Giuseppe Verdi was born in 1813 in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto where he grew up. He is considered the greatest Italian romantic opera composer.
Some of his themes have long taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna e' mobile " from Rigoletto and "Va pensiero" in Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" from La Traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida.
His first operas had a tepid reception, but success arrived in 1842, with the opera Nabucco, followed by Ernani and Macbeth, the first opera without a love story. After the death of his wife, Verdi married Giuseppina Strepponi, a well known
soprano, and they lived at Villa Verdi at Sant'Agata until Verdi's death.
After Rigoletto premiered in Venice in 1851, Verdi wrote two of his major operas, Il Trovatore e La Traviata. His success continued with Il ballo in maschera, La forza del destino, I Vespri siciliani and Don Carlos,
but his most famous opera is Aida, commissioned by the Egyptian government and premiered to great acclaim in Cairo on 24 December 1871.
While staying at the Grand Hotel in Milan, Verdi suffered a stroke on 21 January 1901. He grew gradually more feeble and died six days later. Arturo Toscanini conducted combined orchestras and choirs
composed of musicians from throughout Italy at his state funeral in Milan. More than 300,000 people paid their respects to the composer. It remains the largest public assembly of any event in the history of Italy.
Verdi was initially buried in Milan's Cimitero Monumentale, but a month later, his body was moved to the Casa di riposo per Musicisti, a rest home for retired musicians that Verdi himself had established.
The Society will celebrate Verdi's 200th anniversary with a series of lectures. The first will take place on Friday 23rd August at the Mitchell Theatre; details are coming soon.
700th anniversary of Giovanni Boccaccio's birth
Fri, 15 March 2013 - - Giovanni Boccaccio was born in 1313 in Tuscany, the illegitimate son of a merchant of Certaldo, who launched him on a commercial career. As a young man Bocaccio lived in Naples and mingled in courtly society, falling in love with a noble lady whom he made famous under the name of Fiammetta. Towards 1350, Boccaccio became a diplomat entrusted with important public affairs and visited Rome,
Ravenna, Avignon and Brandenburg.
In 1358 he completed his most
famous work, the Decameron,
which is set in Florence during the
plague. This is the story of three
gentlemen and seven ladies who
escaped to the country and
over a period of ten days told
one hundred stories.
In graceful Italian, Boccaccio
selected the plot of the stories
from the popular fiction of his day
and his originality lays not only in
his narrative skills, but also in the rich poetical sentiments which adorn his prose. The influence of the Decameron on European literature has been
profound, not just in Italy, but in France and especially England, where both Chaucer and Shakespeare were influenced by it.
This year, we have celebrated the 700th anniversary of Giovanni Boccaccio's birth with a spectacular presentation
of art, literature and theatre on Friday, 15 March 2013 at the Mitchell Theatre, featuring art historian Barbara Bertini and actor Bianca Bonino.
"Ephemeral Like Laughter": Introducing Commedia dell'Arte
Fri, 21 Sept 2012, 6:00pm - - Commedia dell'Arte, also known as "Italian comedy,"
was a humorous theatrical presentation performed by professional players who travelled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century.
La Dante invites you to explore this colourful and very entertaining art form through a presentation by Bianca Bonino, in both English amd Italian, followed by Q&A.
"Italian Renaissance in Canberra": National Gallery of Australia
9 Dec 2011 - 9 Apr 2012 - -
This unique exhibition offers audiences an unparalleled chance to see Early and High Renaissance paintings by some of the greatest European artists.
Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian are represented among an amazing gamut of talent and creative splendour. More than 70 works on canvas and panel will be on display, made between 1400 and 1600 by painters in northern and central Italy. Of extraordinary quality, the paintings come from
Venice, Florence, Padua, Ferrara, Bergamo and Siena. Subjects range from touching depictions of the Madonna and Child, the lives
of the Saints and moving renditions of the Crucifixion to insightful portraits of nobles. The genius of Raphael and Titian is known to all, but lesser known painters such as
Tura, Crivelli, Lotto, Carpaccio, Perugino and Moroni will also announce their prodigious talents.This exhibition is only available in Canberra. See NGA website or Ticketek for full ticketing information.