Unlike most of the visual arts, opera was commercially profitable, accessible to most classes of society, and thus an effective means of reaching the 19th-century public. Verdi used musical theater to contrast noble ideals with the corrosive effects of power, love of country with the inevitable call for sacrifice and death, and the lure of passion with the need for social order.
And then we have Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia who died on the same day in 1806 at the Battle of Saalfeld. A soldier, he was also a musician though under-appreciated. Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his Third Piano Concerto to him, a sign of high esteem for his piano playing.