Giuseppe Verdi
Overview
 
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (dʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 Romantic
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

 composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture – such as "La donna è mobile
La donna è mobile
"La donna è mobile" is the cynical Duke of Mantua's canzone from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto . The inherent irony is that it is the callous playboy Duke himself who is mobile...

" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero
Va, pensiero
Va, pensiero is a chorus from the third act of Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, with words by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137...

" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco
Nabucco
Nabucco is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the Biblical story and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue...

, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici
Libiamo ne' lieti calici
Libiamo ne'lieti calici is the most famous duet from Verdi's La traviata, one of the most well known fragments of opera around the world, and an obligatory performance for any great tenor. The song is categorised as a Brindisi, which encourages alcoholic drinking...

" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata
La traviata
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

and the "Grand March
Triumphal March
A triumphal march is a musical form generally reflecting a triumph, victory or great joy.Many composers have written a triumphal march, with maybe the best known one being by Italian opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi for his 1871 grand opera, Aida, where, in the second act, Radames leads the Egyptian...

" from Aida
Aida
Aida sometimes spelled Aïda, is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette...



Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard opera repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
Verdi was born the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole
Le Roncole
Le Roncole, or Roncole Verdi, is a village in the province of Parma of Italy, a frazione of the comune of Busseto. It is located c. 140 km southeast of Milan. Today Le Roncole is called Roncole Verdi, named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi who was born there on either 9 or 10 October, 1813...

, a village near Busseto
Busseto
Busseto is a comune in the province of Parma, in Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. It was the capital of Stato Pallavicino. Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi was born in the nearby village of Le Roncole and he moved there in 1824...

, then in the Département Taro
Taro (département)
Taro is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Italy. It was named after the Taro river. It was formed in 1808, when the states of Parma and Piacenza were annexed by France. Its capital was Parma. It was divided into the following arrondissements:* Parma.* Borgo San Donnino...

 which was a part of the First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 after the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza.
Encyclopedia
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (dʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 Romantic
Romantic music
Romantic music or music in the Romantic Period is a musicological and artistic term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in Western music history, from 1810 to 1900....

 composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture – such as "La donna è mobile
La donna è mobile
"La donna è mobile" is the cynical Duke of Mantua's canzone from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto . The inherent irony is that it is the callous playboy Duke himself who is mobile...

" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero
Va, pensiero
Va, pensiero is a chorus from the third act of Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, with words by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137...

" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco
Nabucco
Nabucco is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the Biblical story and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue...

, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici
Libiamo ne' lieti calici
Libiamo ne'lieti calici is the most famous duet from Verdi's La traviata, one of the most well known fragments of opera around the world, and an obligatory performance for any great tenor. The song is categorised as a Brindisi, which encourages alcoholic drinking...

" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata
La traviata
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

and the "Grand March
Triumphal March
A triumphal march is a musical form generally reflecting a triumph, victory or great joy.Many composers have written a triumphal march, with maybe the best known one being by Italian opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi for his 1871 grand opera, Aida, where, in the second act, Radames leads the Egyptian...

" from Aida
Aida
Aida sometimes spelled Aïda, is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette...



Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard opera repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Early life

Verdi was born the son of Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and Luigia Uttini in Le Roncole
Le Roncole
Le Roncole, or Roncole Verdi, is a village in the province of Parma of Italy, a frazione of the comune of Busseto. It is located c. 140 km southeast of Milan. Today Le Roncole is called Roncole Verdi, named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi who was born there on either 9 or 10 October, 1813...

, a village near Busseto
Busseto
Busseto is a comune in the province of Parma, in Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. It was the capital of Stato Pallavicino. Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi was born in the nearby village of Le Roncole and he moved there in 1824...

, then in the Département Taro
Taro (département)
Taro is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present Italy. It was named after the Taro river. It was formed in 1808, when the states of Parma and Piacenza were annexed by France. Its capital was Parma. It was divided into the following arrondissements:* Parma.* Borgo San Donnino...

 which was a part of the First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 after the annexation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. The baptismal register, on 11 October lists him as being "born yesterday", but since days were often considered to begin at sunset, this could have meant either 9 or 10 October. The next day, he was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin as Joseph Fortuninus Franciscus. The day after that (Tuesday), Verdi's father took his newborn the three miles to Busseto, where the baby was recorded as Joseph Fortunin François; the clerk wrote in French. "So it happened that for the civil and temporal world Verdi was born a Frenchman."

When he was still a child, Verdi's parents moved from Piacenza
Piacenza
Piacenza is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Piacenza...

 to Busseto, where the future composer's education was greatly facilitated by visits to the large library belonging to the local Jesuit school. Also in Busseto, Verdi was given his first lessons in composition.

Verdi went to Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 when he was twenty to continue his studies. He took private lessons in counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 while attending operatic performances, as well as concerts of, specifically, German music. Milan's beaumonde association convinced him that he should pursue a career as a theatre composer. During the mid 1830s, he attended the Salotto Maffei salon
Salon (gathering)
A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste and increase their knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to...

s in Milan, hosted by Clara Maffei
Clara Maffei
Elena Clara Antonia Carrara Spinelli was an Italian woman of letters and backer of the Risorgimento, usually known by her married name of countess Clara Maffei or Chiarina Maffei....

.

Returning to Busseto, he became the town music master and, with the support of Antonio Barezzi, a local merchant and music lover who had long supported Verdi's musical ambitions in Milan, Verdi gave his first public performance at Barezzi’s home in 1830.

Because he loved Verdi’s music, Barezzi invited Verdi to be his daughter Margherita's music teacher, and the two soon fell deeply in love. They were married on 4 May 1836 and Margherita gave birth to two children, Virginia Maria Luigia (26 March 1837 – 12 August 1838) and Icilio Romano (11 July 1838 – 22 October 1839). Both died in infancy while Verdi was working on his first opera and, shortly afterwards, Margherita died of encephalitis
Encephalitis
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue...

on 18 June 1840, aged only 26. Verdi adored his wife and children, and he was devastated by their untimely deaths.

Initial recognition

The production by Milan's La Scala
La Scala
La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

 of his first opera, Oberto
Oberto (opera)
Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio is an opera in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an existing libretto by Antonio Piazza probably called Rocester....

in November 1839 achieved a degree of success, after which Bartolomeo Merelli, La Scala's impresario, offered Verdi a contract for two more works.

It was while he was working on his second opera, Un giorno di regno
Un giorno di regno
Un giorno di regno, ossia il finto Stanislao is an operatic melodramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, based on the play Le faux Stanislas by Alexandre Vincent Pineu-Duval...

, that Verdi's wife died. The opera, given in September 1840, was a flop and he fell into despair and vowed to give up musical composition forever. However, Merelli persuaded him to write Nabucco
Nabucco
Nabucco is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the Biblical story and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue...

and its opening performance in March 1842 made Verdi famous. Legend (and Verdi's own "An Autobiographical Sketch" of 1879) has it that it was the words of the famous Va pensiero chorus of the Hebrew slaves that inspired him to write music again. A large number of operas – 14 in all – followed in the decade after 1843, a period which Verdi was to describe as his "galley years". These included his I Lombardi
I Lombardi alla prima crociata
I Lombardi alla prima crociata is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an epic poem by Tommaso Grossi. Its first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 11 February 1843...

in 1843, and Ernani
Ernani
Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Hernani by Victor Hugo. The first production took place at La Fenice Theatre, Venice on 9 March 1844...

in 1844. For some, the most original and important opera that Verdi wrote is Macbeth
Macbeth (opera)
Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on Shakespeare's play of the same name...

in 1847. For the first time, Verdi attempted an opera without a love story, breaking a basic convention in 19th century Italian opera.

In 1847, I Lombardi, which was revised and renamed Jérusalem
Jérusalem
Jérusalem is a grand opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz which was partly translated and adapted from Verdi's original 1843 Italian opera, I Lombardi alla prima crociata...

, was produced by the Paris Opera. Due to a number of Parisian conventions that had to be honored (including extensive ballets), it became Verdi's first work in the French Grand opera
Grand Opera
Grand opera is a genre of 19th-century opera generally in four or five acts, characterised by large-scale casts and orchestras, and lavish and spectacular design and stage effects, normally with plots based on or around dramatic historic events...

 style.

Middle years

Sometime in the mid-1840s, after the death of Margherita Barezzi, Verdi began an affair with Giuseppina Strepponi
Giuseppina Strepponi
Clelia Maria Josepha Strepponi was a nineteenth century Italian operatic soprano of great renown and the second wife of composer Giuseppe Verdi...

, a soprano in the twilight of her career. Their cohabitation before marriage was regarded as scandalous in some of the places they lived, but Verdi and Giuseppina married on 29 August 1859 at Collonges-sous-Salève, near Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

. While living in Busseto with Strepponi, Verdi bought an estate two miles from the town in 1848. Initially, his parents lived there, but, after his mother's death in 1851, he made the Villa Verdi
Villa Verdi
Villa Verdi is the house that composer Giuseppe Verdi owned from 1848 to the end of his life in 1901. Itis located in the village of Sant'Agata in the commune of Villanova sull'Arda in the Italian province of Piacenza less than two miles from the village of Le Roncole, where he was born in 1813,...

 at Sant'Agata in Villanova sull'Arda
Villanova sull'Arda
Villanova sull'Arda is a comune in the Province of Piacenza in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, located about 120 km northwest of Bologna and about 25 km east of Piacenza....

 his home until his death.

As the "galley years" were drawing to a close, Verdi created one of his greatest masterpieces, Rigoletto
Rigoletto
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

, which premiered in Venice in 1851. Based on a play by Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 (Le roi s'amuse), the libretto had to undergo substantial revisions in order to satisfy the epoch's censorship, and the composer was on the verge of giving it all up a number of times. The opera quickly became a great success.

With Rigoletto, Verdi sets up his original idea of musical drama as a cocktail of heterogeneous elements, embodying social and cultural complexity, and beginning from a distinctive mixture of comedy and tragedy. Rigolettos musical range includes band-music such as the first scene or the song La donna è mobile
La donna è mobile
"La donna è mobile" is the cynical Duke of Mantua's canzone from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto . The inherent irony is that it is the callous playboy Duke himself who is mobile...

, Italian melody such as the famous quartet "Bella figlia dell'amore", chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 such as the duet between Rigoletto and Sparafucile and powerful and concise declamatos often based on key-notes like the C and C# notes in Rigoletto and Monterone's upper register.

There followed the second and third of the three major operas of Verdi's "middle period": in 1853 Il Trovatore
Il trovatore
Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto...

was produced in Rome and La traviata
La traviata
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

in Venice. The latter was based on Alexandre Dumas, fils
Alexandre Dumas, fils
Alexandre Dumas, fils was a French author and dramatist. He was the son of Alexandre Dumas, père, also a writer and playwright.-Biography:...

' play
The Lady of the Camellias
The Lady of the Camellias
The Lady of the Camellias is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, first published in 1848, and subsequently adapted for the stage. The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. The play was an instant success, and Giuseppe Verdi immediately set...

, and became the most popular of all Verdi's operas, placing second in the Operabase
Operabase
Operabase is an on-line database of opera performances, opera houses and companies, performers themselves as well as their agents. Operabase, found at operabase.com, is owned and operated by Operabase Ltd, a company located in Luton, England. The site started in 1996 as the hobby of Mike Gibb,...

 list of most performed operas worldwide.

Later compositions

Between 1855 and 1867, an outpouring of great Verdi operas followed, among them such repertory staples as
Un ballo in maschera
Un ballo in maschera
Un ballo in maschera , is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with text by Antonio Somma. The libretto is loosely based on an 1833 play, Gustave III, by French playwright Eugène Scribe who wrote about the historical assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden...

(1859), La forza del destino
La forza del destino
La forza del destino is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino , by Ángel de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas, with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller's Wallensteins Lager. It was first performed...

(commissioned by the Imperial Theatre of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 for 1861 but not performed until 1862), and a revised version of
Macbeth
Macbeth (opera)
Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on Shakespeare's play of the same name...

(1865). Other somewhat less often performed include Les vêpres siciliennes
Les vêpres siciliennes
Les vêpres siciliennes is an opéra in five acts by the Italian romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi set to a French libretto by Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe from their work Le duc d'Albe, which was written in 1838 and offered to Halevy and Donizetti before Verdi...

(1855) and Don Carlos
Don Carlos
Don Carlos is a five-act grand opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French language libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller...

(1867), both commissioned by the Paris Opera and initially given in French. Today, these latter two operas are most often performed in their revised Italian versions. Simon Boccanegra
Simon Boccanegra
Simon Boccanegra is an opera with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez....

 followed in 1857.
In 1869, Verdi was asked to compose a section for a requiem
Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

 mass in memory of Gioachino Rossini and proposed that this requiem should be a collection of sections composed by other Italian contemporaries of Rossini. The requiem was compiled and completed, but it was cancelled at the last minute (and was not performed in Verdi's lifetime). Verdi blamed this on the lack of enthusiasm for the project by the intended conductor, Angelo Mariani
Angelo Mariani (conductor)
Angelo Mariani was an Italian opera conductor and composer. His work as a conductor drew praise from Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Gioachino Rossini and Richard Wagner, and he was a longtime personal friend of Verdi's, although they became estranged towards the end of Mariani's life...

, who had been a longtime friend of his. The episode led to a permanent break in their personal relations. The soprano Teresa Stolz
Teresa Stolz
Teresa Stolz was a Bohemian soprano, long resident in Italy, who was associated with significant premieres of the works of Giuseppe Verdi, and may have been his mistress...

 (who later had a strong professional – and, perhaps, romantic – relationship with Verdi) was at that time engaged to be married to Mariani, but she left him not long after. Five years later, Verdi reworked his "Libera Me" section of the Rossini Requiem and made it a part of his Requiem Mass
Requiem (Verdi)
The Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi is a musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist much admired by Verdi. The first performance in San Marco in Milan on 22 May...

, honoring the famous novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni
Alessandro Manzoni
Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni was an Italian poet and novelist.He is famous for the novel The Betrothed , generally ranked among the masterpieces of world literature...

, who had died in 1873. The complete Requiem was first performed at the cathedral in Milan on 22 May 1874.

Verdi's grand opera,
Aida
Aida
Aida sometimes spelled Aïda, is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette...

, is sometimes thought to have been commissioned for the celebration of the opening of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 in 1869, but, according to one major critic, Verdi turned down the Khedive's invitation to write an "ode" for the new opera house he was planning to inaugurate as part of the canal opening festivities. The opera house actually opened with a production of
Rigoletto. Later in 1869/70, the organizers again approached Verdi (this time with the idea of writing an opera), but he again turned them down. When they warned him that they would ask Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod
Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.-Biography:...

 instead and then threatened to engage Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

's services, Verdi began to show considerable interest, and agreements were signed in June 1870.

Teresa Stolz
Teresa Stolz
Teresa Stolz was a Bohemian soprano, long resident in Italy, who was associated with significant premieres of the works of Giuseppe Verdi, and may have been his mistress...

 was associated with both
Aida and the Requiem (as well as a number of other Verdi roles). The role of Aida was written for her, and although she did not appear in the world premiere in Cairo in 1871, she created Aida in the European premiere in Milan in February 1872. She was also the soprano soloist in the first and many later performances of the Requiem. It was widely believed that she and Verdi had an affair after she left Angelo Mariani, and a Florence newspaper criticised them for this in five strongly worded articles. Whether there is any truth to the accusation may never be known with any certainty. However, after Giuseppina Strepponi's death, Teresa Stolz became a close companion of Verdi until his own death.

Verdi and Wagner, who were the leaders of their respective schools of music, seemed to resent each other greatly. They never met. Verdi's comments on Wagner and his music are few and hardly benevolent ("He invariably chooses, unnecessarily, the untrodden path, attempting to fly where a rational person would walk with better results"), but at least one of them is kind: upon learning of Wagner's death, Verdi lamented, "Sad, sad, sad! ... a name that will leave a most powerful impression on the history of art." Of Wagner's comments on Verdi, only one is well-known. After listening to Verdi's Requiem, the German, prolific and eloquent in his comments on some other composers, stated, "It would be best not to say anything."

Final years and death

During the following years, Verdi worked on revising some of his earlier scores, most notably new versions of
Don Carlos, La forza del destino, and Simon Boccanegra.

Otello
Otello
Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

, based on William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's play, with a libretto written by the younger composer of
Mefistofele
Mefistofele
Mefistofele is an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito.-Composition history:...

, Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito
Arrigo Boito , aka Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele...

, premiered in Milan in 1887. Its music is "continuous" and cannot easily be divided into separate "numbers" to be performed in concert. Some feel that although masterfully orchestrated, it lacks the melodic lustre so characteristic of Verdi's earlier, great, operas, while many critics consider it Verdi's greatest tragic opera, containing some of his most beautiful, expressive music and some of his richest characterizations. In addition, it lacks a prelude, something Verdi listeners are not accustomed to. Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

 performed as cellist in the orchestra at the world premiere and began his friendship with Verdi (a composer he revered as highly as Beethoven).
Verdi's last opera, Falstaff
Falstaff (opera)
Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi's last opera, written in the composer's ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy...

, whose libretto was also by Boito, was based on Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare, first published in 1602, though believed to have been written prior to 1597. It features the fat knight Sir John Falstaff, and is Shakespeare's only play to deal exclusively with contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life...

and Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

's subsequent translation. It was an international success and is one of the supreme comic operas which shows Verdi's genius as a contrapuntist
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

.

In 1894, Verdi composed a short ballet for a French production of
Otello, his last purely orchestral composition. Years later, Arturo Toscanini recorded the music for RCA Victor with the NBC Symphony Orchestra
NBC Symphony Orchestra
The NBC Symphony Orchestra was a radio orchestra established by David Sarnoff of the National Broadcasting Company especially for conductor Arturo Toscanini...

 which complements the 1947 Toscanini performance of the complete opera.

In 1897, Verdi completed his last composition, a setting of the traditional Latin text
Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Roman Catholic hymn to Mary. It has been variously attributed to the Franciscan Jacopone da Todi and to Innocent III...

. This was the last of four sacred works that Verdi composed, Quattro Pezzi Sacri
Quattro Pezzi Sacri
The Quattro Pezzi Sacri, or Four Sacred Pieces, are choral works by Giuseppe Verdi. Written separately and with different origins and purposes, they were nevertheless published together, in 1898, and are often performed as a cycle in this sequence:...

, which are often performed together or separately. The first performance of the four works was on 7 April 1898, at the Grande Opéra, Paris. The four works are: Ave Maria
Ave Maria
Ave Maria may refer to:*Ave Maria , the "Hail Mary", a traditional Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox prayer calling for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus-Music:...

for mixed chorus; Stabat Mater for mixed chorus and orchestra; Laudi alla Vergine Maria for female chorus; and Te Deum
Te Deum
The Te Deum is an early Christian hymn of praise. The title is taken from its opening Latin words, Te Deum laudamus, rendered literally as "Thee, O God, we praise"....

 for double chorus and orchestra.

On 29 July 1900, King Umberto I of Italy
Umberto I of Italy
Umberto I or Humbert I , nicknamed the Good , was the King of Italy from 9 January 1878 until his death. He was deeply loathed in far-left circles, especially among anarchists, because of his conservatism and support of the Bava-Beccaris massacre in Milan...

 was assassinated, a deed that horrified the aged composer.
While staying at the Grand Hotel et de Milan in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Verdi had a stroke on 21 January 1901. He grew gradually more feeble and died six days later, on 27 January. Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

 conducted the vast forces of combined orchestras and choirs composed of musicians from throughout Italy at the state funeral for Verdi in Milan. To date, it remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.

Verdi was initially buried in Milan’s Cimitero Monumentale. A month later, his body was moved to the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti
Casa di Riposo per Musicisti
The Casa di Riposo per Musicisti is a rest home for retired opera singers and musicians in Milan, northern Italy, founded by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896. The building was designed in the neo-Gothic style by Italian architect, Camillo Boito. Both Verdi and his wife, Giuseppina...

, a rest home for retired musicians that Verdi had established.

Role in the Risorgimento

Music historians have long perpetuated a myth about the famous Va, pensiero
chorus sung in the third act of
Nabucco
Nabucco
Nabucco is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the Biblical story and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue...

. The myth
reports that, when the
Va, pensiero chorus was sung in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, then belonging to the large part of Italy under Austrian domination, the audience, responding with nationalistic fervor to the exiled slaves' lament for their lost homeland, demanded an encore of the piece. As encores were expressly forbidden by the government at the time, such a gesture would have been extremely significant. However, recent scholarship puts this to rest. Although the audience did indeed demand an encore, it was not for Va, pensiero but rather for the hymn Immenso Jehova, sung by the Hebrew slaves to thank God for saving His people. In light of these new revelations, Verdi's position as the musical figurehead of the Risorgimento has been correspondingly downplayed.Claudio, Verdi, Milan: Rusconi, 1982

On the other hand, during rehearsals, workmen in the theater stopped what they were doing during
Va, pensiero and applauded at the conclusion of this haunting melody while the growth of the "identification of Verdi's music with Italian nationalist politics" is judged to have begun in the summer 1846 in relation to a chorus from Ernani in which the name of one of its characters, "Carlo", was changed to "Pio", a reference to Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

's grant of an amnesty to political prisoners.

After Italy was unified in 1861, many of Verdi's early operas were re-interpreted as Risorgimento
Italian unification
Italian unification was the political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century...

 works with hidden Revolutionary messages that probably had not been intended by either the composer or librettist. Beginning in Naples in 1859 and spreading throughout Italy, the slogan "Viva VERDI" was used as an acronym for Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re
D'Italia (Viva
Viva
Vive, Viva and can refer to:-Arts and entertainment:*Viva , a Warhol "superstar"*Viva La Vida, an iconic artwork by Frida Kahlo, the title meaning...

 Victor Emmanuel King of Italy),
referring to Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Victor Emanuel II was king of Sardinia from 1849 and, on 17 March 1861, he assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878...

, then king of Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

.

The Chorus of the Hebrews (the English title for Va, pensiero) has another appearance in Verdi folklore. Prior to Verdi's body's being driven from the cemetery to the official memorial service and its final resting place at the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti
Casa di Riposo per Musicisti
The Casa di Riposo per Musicisti is a rest home for retired opera singers and musicians in Milan, northern Italy, founded by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896. The building was designed in the neo-Gothic style by Italian architect, Camillo Boito. Both Verdi and his wife, Giuseppina...

, Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

 conducted a chorus of 820 singers in "Va, pensiero". At the Casa, the Miserere from Il trovatore was sung.

Verdi was elected as a member of the Chamber of Deputies in 1861 following a request of Prime Minister Cavour but in 1865 he resigned from the office. In 1874 he was named Senator of the Kingdom
Italian Senate
The Senate of the Republic is the upper house of the Italian Parliament. It was established in its current form on 8 May 1948, but previously existed during the Kingdom of Italy as Senato del Regno , itself a continuation of the Senato Subalpino of Sardinia-Piedmont established on 8 May 1848...

 by King Victor Emanuel II.

Style

Verdi's predecessors who influenced his music were Rossini, Bellini, Giacomo Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer was a noted German opera composer, and the first great exponent of "grand opera." At his peak in the 1830s and 1840s, he was the most famous and successful composer of opera in Europe, yet he is rarely performed today.-Early years:He was born to a Jewish family in Tasdorf , near...

 and, most notably, Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. His best-known works are the operas L'elisir d'amore , Lucia di Lammermoor , and Don Pasquale , all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite and La fille du régiment...

 and Saverio Mercadante
Saverio Mercadante
Giuseppe Saverio Raffaele Mercadante was an Italian composer, particularly of operas. While Mercadante may not have retained the international celebrity of Gaetano Donizetti or Gioachino Rossini beyond his own lifetime, he composed as impressive a number of works as either; and his development of...

. With the exception of Otello and Aida, he was free of Wagner's influence. Although respectful of Gounod, Verdi was careful not to learn anything from the Frenchman whom many of Verdi's contemporaries regarded as the greatest living composer. Some strains in Aida suggest at least a superficial familiarity with the works of the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka
Mikhail Glinka
Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka , was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country, and is often regarded as the father of Russian classical music...

, whom Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt ; ), was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age...

, after his tour of the Russian Empire as a pianist, popularized in Western Europe.

Throughout his career, Verdi rarely utilised the high C in his tenor arias, citing the fact that the opportunity to sing that particular note in front of an audience distracts the performer before and after the note appears. However, he did provide high Cs to Duprez in Jérusalem
Jérusalem
Jérusalem is a grand opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz which was partly translated and adapted from Verdi's original 1843 Italian opera, I Lombardi alla prima crociata...

and to Tamberlick in the original version of La forza del destino
La forza del destino
La forza del destino is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino , by Ángel de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas, with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller's Wallensteins Lager. It was first performed...

. The high C, often-heard in the aria "Di quella pira" from Il trovatore
Il trovatore
Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto...

, does not appear in Verdi's score.

Some critics maintain he paid insufficient attention to the technical aspect of composition, lacking as he did schooling and refinement. Verdi himself once said, "Of all composers, past and present, I am the least learned." He hastened to add, however, "I mean that in all seriousness, and by learning I do not mean knowledge of music."
However, it would be incorrect to assume that Verdi underestimated the expressive power of the orchestra or failed to use it to its full capacity where necessary. Moreover, orchestral and contrapuntal innovation is characteristic of his style: for instance, the strings producing a rapid ascending scale in Monterone's scene in Rigoletto
Rigoletto
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

accentuate the drama, and, in the same opera, the chorus humming six closely grouped notes backstage portrays, very effectively, the brief ominous wails of the approaching tempest. Verdi's innovations are so distinctive that other composers do not use them; they remain, to this day, some of Verdi's signatures.

Verdi was one of the first composers who insisted on patiently seeking out plots to suit his particular talents. Working closely with his librettists and well aware that dramatic expression was his forte, he made certain that the initial work upon which the libretto was based was stripped of all "unnecessary" detail and "superfluous" participants, and only characters brimming with passion and scenes rich in drama remained.

Many of his operas, especially the later ones from 1851 onwards, are a staple of the standard repertoire. With the possible exception of Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Puccini
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire...

, no composer of Italian opera has managed to match Verdi's popularity.

Works

Verdi's operas, and their date of première are:
  • Oberto
    Oberto (opera)
    Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio is an opera in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an existing libretto by Antonio Piazza probably called Rocester....

    , 17 November 1839
  • Un giorno di regno
    Un giorno di regno
    Un giorno di regno, ossia il finto Stanislao is an operatic melodramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani, based on the play Le faux Stanislas by Alexandre Vincent Pineu-Duval...

    , 5 September 1840
  • Nabucco
    Nabucco
    Nabucco is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the Biblical story and the 1836 play by Auguste Anicet-Bourgeois and Francis Cornue...

    , 9 March 1842
  • I Lombardi alla prima crociata
    I Lombardi alla prima crociata
    I Lombardi alla prima crociata is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an epic poem by Tommaso Grossi. Its first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 11 February 1843...

    , 11 February 1843
  • Ernani
    Ernani
    Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Hernani by Victor Hugo. The first production took place at La Fenice Theatre, Venice on 9 March 1844...

    , 9 March 1844
  • I due Foscari
    I due Foscari
    I due Foscari is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on a historical play, The Two Foscari by Lord Byron....

    , 3 November 1844
  • Giovanna d'Arco
    Giovanna d'Arco
    Giovanna d'Arco is an operatic dramma lirico with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera....

    , 15 February 1845
  • Alzira
    Alzira (opera)
    Alzira is an opera in a prologue and two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play Alzire, ou les Américains by Voltaire.The first performance was at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, on August 12, 1845...

    , 12 August 1845
  • Attila
    Attila (opera)
    Attila is an opera in a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on the play Attila, König der Hunnen by Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner. Initially, Verdi had enlisted Francesco Maria Piave to prepare the libretto, after Verdi's own scenario...

    , 17 March 1846
  • Macbeth
    Macbeth (opera)
    Macbeth is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, with an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and additions by Andrea Maffei, based on Shakespeare's play of the same name...

    , 14 March 1847
  • I masnadieri
    I masnadieri
    I masnadieri is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Andrea Maffei, based on Die Räuber by Friedrich von Schiller....

    , 22 July 1847
  • Jérusalem
    Jérusalem
    Jérusalem is a grand opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, set to a French libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz which was partly translated and adapted from Verdi's original 1843 Italian opera, I Lombardi alla prima crociata...

    (a revision and translation of I Lombardi alla prima crociata) 26 November 1847
  • Il corsaro
    Il corsaro
    Il corsaro is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Lord Byron's poem The Corsair...

    , 25 October 1848
  • La battaglia di Legnano
    La battaglia di Legnano
    La battaglia di Legnano is an opera in four acts, with music by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian-language libretto by Salvadore Cammarano. It was based on the play La Bataille de Toulouse by Joseph Méry. The opera received its first performance on 27 January 1849, at the Teatro Argentina, Rome...

    , 27 January 1849
  • Luisa Miller
    Luisa Miller
    Luisa Miller is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich von Schiller. The first performance was given at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on December 8, 1849...

    , 8 December 1849
  • Stiffelio
    Stiffelio
    Stiffelio is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Le pasteur, ou L'évangile et le foyer by Émile Souvestre and Eugène Bourgeois...

    , 16 November 1850
  • Rigoletto
    Rigoletto
    Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

    , 11 March 1851
  • Il trovatore
    Il trovatore
    Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto...

    , 19 January 1853
  • La traviata
    La traviata
    La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

    , 6 March 1853
  • Les vêpres siciliennes
    Les vêpres siciliennes
    Les vêpres siciliennes is an opéra in five acts by the Italian romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi set to a French libretto by Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe from their work Le duc d'Albe, which was written in 1838 and offered to Halevy and Donizetti before Verdi...

    , 13 June 1855
  • Simon Boccanegra
    Simon Boccanegra
    Simon Boccanegra is an opera with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Simón Bocanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez....

    , 12 March 1857
  • Aroldo
    Aroldo
    Aroldo is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on and adapted from their earlier 1850 collaboration, Stiffelio...

    (A major revision of Stiffelio), 16 August 1857
  • Un ballo in maschera
    Un ballo in maschera
    Un ballo in maschera , is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi with text by Antonio Somma. The libretto is loosely based on an 1833 play, Gustave III, by French playwright Eugène Scribe who wrote about the historical assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden...

    , 17 February 1859
  • La forza del destino
    La forza del destino
    La forza del destino is an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino , by Ángel de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas, with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller's Wallensteins Lager. It was first performed...

    , 10 November 1862
  • Don Carlos
    Don Carlos
    Don Carlos is a five-act grand opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French language libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien by Friedrich Schiller...

    , 11 March 1867
  • Aida
    Aida
    Aida sometimes spelled Aïda, is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette...

    , 24 December 1871
  • Otello
    Otello
    Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

    , 5 February 1887
  • Falstaff
    Falstaff (opera)
    Falstaff is an operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and scenes from Henry IV. It was Verdi's last opera, written in the composer's ninth decade, and only the second of his 26 operas to be a comedy...

    , 9 February 1893

Political Significance

Unlike most of the visual arts, opera was commercially profitable, accessible to most classes of society, and thus an effective means of reaching the 19th-century public. Verdi used musical theater to contrast noble ideals with the corrosive effects of power, love of country with the inevitable call for sacrifice and death, and the lure of passion with the need for social order.

Media

Cultural depictions and references

  • The 1985 play After Aida
    After Aida
    After Aida , is a 1985 play-with-music by Julian Mitchell. It is about Giuseppe Verdi, and the pressure put upon him after his attempt to retire from composing...

    is a play-with-music similar to Amadeus. It is an accurate and learned, yet dramatic and humorous, depiction of Verdi's relationship with his librettist Arrigo Boito
    Arrigo Boito
    Arrigo Boito , aka Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito, pseudonym Tobia Gorrio, was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele...

    , and the attempts of Giulio Ricordi
    Giulio Ricordi
    Giulio Ricordi was an Italian editor and musician.-Biography:Ricordi was born in Milan, where he also died....

     and Franco Faccio
    Franco Faccio
    Franco Faccio was an Italian composer and conductor.-Biography:Born in Verona, Faccio became known as a conductor of Verdi's music. He studied music at the Milan Conservatory where he was a pupil of Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti...

     to get the two to collaborate on a project, Otello
    Otello
    Otello is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on Shakespeare's play Othello. It was Verdi's penultimate opera, and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887....

    .

Eponyms

  • There are many theatres named after Verdi
    Teatro Verdi
    In Italy there are many theatres dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi:* Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Brindisi* Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto* Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Cesena* Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Florence* Teatro Verdi in Milan aka Teatro del Buratto...

     in Italy.
  • The Verdi Inlet on the Beethoven Peninsula
    Beethoven Peninsula
    The Beethoven Peninsula is a deeply indented, ice-covered peninsula, long in a northeast-southwest direction and wide at its broadest part, forming the southwest part of Alexander Island, which lies off the southwestern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Mendelssohn Inlet, the Brahms Inlet...

     of Alexander Island
    Alexander Island
    Alexander Island or Alexander I Island or Alexander I Land or Alexander Land is the largest island of Antarctica, with an area of lying in the Bellingshausen Sea west of the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, from which it is separated by Marguerite Bay and George VI Sound. Alexander Island lies off...

     just off Antarctica
  • Verdi Square
    Verdi Square
    Verdi Square is a small triangle of land enclosed by a railing, located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, between 72nd Street and 73rd Street on the south and north, and Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue on the west and east. On the south the square fronts West 72nd Street; across the street to the...

     at Broadway and West 72nd Street in Manhattan
    Manhattan
    Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

     features the Giuseppe Verdi Monument
    Giuseppe Verdi Monument
    The Giuseppe Verdi Monument is a sculpture in honor of composer Giuseppe Verdi located in Verdi Square Park in New York City.The monument was dedicated on Columbus Day, October 12, 1906 by the Verdi Monument Committee chaired by Carlo Barsotti , an Italian-American who hoped to inspire young...

    .
  • Asteroid 3975 Verdi
    3975 Verdi
    3975 Verdi is a small main belt asteroid. It was discovered by Freimut Börngen in 1982 and is named after the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi....

  • Verdi Football Club, an association football club founded in Parma
    Parma
    Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

     in July 1913, is after a series of name changes known today as the internationally successful Parma Football Club.


Verdi's name literally translates as "Joseph Green" in English (although verdi is the plural form of "green"). Musical comedian Victor Borge
Victor Borge
Victor Borge ,born Børge Rosenbaum, was a Danish comedian, conductor and pianist, affectionately known as The Clown Prince of Denmark,The Unmelancholy Dane,and The Great Dane.-Early life and career:...

 often referred to the famous composer as "Joe Green" in his act, saying that "Giuseppe Verdi" was merely his "stage name". The same joke-translation is mentioned in Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun
Evil Under the Sun (1982 film)
Evil Under the Sun is a 1982 British mystery film based on the 1941 novel Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie.-Production:The screenplay was written by Anthony Shaffer and an uncredited Barry Sandler...

 by Patrick Redfern to Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot
Hercule Poirot is a fictional Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie. Along with Miss Marple, Poirot is one of Christie's most famous and long-lived characters, appearing in 33 novels and 51 short stories published between 1920 and 1975 and set in the same era.Poirot has been portrayed on...

 – a prank which inadvertently gives Poirot the answer to the murder.

External links

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