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Giuseppe Verdi Quotes


Giuseppe Verdi
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi
  • Born: 10th October 1813, Le Roncole, Taro, French Empire
  • Died: 27th January 1901, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
  • Resting place: Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, Milan, Italy
  • Alma mater: Busseto Ginnasio
  • Occupation: Operatic composer
  • Nickname: Il Sovrano
  • Inspired by: Gaetano Donizetti, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Gioachino Rossini, Mikhail Glinka, Saverio Mercadante, Victor Hugo, Vincenzo Bellini, Vincenzo Lavigna and William Shakespeare
  • Influenced: Arturo Toscanini, Emanuele Muzio, Giacomo Puccini and Victor Borge
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"I have striven for perfection, it has always eluded me, but I surely had an obligation to make one more try"

Giuseppe Verdi

"The Germans have different methods from us, their art is intrinsically different. We cannot, indeed I say we must not, write like the Germans, nor the Germans like us"

Giuseppe Verdi

"For us, descendants of Palestrina, to imitate Wagner is to commit a musical crime, and we are doing something useless, even harmful"

Giuseppe Verdi

"I deny that either singers or conductors can "create" or work creatively - this, as I have always said, is a conception that leads to the abyss"

Giuseppe Verdi

"Perhaps one morning I shall awake a millionaire. What a lovely, full sounding word. How empty by contrast are the words fame, glory and talent"

Giuseppe Verdi

"We shall not escape the European war, and it will devour us. It will not happen tomorrow, but it will happen"

Giuseppe Verdi

"I accept their hisses on condition that I don't have to beg for their applause"

Giuseppe Verdi

"I prefer to remain what I am, that is to say, a peasant from Roncole"

Giuseppe Verdi

"Let us turn to the past: that will be progress"

Giuseppe Verdi

"To copy the truth can be a good thing, but to invent the truth is better, much better"

Giuseppe Verdi

"A man like Verdi must write like Verdi"

Giuseppe Verdi

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy"

Giuseppe Verdi

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Giuseppe Verdi Biography

Giuseppe Verdi was the Italian operatic composer whose body of work played its part in the unification of Italy and become part of the fabric of Italian culture.



"Viva Verdi" was the slogan on the lips of Italian patriots who voiced their support for the Risorgimento as this political and social movement gained traction in the mid nineteenth century as the unification of the Italian states was turning from visualisation to actuality.

The slogan had a double meaning as it was a way of promoting the propaganda of the composers nationalistic operas as well as being an acronym (Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia) supporting Victor Emmanuel king of Italy. As a boy he was a musical protégé whose gift was well groomed in Busseto and Milan and his growing reputation saw his first opera "Operto" debut at Milan’s La Scala in 1839 when he was 26 years of age.

He turned the myth of the tragic artist into reality as he was devastated by the loss of his two children (Virginia Maria Luigia 26th March 1837 - 12th August 1838 and Icilio Romano 11th July 1838 - 22nd October 1839) and his beloved first wife Margherita Barezzi (4th May 1814 - 18th June 1840). His painful suffering laid bare his humanity and released his artistic soul to create some of the most moving operas that have graced the finest theatres on this planet

In 1842 Verdi wrote the opera Nabucco which contained the song "Va Pensiero" that stirred the emotions of nostalgic nationalism, and gradually this became the soundtrack for Italian independence during the forthcoming years.

Such is the impact this song has had on Italian culture it has on a number of occasions in both the 20th and 21st centuries been suggested it should replace the current Italian national anthem.

During the years 1851 to 1853 Verdi was at the pinnacle of his artistic creativity whereby he wrote Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata which added to his body of work which when taken in its entirety is amongst the most frequently performed operas in the world today.

Verdi tapped into the Italian psyche recognising how they appreciate the way opera expresses feelings, passion and human emotion, he was also good for one liner so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Giuseppe Verdi quotes

Quotes About Giuseppe Verdi

The Italian poet Arrigo Boito recognised his immense talent when he said: "You have the secret of the correct tone, at the correct moment. This is the great secret of art and life"

George Martin thought highly of Verdi as he stated: "He was the greatest artist of the Risorgimento. Throughout his work its values, its issues recur constantly, and he expressed them with great power"


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