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Composer Giuseppe Verdi's 200th Birthday

October 10, 2013, is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works -- including "Rigoletto," "Il Trovatore," "La Traviata," and "Aida" -- are among the most celebrated operas of all time. In his native Italy, his operas were adopted by the public as part of the nationalist movement for unification and liberation from Austria. (14 PHOTOS)

Giuseppe Verdi, shown here in an undated portrait, was born in 1813 in the village of Roncole, in Italy's Parma region. Much of his early musical experience came from playing the organ in churches and the spinet in local pubs.
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Giuseppe Verdi, shown here in an undated portrait, was born in 1813 in the village of Roncole, in Italy's Parma region. Much of his early musical experience came from playing the organ in churches and the spinet in local pubs.

Performers Titta Ruffo and Antonina Nezhdanova appear in "Rigoletto," one of Verdi's most famous operas, in Paris in 1912. Verdi's fame in his native Italy motivated him to move to Paris, where he felt he could live a more anonymous life.
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Performers Titta Ruffo and Antonina Nezhdanova appear in "Rigoletto," one of Verdi's most famous operas, in Paris in 1912. Verdi's fame in his native Italy motivated him to move to Paris, where he felt he could live a more anonymous life.

Singer Antonina Nezhdanova appears in "La Traviata," staged by Moscow's Bolshoi Theater in 1913.
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Singer Antonina Nezhdanova appears in "La Traviata," staged by Moscow's Bolshoi Theater in 1913.

A 1957 performance of "Aida," an opera set in ancient Egypt, at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. Together with "Don Carlo," "Aida" helped establish Verdi as an international figure.
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A 1957 performance of "Aida," an opera set in ancient Egypt, at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater. Together with "Don Carlo," "Aida" helped establish Verdi as an international figure.

Costumes for the opera "Don Carlo" at a workshop of the Bolshoi Academic Theater in 1963.
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Costumes for the opera "Don Carlo" at a workshop of the Bolshoi Academic Theater in 1963.

Medals issued by the opera house La Scala in Milan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death, at the age of 87, on January 27, 1901. Verdi and his wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, are both buried at a home for retired singers and musicians that the composer founded, and which he referred to as his greatest work.
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Medals issued by the opera house La Scala in Milan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death, at the age of 87, on January 27, 1901. Verdi and his wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, are both buried at a home for retired singers and musicians that the composer founded, and which he referred to as his greatest work.

A sketch of costumes for the opera "Falstaff," Verdi's last opera. Like Verdi's "Othello," it is based on the works of William Shakespeare.
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A sketch of costumes for the opera "Falstaff," Verdi's last opera. Like Verdi's "Othello," it is based on the works of William Shakespeare.

A scene from "Aïda" performed in 2005 in Nice, France.
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A scene from "Aïda" performed in 2005 in Nice, France.

Vittorio Grigolo and Marie-Ange Todorovitch in a rehearsal of "Rigoletto" in 2011. The opera draws on a play by Victor Hugo, and initially had trouble with censors in Austrian-controlled northern Italy for its satirical depiction of nobility.
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Vittorio Grigolo and Marie-Ange Todorovitch in a rehearsal of "Rigoletto" in 2011. The opera draws on a play by Victor Hugo, and initially had trouble with censors in Austrian-controlled northern Italy for its satirical depiction of nobility.

The mask of the jester Rigoletto lays on the ground during a rehearsal.
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The mask of the jester Rigoletto lays on the ground during a rehearsal.

A scene from "La Traviata" in Moscow in 2012
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A scene from "La Traviata" in Moscow in 2012

Versions in multiple languages of the opera "Othello" at an exhibition in Berlin
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Versions in multiple languages of the opera "Othello" at an exhibition in Berlin

An exhibition devoted to Verdi and his works, organized to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow
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An exhibition devoted to Verdi and his works, organized to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth, at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow

An undated engraving of Verdi by Giovanni Boldini
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An undated engraving of Verdi by Giovanni Boldini

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