The Life of Giuseppe Verdi
Written by Adam Beezley on April 15, 2021
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer born in October 1813 in a village near Busseto. He rose to acclaim for his operas which diverted from traditional Italian operas by integrating scenes and introducing coherency between accounts. His works are performed across the world even today and have influenced popular culture.
From an early age, Verdi found passion and interest in music, branching out from playing the church organ to learning Latin and Italian to writing music pieces for the church. His career took off when he was hired as a conductor in the Philharmonic Society of Busseto in 1833.
In 1839, he completed his first opera named Oberto which was performed on a large scale in Milan. His second opera Teatro Alla Scala in 1940 had a comic touch to it, despite the fact that in the years preceding it he lost two of his children in infancy. In the same year, his wife also passed away. He settled down in Milan.
The work he did after the loss of his family brought him great success. Aida was a story of love and betrayal, set in the lands of ancient Egypt. It was one of his biggest and most popular productions. Don Carlos was another opera, which demonstrated the lives of three generations of Spanish royalty. Flagstaff dabbled brilliantly with humor. It challenged traditional opera by being completely free of usual opera set pieces and virtuoso numbers. La Traviata is one of the most performed operas in the world and remains a lasting memory of Verdi. Its romantic tragedy broke and solaced hundreds of hearts, and still do. Verdi once brought an audience to tears in such an intensely dramatic performance, that the fans took him to his hotel in cheers. Otello, based on Shakespeare’s Othello, is an ode to Verdi’s dramatic prowess.
He became a prominent figure in the Italian Opera and Theatre scene. His success only saw a linear growth. From 1859, he began participating in Italian politics. He started out with his support to the Risoorgimeneto movement, which called for the unification of different states of Italy into the Kingdom of Italy. His nationalistic fervor spilled over in his work, and his operas were re-interpreted to unearth the hidden revolutionary messages in them. He was elected by the New Provincial Council after Italy was united. However, he left his seat in the following year after administrative changes in the government. Despite his withdrawal from active politics, his popularity grew and in 1874, he was even appointed as a member of the Italian Senate. He refused to attend any activities. He remained committed to his music and theatrical work.
In the years following up to his death, he was beset with illnesses and indulged in philanthropy. He built a hospital in Busseto, a rest house for Milan’s retired musicians, and wrote a song to aid the earthquake victims of Sicily. He passed away from a stroke in 1901, at the age of 87. He was an admired man, whose integrity and musical genius earned him the greatest acclaims life could bestow upon a person.