1 page of a bifolium. Small octavo (ca. 158 x 99 mm.). N.d. [Paris, mid-late 1850s?]. On stationery with Verdi's monogram ("G V") embossed at head. In French (with translation).
"I mustn't get involved in the Spezia affair. It is therefore impossible for me to deliver the other letter to Royer... "
Slightly worn and soiled; creased at central fold and very slightly overall.
Verdi is undoubtedly referring to Maria Spezia-Aldighieri (1828-1907), who sang Violetta in the triumphal 1854 production of La Traviata at the Teatro San Benedetto in Venice. (The disastrous première, which featured Fanny Salvini-Donatelli as Violetta, had taken place at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice on March 6, 1853). Spezia later reprised the role at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris, La Scala, and other Italian theatres.
French theatre manager and librettist Alphonse Royer (1803-1875) was the director of the Paris Opéra from 1856 until 1862, when he was appointed Inspecteur-général des beaux-arts.
On September 22, 1856, Verdi signed a contract with the Paris Opéra to produce a French adaptation of Il Trovatore (Le Trouvère). He resided in Paris throughout the autumn until shortly after the première of Le Trouvère at the Opéra on January 12, 1857. At the same time Spezia was being considered for performances in Paris. It is thus plausible that Verdi wrote the present letter during this Parisian sojourn.
Price: $2,800.00 other currencies