Depending on who you are, the name Giuseppe Verdi may mean the world or it may mean very little at all. If you’ve stumbled upon this website, it most likely means something to you, and we’re here to make it mean just a little more. Perhaps you’ve just been moved by a performance of Rigoletto and you’d like to know more about the man behind the music. Maybe you’ve spent years listening again and again to your recordings of Verdi’s operas, but you’d like to to know more about his Requiem. Whether you’re a newcomer to the wide and magnificent world of Verdi or a seasoned fan, you undoubtedly have some questions. Welcome to a website that has the answers!
The life of Verdi the man was and has been elevated to the status of myth and legend, as an icon, raucous shouts of “Viva Verdi!” hailed him as a champion of nationalistic pride and a uniter of all Italy, and as a composer, he was the hero of the Italian operatic world. When he died in 1901, people were not only mourning the loss of the man; they were lamenting the loss of an embodiment of everything that was noble about Italy. Two hundred thousand people attended his funeral, not counting the choir of eight hundred who performed the “Va pensiero” chorus from his first operatic success, Nebuchadnezzar. If anyone had been afraid that Verdi might be forgotten with the sweeping passage of time, they needn’t have worried. Many of his operas long ago garnered and have retained positions as warhorses of the “Top Twenty” for years. Children learn about his life and works in elementary music classes and at any given time, concert-goers are entering the theaters, preparing for an unparalleled experience. Those who are not coming, are going, dabbing their eyes and swelling with the multitude of emotions only the work of Verdi can conjure. But really, who who was Giuseppe Verdi, man, myth, and legend? What was his childhood like? Who were his major influences? Who were his lovers and enemies?
If these questions closely resemble yours, then the most obvious place to start your Giuseppe Verdi journey should be the Verdi Biography page where you’ll find up-to-date and detailed information on Verdi’s birth, childhood, love life, triumphs, tragedies, political involvement, and rise to musical stardom, as well as plenty of well-known and little-known anecdotes you’ll love to share with fellow fans of Giuseppe Verdi. Divided into user-friendly chronological sections, our Verdi biography makes both an excellent introduction to the composer’s life and a handy reference for latter use. Print one out and keep it near your stereo, or tuck one in your pocket for cocktail parties!
From our biography page, sit back and enjoy taking the time to explore a page devoted solely to the entire operatic output of Giuseppe Verdi. From his obscure first opera, Oberto to his triumphant swan song, Falstaff, all twenty eight of Verdi’s operas are profiled here, categorized into four musicological periods. Each profile provides accurate information about the date and location of the work’s premiere, an interesting fact or two about the opera’s history, and a simple synopsis guaranteed to whet your appetite for future encounters. Whether your searching for more information on an old favorite or shopping for a new Verdi experience, you’ll find what you’re looking for on our Giuseppe Verdi opera page.
If it’s something completely different you’re after—perhaps information on the inimitable Requiem of Giuseppe Verdi—then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve afforded the Requiem a page all its own! Through in-depth exposition, you’ll learn about the two great artistic losses that spurred forward Verdi’s creation of a Requiem. You’ll find out about the religious conventions that, during the work’s debut, led both to bizarre performance practices as well as a thunderous silence at the close of the piece’s performance and you’ll discover how the “Libera me” became an anthem for prisoners interred at the Terezin concentration camp during World War II. Finally, you’ll learn a bit about the Requiem from a musical standpoint—how it differs from other requiems, how it pushed the envelope of musical convention, and how Verdi’s use of chromaticism and themes spoke to his spiritual condition.
Now that you’ve found us, be you student or teacher, young or old, opera buff or opera initiate, we sincerely hope you’ll find something here to amuse, tantalize, educate, surprise, or inspire you—hopefully a combination of all these things. We also sincerely hope you’ll find your way back here again and again as you seek answers to your questions and desire to discover evermore about the life, works, and legends of Verdi. You don’t need a music degree or a long gray beard to appreciate the wonderful world of Giuseppe Verdi. Simply move your mouse, select something that strikes your fancy, click, and enjoy our straightforward, user-friendly approach to all things Verdi. Now sit back, sip an espresso, and let the adventure begin. Viva Verdi!