Giuseppe Verdi, (1813-1901). Italian composer. He received his earliest musical education from the organist of his village church and in 1831 went to Milan to study music. He married in 1836 but suffered the early loss of his wife and two children (1838-40). His first opera to be staged was Oberto (1839) at La Scala. Subsequent successes included Rigoletto (1851), II Trovatore (1853), La Traviata (1853), and Aida (1871). He continued composing into his eighties and his later works include two Shakespearean operas, the dramatic Otello (1887) and the more lighthearted Falstaff (1893). Though he became a wealthy man, Verdi continued to live a simple existence and founded a home for retired musicians in Milan.