Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi is one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. “I am and will always be the peasant of Roncole” – these are the words that one of the greatest composers in the history of mankind does not stop repeating until the end of his days.
Giuseppe Verdiсе was born in 1813 in the village Roncole, near Parma in a family of a poor tavern-keeper. The interesting fact about this part of Italy is that by this time of the year it was part of Napoleon’s possessions. That’s why when Verdi was born, he had a French name and it had been like this for 2 years and after the Vien Congress Parma became Austrian territory.
Giuseppe is one child for Carlo and Luigia. After him came Giuseppina – his beautiful little sister, who was born deaf-mute. The family didn’t have enough money, but Verdi’s father had bought him an old musical key instrument, which was the first touch to the art of music.
And by this time Italy was full of music – for a short time the country became a cradle for modern opera art.
Home village became part of Verdi’s memories. After his first success, he became saving money to make his famous estate Sant’Agata, which was also his creative residence.
When he was 12, Verdi’s parents moved to Busseto, where he started to have lessons about composition. When he turned 18, he was not accepted to study in Milan. The reason according to the examiners was that Verdi was not that special to study Music there.
Besides the bad beginning, Verdi didn’t give up and became a student of Vincenzo Lavigna – the director of La Scala Opera. Lavigna showed Verdi the works of Rossini, Donizetti, Coreli and some of the best german composers.
After 3 years Verdi came back to Busseto, where by coincidence he had started to teach music his future wife – Margarita. They got married in 1836 and had two children – a boy and a girl. And here is the biggest suffering for Verdi during his lifetime – his kids died when they were very small, and then his wife.
Besides all the personal trauma and suffering, the next years were very good for his career. Verdi made one of the best works – La traviata, Il trovatore, Nabucco, Aida, Otello, Falstaff and many more.
In 1847 Verdi moved to Paris, where he met the singer Giuseppina Strepponi, who became his second wife.
The great composer died in 1901 in Milan because of a brain insultus.
Once Goethe said: “Shakespeare – and eternity!” And we can change that genius quote into “Verdi – and eternity!”. Because the music of the “Roncole’s peasant” touches the hearts of many people, cultures, religions and so on even nowadays.
This post is also available in: Български