Giuseppe Verdi, the great Italian composer, was born 200 years ago today in a little town called Le Roncole, not far from my hometown.
There are many stories about him: the Maestro was turned down when he applied to study music at the Milan Conservatory, for example. And for many years it’s been said his second opera was such a fiasco the public booed him and the cast.
Despite being a grouchy old man with glacial eyes under his topper, Verdi keeps on living in the collective imaginary as one of the best composers of all time. And if he was still alive, he would have been the greatest rock star of our generation.