The Latymer School History Magazine - page 5

It is widely believed that
Verdi was a revolutionary,
inspiring the masses
throughout the Risorgimento
in Italy. His name was even
made into an acronym in
1858 when Italian unification
looked promising, to praise
Victor Emmanuel, the first
King of a united Italy – VIVA
VERDI meaning Viva Vittorio
Emanuele Re D’ Italia (Long
Live Victor Emmanuel King of
Italy). However, are these
ideas really true? Did Verdi
have an impact at the time,
or was he just writing opera
in the right place at the right
time for people to later
consider him as a
revolutionary?
Giuseppe Verdi was born in
1813 in Busseto which, at the
time of his birth, was part of
the First French Empire, led
by Napoleon I. After the
defeat of Napoleon and the
Treaty of Vienna in 1815, pre-
Napoleonic rule was
reinstated in Italy and
Busseto became part of the
Duchy of Parma which was
strongly influenced by
Austria. Verdi’s first opera
premiered in 1839 and at
this time opera was very
different to how it is
perceived in today’s society.
VERDI, THE REVOLUTIONARY?
By Polly Holmes
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