Happy 207th Birthday, Giuseppe Verdi!

One of the most beloved composers of the nineteenth century, Giuseppe Verdi had a genius of a politician and an artist, all fused in the same person. His creation offers an example of realistic and deeply human art. There is no opera house in the world that does not know Verdi’s works. Giuseppe Verdi (full name Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi) was born on October 10th, 1813 in Roncole, in northern Italy. Since childhood Verdi showed his passion for music, so his parents sent him to the nearest town, Busseto, where he began his studies with Fernando Provesi. His first compositions date from this period: works for piano and orchestra. Faced with a precarious financial situation, Verdi found support in Antonio Barezzi, who helped the young composer. Finally, Verdi obtained a two-year scholarship and left for Milan (1832). In Milan, Verdi applied unsuccessfully to study at the Conservatory. This failure gave him the opportunity to study composition with Vicenzo Lavigna, maestro concertatore at Scala in Milan.
In 1833, Provesi died and Verdi returned to Busseto, where he was appointed conductor of the local Philharmonic Society. Also, during this time, he married Margherita Barezzi, daughter of Antonio Barezzi and began working on his first opera, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio. In 1839, Verdi moved with his family to Milan, where the premiere of Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio took place. This premiere was the first success of his career. After the success of his first opera, Verdi received a commission from La Scala to write three more operas. The first one was Un giorno di regno, a comedy. Shortly after the premiere of Oberto, his wife and two children died. However, the premiere of Un giorno di regno took place at La Scala on 5th September 1840 but it was a failure, and La Scala cancelled the remaining scheduled performances. The composer would not attempt another operatic comedy until the last opera, Falstaff. Following this tragic event, the composer was impressed by the libretto from Nabucondosor, which made him continue his work. Thus, on March 9th, 1842, the premiere of Nabucco took place at La Scala.

Read the entire article here, in the 5th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine. Viva Verdi!

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