as a conductor at the Philharmonic Society in Busseto. In addition, he also made his living as an organist.
Giuseppe Verdi completed his first opera in 1939. It was called Oberto and the debut production was held at La Scala, in Milan. The debut of his second opera, Un giorno di regno, was overshadowed by the death of his wife. Moreover, the opera was not a success, causing the composer to fall into despair and vow never to compose again. However, Bartolomeo Merelli, La Scala’s impresario, had offered him a contract for three more works after Oberto and was able to persuade Verdi to compose again. The result was Nabucco.
For the rest of the 1840s, and through the 1850s, ’60s and ’70s, Verdi continued to garner success and fame. Some of his most famous works from those years were La Traviata, Aida, Rigoletto and Messa da Requiem. He died in 1901, in Milan, having composed more than 25 operas in his career. Have you seen any of Giuseppe Verdi’s works on stage?
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