Why Famous: Giuseppe Verdi was the dominant Italian composer of the 19th century. Born the same year as Richard Wagner, both composers created unique styles of opera that are still central to the opera repertory today. Verdi's works remain renown for their melodies and theatrical style.
Verdi's first success was with the opera "Nubucco" (1842), which began a period where he drove himself to produce two operas a year. Verdi's relationship and later marriage with the former singer Giuseppina Strepponi is thought to have inspired three of his classic operas "Rigoletto" (1851), Il trovatore (1853 and "La traviata" (1853), especially the character of the fallen woman Violetta .
Verdi then became internationally famous, producing operas for the Opéra at Paris such as "Don Carlos" (1867) and for overseas commissions such as "Aida" (1871) in Cairo.
In his later years Verdi was coaxed out of retirement to compose two classic operas, "Otello" (1887) for La Scala in Milan and his last opera "Falstaff" (1893) produced from a liberetto by Arrigo Boito.
- 1839-11-17 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Oberte Conti Di" premieres in Milan
- 1842-03-09 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Nabucco" premieres in Milan
- 1844-03-09 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Hernani" premieres in Venice
- 1847-03-14 Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's "Macbeth" at the Teatro della Pergola, Florence
- 1849-12-08 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Luisa Miller" premieres in Naples
- 1851-03-11 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Rigoletto" premieres in Venice
- 1853-01-19 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Il Trovatore" premieres in Rome
- 1853-03-06 Giuseppe Verdi's Opera "La Traviata" premieres in Venice
- 1857-03-12 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Simon Boccanegra" premieres in Venice
- 1859-02-17 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premieres in Napoli
- 1867-03-11 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Don Carlos" premieres in Paris
- 1887-02-05 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Otello" premieres at La Scala in Italy, Verdi's first new opera for over 15 years
- 1893-02-09 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Falstaff" premieres in Milan