All Verdi All the Time

In addition to composing what probably should now be called the original Aida, Giuseppe Verdi wrote 25 operas, many of which are as popular today as when he died in Milan in January 1901 at 87. He was rich and admired — a poor boy who'd become a gentleman farmer and popular patriot — as well as a complicated genius who formed friendships that lasted decades and nursed grudges with equal fervor. He did not suffer fools gently. It is entertaining to imagine him strangling Elton John with a feather boa for concocting that brain-dead piece of Disneyfied junk now blighting...

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