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Three autograph letters signed "Peppina Verdi" - VERDI, Giuseppina Strepponi 181 - 1882. 
- - 3 pp. Octavo. Dated Genoa, December 25, 1882. On stationery with Strepponi's monogram embossed at head. In Italian (with translation). Strepponi discusses family matters, and, most intriguingly, her husband's unfinished opera, Otello. She mentions the third pregnancy of [Filomena?] Maria [Cristina Verdi?] and the ill health of Ricordi's mother. Finally, she thanks Ricordi for a Christmas panettone, upon which a chocolate half-figure of Otello is mounted. ". Last night we received a wonderful panettone with a half-grown Otello! Poor thing! He's still in the limbo of the Holy Fathers! I thank you for my portion of panettone that I will eat! I believe that Verdi will write about the rest. " Slightly worn and foxed; creased at folds and with several short tears; slightly lacking at blank upper edge of central fold, with no loss to text.- 2 pp. Small quarto (ca. 90 x 116 mm.). Dated Genoa, April 23, 1888. On cardstock with Strepponi's decorative monogram embossed at head. In Italian (with translation). Strepponi writes of the "grumbling" weather, which has not adversely affected her health, and Verdi's wish to leave Genoa. She and her family will soon leave for the "poetic beaches" of St. Agata. She thanks Giuditta for "the cordial reception and continuous kindness we always find in Milan in the Casa Ricordi." "The Milanese sun accompanied us to the mountains, only to make room for clouds in Genoa. Verdi, in spite of the grumbling weather, wanted to leave right away Thursday morning, and the rain blessed Genoa and St. Agata for two days! We are covering up all furniture and I think we will leave for the poetic beaches of St. Agata as soon as the illustrious Greis comes back to us. The apartment in Genoa is a huge mess; that's why I'm writing to you so little. " Very slightly worn.- 2 pp. Small oblong octavo (ca. 59 x 114 mm.). Dated Paris, October 15, 94. On visiting card with "Giuseppina Verdi" printed to recto. In Italian (with translation). Strepponi writes about the first Paris production of Otello, in which tenor Alberto Saleza almost strangled soprano Rose Caron. She hopes Ricordi, who has escaped to the country, will be able to rest. If her husband comes to Milan, she may "embrace" her good friend in person. ". As you know, Otello went really well, but he made one of his bungles: he almost strangled Desdemona with his jealousy and today Madame Caron is in bed. For the second performance she will be replaced by Bosmann!!! Mah!!!" Slightly worn. Giuseppina Strepponi, who became Verdi's companion in 1846 and his second wife in 1859, was a gifted soprano in her own right. Donizetti wrote his Adelia (1841) for her, and she created Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco (1842). She retired from the stage in 1846. She was described as having a "?limpid, penetrating, smooth voice, seemly action, a lovely figure; and to Nature's liberal endowments she adds an excellent technique'; her ?deep inner feeling' was also praised." Julian Budden in Grove Music Online. Giuditta Ricordi was the wife of Verdi's music publisher, Giulio Ricordi (1840-1912). "From 1879 until 1887, Giulio Ricordi worked tirelessly to bring about Verdi's composition of Otello, arguably his greatest masterpiece. The annual Christmas cakes presented to the Verdis from 1881 on were designed to keep the 'chocolate project' in the forefront of the composer's mind." Sotheby's catalogue, December 6, 1996. In the nineteenth century the noun "chocolate" was also used to describe men of African descent. For further explanation of the racial and cultural connotations of the word, see Naomi Andre: "From Otello to Porgy: Blackness, Masculinity, and Morality in Opera," in Blackness in Opera, pp. 12-13. Otello was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on February 5, 1887. The Paris première of the opera, which Strepponi mentions, took place on October 12, 1894. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: J & J LUBRANO MUSIC ANTIQUARIANS LLC]
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