Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was an Italian composer. Best known for his operas, his work is still regularly performed; many people will be familiar with his music even if they have never set foot in an opera house. Some of his best known works are Aida, Rigoletto and La Traviata. He was born in the province of Parma, in a town now named Roncole Verdi in his honour, and went to study in Milan when he was twenty, returning to his home town to become the music master. His work is known for its lush, melodic beauty, and great characterisation. Verdi died at the age of 87, following a stroke. A state funeral was held in his honour, where choirs and orchestras performed his music; no public event in Italy has ever been larger. Along with Puccini, he is regarded as the master of Italian opera.