Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) ranked among opera's preeminent composers by the time he was 30. His works were embraced by Italian patriots seeking to unify their country and free it from foreign control; Verdi was active in the political world and elected to the first Italian parliament. Today his operas are staged around the world, and all of them are available in a number of recorded versions. Former Dover editor David Dutkanicz holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Columbia University. He is the editor of several books in this series.