Mayor Negri [note in pencil]
25 December 1888
Eg. Friend ,
The Theatrical Establishment , paying no heed whatsoever to my objection, has published an announcement of the opera Asrael . The opera cannot be brought before the public as things stand now, and it seems impossible to me that the authorities, who surely must be concerned that the Theatre operate in a successful manner, would have approved the announcement, notwithstanding the warning I had given them. I must protect the integrity of art and my own interests, and much as I may attempt to reconcile them with those of the theatre ’s management, I cannot sacrifice them entirely. After the rehearsal yesterday evening I am convinced that the result will be not only a failure but an outright scandal. And since the management does not seem to fear scandal, better that it should happen immediately. I am informing you that I have withdrawn the score, and that tomorrow I will initiate legal recourse.
This I write to a friend, persuaded that in your wisdom you will find a way to attempt something approaching a remedy that is, if not radical, at least palliative: we are speaking here of the decorum of the Theatre , which is otherwise compromised in this way. All of these problems nonetheless do not prevent me from extending my most cordial greetings.
With warmest regards, Giulio Ricordi