Born: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, Birthplace: Roncole, province of Parma, Italy (but was France then). Father: Carlo Giuseppe Verdi, innkeeper Mother: Luigia Uttini, spinner Siblings: Giuseppa, died aged 17. Some say her name was Virginia. 1st Wife: Margherita Barezzi (pupil) Died aged 26 shortly after the death of their children. Children: daughter Virginia and son Icilio, both died in infancy 2nd wife: Giuseppina Strepponi, a soprano Died:27 January 1901, Milan Cause of Death: stroke Grave: Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, Milan. see findagrave
28 operas, including:
- Don Carlos
- Il Trovatore
- La Forza del Destino
- La Traviata
2013 sees the celebrations for his 200th birthday. Concerts, souvenirs, documentaries, articles, books - enjoy it all.
- Early Years: He showed an early interest in music but his parents didn't have the money for him to take lessons. At age 7 he used to help the local church organist. At age 12 he studied with the organist of the church in nearby Bussetto and became his asistant at age 16. - Age 20: Attempted to enrol at the Milan Conservatory but was rejected as being too old. So he studied for three years with Vincenzo Lavigna, a harpsichordist with La Scala. - Age 23: He married Margherita, one of his pupils and the daughter of his benefactor - Age 25: Moved to Milan for the production of his opera Oberto. Birth and death of his infant daughter Virginia. - Age 26: Birth and death of his infant son Icilio. Premiere of Oberto at La Scala. They could not enjoy its moderate success following the death of their son. - Age 27: An even bigger tragedy: his wife died of encephalitis, inflamation of the brain, at the age of 26. He was devastated. Start of his working relationship with Ricordi, his publisher. - Age 29: Nabucco produced at La Scala was his first big success. Giuseppina Streponni, his future second wife was in the cast. - Age 31: Ermani premiered in Venice. I Due Foscari premiered in Rome. - Age 33: Went to Paris for production of Ermani. Attila premiered in Venice. - Age 36: Bought a villa at Sant'Agata, near Bussetto. This became his permanent home. - Age 46: Married Giuseppina. - Age 58: Premiere of Aida which had been commissioned for the opening of the Suez Canal. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies. - Age 62: Made a senator by King Victor Emmanuel II. He retired to Sant'Agata and worked on revising some of his earlier works. His last opera was Otello premiered in Milan in 1897 when he was 84. During his last years he also founded a hospital/care home for retired musicians. This was the basis for the film Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman and released in 2013. - Age 87: He had a stroke and died in Milan. His funeral is still the biggest public event ever held in Italy.
Images of Verdi An interesting collection of images from art, album covers, postage stamps, cartoons, caricatures etc.
- You may have the universe if I may have Italy
mistake, you see, was to write interminable large operas, which had to
fill an entire evening. And now along comes someone with a one or
two-act opera without all that pompous nonsense - that was a happy
- I adore art...when I am alone with my notes, my heart
pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are
too much to bear.
- "How wonderful operas would be if only there were no singers!"
- "It is better to invert reality than to copy it."
"The success of our operas rests most of the time in the hands of the
conductor. This person is as necessary as a tenor or a prima donna."
Verdi and Wagner
An interesting essay by Peter McKenzie-Brown comparing the similarities and differences in the lives of these two composers born within a few months of each other. Read it here.
La Traviata in Valencia Market (flashmob)
"La Donna e Mobile" - Rigoletto
Giuseppe's facebook group
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Opera in Verona
Every year the Verona Opera Season in the Roman amphitheater known as the Arena includes Verdi's spectacular Aida. Each season features fivde or six operas, always including works by Verdi and Puccini.