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Antonio Barezzi
Milan Conservatory

married Margherita Barezzi
His first opera
Next opera
Tragic period for the composer

Giuseppina Strepponi

VIVA V.E.R.D.I. meant "VIVA VITTORIO EMANUELE RE D'ITALIA - long live Vittorio Emanuele king of Italy"


Requiem Mass for Alessandro Manzoni

He died in Milan in 1901

Giuseppe Verdi was born on 10th October 1813 in Roncole di Busseto near Parma.
At first he studied music in a not very good way, then, a merchant from Busseto called Antonio Barezzi gave him the opportunity to study with better teachers.
In 1831, at the age of eighteen, he attempted admission to the Milan conservatory, but was rejected and studied privately with maestro Vincenzo Lavigna. Ironically now the Milan Conservatory is called "Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory".
He returned to Busseto and married Margherita Barezzi, Antonio’s daughter with whom he had two children.
His first opera performed at the Scala in Milan (Oberto Conte di San Bonifacio) had a good success, but the next opera, a comic opera (Un Giorno di Regno) was a failure perhaps because it was written in a very tragic period for the composer, in fact two children and his wife died in a few years.
Verdi decided to give up his career as a musician.
The impresario of La Scala in Milan, Bartolomeo Merelli, gave the composer the libretto of an opera called "Nabuccodonosor" written by Temistocle Solera.
It is said that Verdi was very nervous, he threw the libretto on the table which opened on the page of the "Va’ Pensiero" choir.
At that moment, inspiration came with the famous melody, and he decided to compose the opera. One of the singers of the Nabucco premiere was Giuseppina Strepponi who later became his partner, unmarried, they will live together for a few years and this unofficial union was condemned by the society of the time, they married in 1859 and Giuseppina became his second wife.
Nabucco was a success and Verdi became famous all over the world.
He was a supporter of the Risorgimento riots and Count Cavour wanted him in the first parliament of the Kingdom of Italy.
His surname became an acronym: VIVA V.E.R.D.I. meant "long live Vittorio Emanuele king of Italy"
He wrote the opera "Aida" for the inauguration of the Suez Canal in 1870 but, due to transport problems the work was performed in 1871.
He wrote a Requiem Mass for Alessandro Manzoni and other works on subjects by William Shakespeare.
He died in Milan in 1901, one hundred thousand people attended his funeral.