“Few people know that Giuseppe Verdi was “French” by birth.

Fortunino Giuseppe Francesco Verdi , this was his first name, was born in Roncole fraction of Busseto , October 10, 1813 in the then Department of Taro part of the Napoleonic Empire.

Two years later, with the fall of Napoleon, he finds himself a citizen of the “reborn ” Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla governed by Maria Luigia of Austria ( 1791-1847 ).

The birth certificate of Giuseppe Verdi is in fact written in French (the official language for public acts at that time), and only years later was eventually copied in Latin.

At the age of nineteen, he finally obtained a passport from the Government of Her Majesty, the Duchess Maria Luigia and was then able to leave for his first “trip abroad” heading to Milan. The capital of Lombardy-Venetia was in fact annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

France, and especially Paris, remains an important place for the Maestro. He arrived in 1847 and will settle there with Giuseppina Strepponi, with whom he already lived. He will stay in Paris for two years, assisting from there to the events of 1848 that in the month of March of that year began to spread throughout Europe.

Paris, together with Venice, became in these years a very important stage for Giuseppe Verdi.

On 26 November 1947, at the Opéra de Paris, Jérusalem, a French re-working of the Lombardi alla Prima Crociata is successfully staged, with the libretto by Gustav Vaëz and Alphonse Royer. On 1852 signs a contracts with the Opéra of Paris and two years later he receives the libretto of Les vêpres siciliennes.

In 1854 under Verdi’s direction, a highly successful performance of Il Trovatore is staged at the Théatre Italien of Paris. On 12 January 1857, at the Opéra of Paris, Le Trouvère is staged.

Few year later, invited by the publisher Escudier, he undertakes the revision of Macbeth for the French play houses, with the libretto translated by Charles Nuitter and Alexandre Beaumont. On 21 April 1865, at the Théâtre Lyrique of Paris, The French version of Macbeth is staged,

On 11 March, at the Teatro dell’Opéra of Paris, Don Carlos receives a luke-warm reception

France, and Paris in particular, have to be remembered as a turning point on Giuseppe Verdi’s life. From birth to his artistic maturity.

 

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