“Giuseppe Verdi was a composer who expressed the most essential feelings of mankind: love, hate, friendship, jealousy — everything that reflects our life, our way of being human. His music is the mirror of who we are. Each of Verdi’s operas expresses human nature in such a profound way that we often recognize ourselves in Verdi’s characters. “When Verdi died, the famous Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio wrote a few lines that I think perfectly express who Verdi was: ‘Diede una voce alle speranze e ai lutti. Pianse ed amò per tutti’ — he gave a voice to all our hopes, he wept and loved for all of us. That’s why Verdi will always be of the moment, and he will never become old-fashioned. I feel certain that in 50 years, 100 years, 200 years, Verdi will still be a composer who speaks to people. His voice is universal.” — Riccardo Muti