Milano 14 Settembre 1896.
Ho bisogno che questa mia la trovi coi nervi calmi, e con mente serena, ond’Ella ponderi seriamente quanto le sto per dire, e che desidero interpreti come prova della stima che ho per Lei.
Brevemente: mi scriva =
a) Quali le sue pretese per la Quaresima 1897 alla
b) “ “ per Carnevale-Quaresima 1896-97 pure alla
Non le sembri strana questa idea, che a prima vista sembra in contraddizione colla fiducia espressale: credo al contrario renderle un gran servigio, liberandolo da tutte le diatribe degli apostoli wagneriani milanesi, i quali si sfogherebbero in critiche, quand’anche l’opera venisse da lei concertata come Domenedio in persona!! - Liberato da questo incubo, Ella avrebbe la mente serena, per occuparsi di tutto il rimanente programma ed un favorevole addentellato per l’avvenire, avendo assistito alla messa in scena del
Credo superfluo l’osservare l’importanza del di lei ritorno alla
Dunque, caro Maestro, studii bene le due proposte, e mi risponda in modo ch’io possa avere la soddisfazione di concretare o l’una o l’altra, e mi darà così vera prova di amicizia.
E’ assolutamente necessario che quanto le ho scritto resti fra me e Lei!.... però, s’Ella crede consigliarsi con
Intanto la saluto cordialmente, e mi ripeto
di Lei Aff.
Milan, 14 September 1896
Maestro Cav. Leopoldo Mugnone
Teatro di Lucca
I need you to read this letter with calm nerves and with your mind at ease, so that you give serious consideration to what I am about to say, which I want you to interpret as proof of the respect I have for you.
Briefly, please tell me:
a) What your demands are for the Quaresima 1897 season at La Scala
b) Idem for the Carnevale-Quaresima 1896-97 season, always at La Scala, but excluding the opening opera Crepuscolo degli dei [Götterdämmerung], for which I would want a German conductor.
You must not find this idea strange, even if at first it seems to contradict the confidence I just expressed in you: on the contrary, I believe I am rendering you a great service by allowing you to avoid all of the diatribe generated by those Milanese disciples of Wagner who would unleash a barrage of criticism even if you had conducted the opera as well as the Lord himself could have done!! – Without that nightmare, you would have the peace of mind to take care of the remainder of the season and gain a favorable foothold for the future, having witnessed a production of Crepuscolo according to genuine (or so they say) Wagnerian tradition – and the public can be left to its own entertainment, whether more or less as it prefers.
I think it is superfluous to tell you how important it is that you return to La Scala: even though you have no need to do so for your artistic career, it would go far to dispel the legend that has grown around.... Mugnonian bombardments!! Please do not be offended if I write you in such a candid manner – but why be silent regarding what they say?... Why hide the battle being waged against said artist (for which he is largely to blame!!)?
So, dear Maestro, consider these two proposals carefully, and allow me the satisfaction of being able to finalize one or the other with your response, which will be genuine testimony of your friendship.
It is absolutely necessary that what I have written here remains between us!... however, if you wish to seek the counsel of Puccini, who is your true friend and a true gentleman, by all means do so. I just want you to know that I need your answer urgently, so that I can make the required tactical arrangements.
Meanwhile I salute you cordially and remain