Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (October 10, 1813 - January 27, 1901) was one of the great composers of Italian opera. A composer of romantic music, his work was already very popular during his lifetime and remains so today.
The Chorus of the Slaves is from Verdi's opera Nabucco from 1841. The opera follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered, and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (in English, Nebuchadnezzar II). The historical events are used as background for a romantic and political plot. This number, "Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" "Fly, thought, on golden wings," is the most famous in the opera, and one of Verdi's most recognised tunes altogether.