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Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian composer who is known for several operas, including La Traviata and Aida.
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His rejection of the traditional Italian opera for integrated scenes and unified acts only added to his fame.
For the rest of the 1840s, and through the 1850s, '60s and '70s, Verdi continued to garner success and fame. Comprising a popular operatic series throughout the decades were Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), Don Carlos (1867) and Aida, which premiered at the Cairo Opera House in 1871. Four years later, in 1874,
Verdi completed Messa da Requiem (best known simply as Requiem), which was meant to be his final composition. He retired shortly thereafter.
Despite his retirement plans, in the mid-1880s, through a connection initiated by longtime friend Giulio Ricordi, Verdi collaborated with composer and novelist Arrigo Boito (also known as Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito) to complete Otello. Completed in 1886, the four-act opera was performed for the first time at Milan's Teatro alla Scala on February 5, 1887. Initially meeting with incredible acclaim throughout Europe, the opera—based on William Shakespeare's play Othello—continues to be regarded as one of the greatest operas of all time.
Never one to rest on his laurels, even in his old age, Verdi followed Otello's success with Falstaff, another collaboration with Boito. Completed in 1890, when Verdi was in his late 70s, Falstaff—a comedic adaptation of the Shakespearean plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, and consisting of three acts—debuted at Milan's La Scala on February 9, 1893. Like Othello, early reactions to Falstaff were, by and large, tremendously positive, and the opera continues to earn great renown today.
Giuseppe Verdi died on January 27, 1901, in Milan, Italy.
Completing 25 operas throughout his career, Verdi continues to be regarded today as one of the greatest composers in history. Furthermore, his works have reportedly been performed more than any other performer's worldwide.
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