Giuseppe Verdi Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1813 – 1901 *** Full Name: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi *** Occupation: Italian Composer *** Date of Birth: Giuseppe Verdi was born on October 9th 1813 *** Place of Birth: Giuseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole, near Busseto in the First French Empire *** Family background: His father was Carlo Giuseppe Verdi and his mother Luigia were of very modest means, his father being an innkeeper and his mother a spinner *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his sister Giuseppa but she tragically died at seventeen years of age *** Education: He received private tuition from the age of four in Italian and Latin from Baistrocchi, the village schoolmaster and later attend the local school ***
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 1: Giuseppe Verdi was born on October 9th 1813 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 2: Verdi displayed a natural aptitude to music and also joined the local church initially servicing in the choir, then as an altar boy and all the time taking organ lessons until his teacher, Baistrocchi died and Verdi took over teacher at eight years of age and was duly paid to do so.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 3: By 1823 when Verdi reached ten years of age, his parents made arrangements for him to attend a school in Busseto and by the time he was eleven he was being schooled in Latin, Italian, rhetoric and humanities.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 4: In June of 1827 Verdi had graduated from school with honors and was then able to devote himself solely to his music studying with Provesi.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 5: By 1829 he had become the leader of the Philharmonic orchestra.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 6: Barezzi and Demalde both commented of Giuseppe Verdi that "He shows a vivid imagination, a philosophical outlook, and sound judgment in the arrangement of instrumental parts."
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 7: In late 1829 Provesi proclaimed he could teach Verdi no more. During that time Verdi had been teaching Margherita, Barezzi’s daughter the piano and giving her singing lessons, they were also secretly engaged.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 8: Although he had original had his sights set on attending the Conservatory in Milan, his application was denied so instead Barezzi arranged for Giuseppe Verdi to become a pupil of Vincenzo Lavigna in a private capacity.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 9: Vincenzo insisted Verdi get a subscription to La Scala and in the meantime he acquainted himself with the Milanese music community.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 10: Before very long Verdi found himself acting as the rehearsal director as well as the continuo player for the Societa Filarmonica.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 11: In 1834 he had become the director of Busseto school with a contract for three years.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 12: Margherita and Giuseppe Verdi married and in quick succession had a daughter Virginia and a son Icilio, sadly both children died in infancy. Shortly after the death of their children, Margherita also died suddenly leaving Verdi completely devastated by his loss.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 13: Having had a small success with his first opera, Oberto, Bartolomeo Merelli, the impresario of La Scala, commissioned him to produce three further operas. His next opera, which he had been working on when his wife passed, was a complete disaster and so distraught was he, he promised never to compose again.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 14: Merelli would persuade Giuseppe Verdi to keep going and slowly, slowly he began to make progress on new material for Nabucco. After the success of this opera, Verdi found much solace in his work, he went on to produce another twenty nine operas for La Scala.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 15: He decided to settle permanently in Milan and became close friends with Countess Clara Maffei’s.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 16: As his popularity grew and his finances improved he began to invest his money wisely in land and property. Securing a home for his parents Giuseppe Verdi later purchased Palazzo Cavalli on the via Roma in Busseto’s main street and in 1848 he purchased land and houses which had previously belonged to his family at Sant’Agata. Here he would build his own house which would be completed in 1880. The villa would later become known as Villa Verdi.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 17: In 1844 he took on a pupil, Emanuele Muzio, only eight years his junior and he would become Verdi’s only pupil and relied on him enormously.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 18: Verdi met Giuseppina Strepponi in 1843 and their relationship would continue for many years. By 1849 the couple were pressed to leave Paris because of an outbreak of cholera and so went to Verdi’s villa in Bussetto where he continued to work.Giuseppe Verdi Fact 19: Family relations would become quite strained as Verdi and Strepponi were opening living together without marriage and this was causing great difficulties both within the family and within the local community and making Giuseppina very unhappy. The couple finally married in August of 1859.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 20: By 1859 Verdi began to actively take an interest in Italian politics. He became a member of the new provincial council and was one of five members who would meet King Vittorio Emanuele II in Turin. He also became a member of the Italian Senate.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 21: Giuseppe Verdi continued to work and also to look after and build on his property in Bussetto.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 22: In his later life he produced such works as Otello and Falstaff both premiered at La Scala. He also built and endowed a rest home for those musicians that had retired in Milan.
Giuseppe Verdi Fact 23: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi died on January 27th of 1901 aged eighty seven, having suffered a stroke a week earlier. His body was finally laid to rest in the crypt of the Casa di Riposo.
Influence & Legacy: Their undying legacy is the music and performances of their operas that are still in production today and are watched and listened to by many thousands of people.
List of Operas by Giuseppe Verdi: La traviata *** Rigoletto *** Aida *** Nabucco *** Otello *** Don Carlos *** Macbeth *** Falstaff ***