Milano 12 Marzo 1891
Perciò, a norma dei contratti, spetterebbero al Maestro Verdi i diritti d’autore per la musica, più la solita quota percentuale sul nolo: all’editore i diritti sulle parole italiane – poiché da nessun contratto risulta doversi a
Qualora, dall’ispezione dei contratti, Ella approvi questa interpretazione, credo potrebbe mandare a
Del resto aspetterò sapere quanto Ella avrà deciso, per mia regola.
Intanto mi ripeto con sempre viva gratitudine
di Lei devotismo
Milan, 12 March 1891
I have received your esteemed letter of yesterday and respond without delay. Since Otello was performed in Italian, it seems to me it should be adjudicated according to the criteria for an Italian theatre. In Nice they paid the rental fee, from which your relative share of £4000 will appear as a credit to your account for this semester. They collected the copyright revenue as well. Your contract for Otello states in article 2 that the Italian libretto is the complete and exclusive property of the publisher Ricordi, and in article 3 that the rights for the translators’ text of the French libretto remain yours. I include a copy of Boito’s transfer contract, in which he assigns the rights for the original Italian text to Ricordi.
Therefore, according to the terms of the contracts, the rights for the music, plus the usual percentage of the rental fee, go to Maestro Verdi; while the rights for the Italian text go to the publisher, since there is no contract in which Boito is owed any rights to the original text, which he relinquished entirely.
If after examining the contracts you approve this interpretation, I believe you could send Roger the enclosed copy of Boito’s contract, telling him that since the performances were in Italian, the rights for the Italian libretto go to the publisher accordingly, while for the performances in French they go completely to you, if as I believe you have kept them entirely for yourself.
In any case I will wait, as is my policy, to know what you have decided.
I am delighted to learn that Signora Peppina’s health is improving, and I hope to soon hear that she has fully recovered.
Meanwhile, my heartfelt gratitude as always
From yours most devotedly,