But who was Verdi?
Giuseppe Verdi, whose Alzira is brought to life at this year’s Buxton International Festival, remains the greatest operatic composer that Italy, the home of opera, has ever produced. Yet throughout his lifetime he claimed to detest composing and repeatedly rejected it. He was a landowner, a farmer, a politician and symbol of Italian independence; but his music tells a different story. And what of his own story? Perhaps the most intensely private of all composers, Verdi remains a mystery but in Verdi: the Man Revealed former ITN newsman and Classic FM presenter John Suchet peers beneath the opera cloak to discover the real man.