Le nostre ultime si sono incrociate – e
Io vengo colle frittole
A far fiorire agosto
Senza gettar le tegole…
Schaun. Dico e sostengo il fisico
Col cazzo imbandierato
Come se fosse un manico….
Rod. e Mar. Risparmia il fiato!...
Schaun. Signori, non è il modo!
Rod. Ma taci, questo è brodo!
I tre Col culo fai la pasta!
Mi spiace assai che questa faccenda
Lei è…. proprio troppo buono.
Perché non ha preso Lei un esame, per vedere se è capace a scrivere per voce di tenore?....
Del 3° Atto, per ora ne ho una sola copia, che è occupata in copisteria per mettere all’ordine la partitura. Quindi non posso privarmene. Ma anche l’avessi disponibile, mi spiace il dirglielo, non la manderei fuori – è cosa troppo gelosa e delicata – senza dire dei pettegolezzi che ne nasceranno. Le basti il sapere che avendo mancato la
Non abbiamo bisogno di mettere in piazza la
Niente – niente!... Alla larga!
Sono sotterrato sotto al lavoro: fra 3, o 4 giorni parto per
Notizie, notizie - e la povera nostra
Di fretta cordialissimi saluti a tutti.
[post scriptum in verticale:] Pregasi rimandare Partitura Banda Codivilla, sulla Manon.
My dear Puccinone [“Big” Puccini],
Our last letters crossed each other and I only received yours yesterday toward evening, when I was already anxious because there had been no news from you. At last, Laus Deo [Praise be to God], the Doge has reappeared. I immediately informed Illica of what you wrote to me. This Schaunard certainly is a pesky problem, no doubt about it, and we are all trying every which way to figure things out! – Listen: do you have some good musical idea? Write it down and set it to some words that are..... Puccini-esque..... and they’ll be redone later. I think this is the best way to find a solution, since it cannot be done by letter.
These aromatic pastries yet
May bring on summer soon
Without incurring too much debt…
Marc. You jerk!
Schaun. My mighty chest and arms are strong
My cock I wave about so proud
So like a flagpole, stiff and long …
Col. Oh do shut up!
Rod & Mar. That ranting loud!...
Schaun. My Lords, you make me out a bore!
Rod. We have but broth here, nothing more!
Schuan. A grave offence!
Col. This shall not pass!
Marc. We’ll cook the pasta
All three: In your ass.
And so... have we reached the end?... When will you send me a bit of score to consign to Carignani [for the piano reduction]?...
I am exceedingly sorry that this Schaunard business is an obstacle that slows things down; but it can wait for last: if you already have the score ready, send it to me. This way I’ll save time with the reduction, because I cannot begin to engrave the 4th Act without the piece that is giving us such problems. I will have them work evenings to make up for the lost time. You are.... entirely too kind.
H[is] M[ajesty] [Fernando] De Lucia doesn’t know then whether the 3rd Act might be pitched too high?...
Why haven’t you taken a test, to see if you are capable of writing for tenor voice?....
For now I only have one copy of the 3rd Act, which is with the copyists so they can put their score in order. Therefore I cannot let it go. But even if it were available, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I wouldn’t send it out – there is too much jealousy and it’s such a delicate situation – not to mention the gossip it would generate. It should be enough to know that when Sig.ra Storchio was unable to audition so that I could hear her voice, I told her I was looking for an artist with a facile and clearly enunciated high register, and who acted on stage in a lively and natural manner. Nothing else.... you know how tight-lipped I am about these things. Well, not a moment after Sonzogno knew it all — and what’s more, Leoncavallo spread the rumor that he knew the libretto, and that it was total trash!... that there was nothing in it from Murger, that his opera was ready, and that he would show us what the real Bohème is!
Let a part go out?... never again!... much less to a De Lucia in Naples, where half an hour later all of the camorra will know he has it, and they’ll be familiar with it as well!
At the opportune time I will consign the parts to the Theatre Management, for their exclusive safekeeping; and they will certainly comply because it is in their interest to do so. This was also what was done for Falstaff.
We have no need to put Bohème out for public display!!... there are too many scoundrels – and that way no one will be able to leak any of the libretto, which they tell me an article in Don Chisciotte claims to the contrary!!.. and it is easy to imagine thanks to whom!!
Nothing – nothing!... Keep clear!
I am submerged in work, and in 3 or 4 days I leave for Rome. Is it possible to have even a bit of the score before then?... When will you return here?... I await your arrival most anxiously. We also have that delightful task of adding the metronome markings!!!.... I did all of the stage directions for the 1st piece of the 4th Act, which Illica approved, but I want you to see them before I have them engraved.
News, news please – has our poor Mimì breathed her last?... I am dying of curiosity to hear and admire the music. That beginning of the 4th Act is stupendous. I’m here with my mouth already open and eager to shout: Viva Puccini – Glory to the Doge. Don’t leave me anxiously gnashing my teeth.
In haste, with most cordial greetings to all.
Yours most warmly,
[written vertically in the margin]
Please return the Score of the Codivilla Band, on Manon.