Giuseppe Verdi is regarded as the greatest composer of Italian opera. He played a pivotal role in shaping the evolution of Italian opera during the 19th century, with his operas becoming anthems for Italian unity and patriotism; 'Va, pensiero' from Nabucco is considered today as the unofficial Italian anthem. Verdi wrote 28 operas, including the masterpieces La Traviata, Rigoletto, Aida, and Il Trovatore, which are regularly performed in opera houses around the world. His operas are as emotionally true as they are harmonically direct. Viva Verdi!