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Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche. Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth. Getty Images/DeAgostini hide caption

itoggle caption Getty Images/DeAgostini

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Johan Botha as the title character and Renée Fleming as Desdemona in the Metropolitan Opera's fall 2012 run of Verdi's Otello. Ken Howard /Metropolitan Opera hide caption

itoggle caption Ken Howard /Metropolitan Opera