Born: 1813, Le Roncole, Parma (Italy)
Died: 1901, Milan, Italy
Giuseppe Verdi carried the tradition of Italian opera represented by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti during the first decades of the 19th century into the 20th, when Puccini inherited Verdi’s mantle. Early successes were overshadowed by tragedy (his daughter, son, and wife all died between 1838 and 1840), but his “years in the galleys,” during which he composed an opera a year, placed him at the forefront of European music. There followed successes in Paris, St. Petersburg, and Cairo, and an Indian summer that produced two final masterpieces, Otello and Falstaff.
Il trovatore (The Troubadour, 1852)
La traviata (The Fallen Woman, 1853)