Italy kicks off festivities for Verdi's 200th birthday

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Statue of opera maestro Giuseppe Verdi, who would have been 200 on October 10th, in Palermo. Photo: Gnuckx/Flickr
11:42 CEST+02:00
Celebrations for opera maestro Giuseppe Verdi's 200th birthday began in his home village in Italy on Thursday and were due to continue throughout the day across the globe.

Opera lovers gathered in the grocer's shop owned by Verdi's parents in the village of Busseto in the Emilia Romagna region to start the party.

A children's choir from Busseto sang "Va Pensiero" - the famous chorus of the Hebrew slaves in Verdi's "Nabucco" (1842) which many Italians consider
their second national anthem.

The Verdi theatre in Busseto will later see a performance of Verdi's last opera "Falstaff" (1893) with Italian baritone Renato Burson. Verdi was born on October 10th, 1813.

There will also be performances of "Aida" (1871) in Odessa in Ukraine and "La Traviata" (1853) in Tallinn in Estonia, as well as shows in Armenia,
China, Ethiopia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

A highlight of the day will be the performance in live streaming of Verdi's "Requiem" (1874) by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by award-winning Italian maestro Riccardo Muti.

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The website said a total of more than 1,000 events in 200 cities worldwide have been held this year to celebrate his bicentenary.

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