Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian: [d͡ʒuˈzɛppe ˈverdi]; 9 or 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian composer of opera.
Verdi was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him, becoming one of the pre-eminent opera composers of the late nineteenth century. Unlike his contemporary, Richard Wagner, Verdi was concerned to develop the forms of romantic opera that he inherited, rather than to change them through revolution.
In his early operas Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy. He also participated briefly as an elected politician. The chorus Va pensiero from his early opera Nabucco (1842) became a symbol of the unification movement, and he himself became esteemed as a personification of these ideals. An intensely private person, Verdi however did not seek to ingratiate himself with his supporters and as he became professionally successful was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region. He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida (1871), with three late masterpieces: his Requiem (1874), and the operas Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).
Verdi's musical influence on his successors was limited. Nevertheless his operas remain extremely popular, especially the three peaks of his 'middle period': Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata.