Viva Verdi

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the romantic Italian composer Giuseppe (Fortunino Francesco) Verdi's birth (10 October 1813 - 27 January 1901, on October 10th, 2013.On October 10th, 2013 the world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the romantic Italian composer Giuseppe (Fortunino Francesco) Verdi's birth (10 October 1813 - 27 January 1901).

Like Shakespeare in literature, Verdi has captured the imaginations and hearts of audiences from his own day to the present.

His works, which reflect the popular culture of his time, touch on the basic human themes of birth, love, death, power, greed and fortune. These are conveyed through richly-developed characters and divine music. This is a remarkable accomplishment, if we keep in mind what Verdi said of himself, "Of all composers, past and present, I am the least learned."

From the performance of his third opera Nabucco (March 1842), Verdi went from success to success, and was embraced by the people of Italy not only as a great composer but also as a representative of the Risorgimento, the rebirth of what became a unified Italy. In Nabucco, Italian opera-goers easily identified the "Va pensiero" chorus of the Hebrew slaves as a lament of the downtrodden Italian people against the yoke of an imperial power. To those who wanted Italian independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the slogan "Viva Verdi" not only celebrated the composer's achievements but also became an acronym for "Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia" - a cry for the return of the king of Italy. Many of Verdi's works deal with injustice whether it is individual or societal.

Even in his lifetime, his works became part of the international opera repertoire. And what incredible works they are, from Oberto (1839), to Nabucco (1842), to Macbeth (1847), to Rigoletto (1851), to Il Trovatore (1853), to La Traviata (1853), to Un Ballo in Maschera (1859), to La Forza del Destino (1861; performed in 1862), and Aida (1871), to name his "mega-operas." For all of those individuals who claimed that effective opera after Rossini was not possible, Verdi masterfully took drama and musical expression to new and incredible heights that we continue to enjoy today.

Join Edmonton's Italian community in celebrating this incredible anniversary. Plan to take in the range of events.

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The National Congress of Italian-Canadians, Edmonton District (NCIC)
and The Celebrating Italian Families of Edmonton Society (CIFES)