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Uncommon ALS by the Composer and Verdi’s Librettist

$395 net
Item: 22480
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BOITO, ARRIGO. (1842-1918). Italian poet and composer acclaimed for his opera Mefistofele and his librettos (based on works of Shakespeare) for Giuseppe Verdi’s operas Otello and Falstaff. ALS. (“Arrigo Boito”). 3pp. 8vo. N.p., July 23 (1914). On black-bordered stationery. In French with translation.

I thank you wholeheartedly, dear friend, as well as Marthe, for your compassion, which deeply moved me, because you too have been living with sadness. Unhappiness knocked at your door first, then at mine.

I received kind words from Pierre, so please thank him for me when you next write to him. I lack all energy to do anything. Marthe is a great source of consolation for you. So, support each other, I am sure he knows you are trying to do so. I will try to help myself through my work.  

If I ever go through Genoa, I will try to come and see you.

Please give my warm regards to Marthe. I keep for you, dear friends, all the friendship I had for Pau. Your devoted…”

Boito portrait

Arrigo Boito

After fighting under Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Seven Weeks’ War in which the Kingdom of Italy won Venice from Austria, Boito completed his only opera, Mefistofele, which debuted at La Scala in 1868, provoking riots. Closed by the authorities after only two performances, Boito revised it substantially, finding success with the 1875 version, which is still performed today. A member of the bohemian Scapigliatura artistic movement that sprang up in post-Risorgimento Italy, Boito became known as a librettist for Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and such Shakespearean works as Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff and Franco Faccio’s Amleto. Boito’s close relationship with Verdi led him to be at Verdi’s bedside when the composer died in 1901. Arturo Toscanini and Vincenzo Tommasini completed Boito’s unfinished opera Nerone, which had its premiere in 1924.

Our letter refers to the death of Boito’s elder brother, Camillo Boito (1836-1914), a notable Italian architect and engineer as well as an art critic, art historian and writer of short gothic fiction, who had died the prior month, on June 28, 1914. Camillo is remembered for his restoration of ancient buildings using the principles of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and John Ruskin and for helping Italy create a legal framework to protect historic monuments. Beginning in 1895, he designed the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a retirement home for musicians in Milan, financed by Verdi and in whose crypt the composer and his wife are buried.

Penned on the first three leaves of a folded sheet; in overall fine condition.

Uncommon ALS by the Composer and Verdi’s Librettist

$395 net • item #22480

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