Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was born on October 9 or 10, 1813, in Le Roncole, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. His love and talent for music were obvious at a young age. When he was only eight, he became the official organist at his local church. During his teenage years, he recalled that he “wrote a motley assortment of pieces: marches for band by the hundred, perhaps as many little sinfonie that were used in church, in the theatre and at concerts, five or six concertos and sets of variations for pianoforte, many serenades, cantatas and various pieces of church music” (Oxford Music Online).
In 1837, at the age of 24, Giuseppe wrote his first opera. In November 1839, Oberto finally premiered at Teatro alla Scala in Milan to mixed reviews. After a series of professional and personal tragedies, he composed Nabucco, and, several months after finishing the opera, it premiered at La Scala on March 9, 1842, to great critical acclaim. Nearly 10 years later, Giuseppe wrote Rigoletto which granted him fame and fortune. His operas Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), Don Carlos (1867), Aida (1871) followed.
Even though Giuseppe retired in 1874, he continued to write and compose. The opera Otello premiered in 1887 and is considered to be one of the greatest operas of all time. His final opera, Falstaff (1893), was also hugely successful and continues to receive positive praise today. Giuseppe died on January 27, 1901. Over the course of his career, he composed over 35 operas – many of which are still performed today.