Verdi and the Ricordi Archive: An Evening with Pierluigi Ledda and Gabriele Dotto


I’m Fran Barulich music curator at the
Morgan and it’s my very great pleasure to introduce tonight’s speakers the idea
for our collaboration on an exhibition with the Ricordi Archive you want me to
speak louder okay the idea okay the idea for our collaboration on an exhibition
with the recording archive began some five years ago and since that time I’ve
had the good fortune of working with these gentlemen in realizing the Verdi
project just a reminder the Verdi exhibition will be open for forty-five
minutes following the presentation please do pick up our calendar of events
and music brochure where you will discover among other things a Verdi
inspired concert on October 20th Pierluigi leather is managing director
of the record E historical archive in Milan the archive contains not only sort
scores and manuscripts of Italy’s great composers but also correspondence and
the working documents of the recording publishing company that was founded in
1808 by Giulio record his grandfather the archive is digitizing its holdings
to provide free access to its treasures in addition to his work at the record II
archive Letta is a lecturer and music management at the University of Hoon DNA
and teachers publishing and music production at Milan’s international
university of languages and media over the years he has organized conferences
on sound archives and various musical events gabriella dodo worked at Casa
recording of Milan for 18 years as editor-in-chief and later as director of
publishing a position that included responsibilities over the record II
archive at the University of Chicago Press doto was the first managing
editor of the critical edition of the works of Giuseppe Verdi from 2004 to
2006 he was the administrative director of the National Institute of Verdi
Studies in Parma and since 2007 has been director of Michigan State University
Press he holds the editorial positions in connection with critical editions of
Donizetti and Puccini as well as Bellini and that
Italian composer Maya via and is currently preparing the critical edition
of Falstaff doto presently serves as director of scholarly initiatives at the
recording archive so please welcome our guests and I believe that gabriella is
going to start am i audible on good what a theater
thanks so much for coming out so many of you as well chance to see the exhibit
it’s it’s such a pleasure to be able to inaugurate this to see it at New York as
well because it travelled a version of this an earlier version travelled to a
number of cities in Europe the concept of the exhibit is the following back in
2012 when the creative team of the recorded historical archive a key
historical record they began to consider ideas for an exhibit that would
celebrate the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth in 2013 we knew we wanted
to do something different from the usual overview of life and works in addition
to that we wanted to emphasize the particularly broad and multifaceted
nature of the archives holdings the recording archive collection a rather
group of collections is the right way to put it is distinguished by the fact that
it houses not only enormous numbers of musical scores opera librettos
theatrical artwork music related periodicals and correspondence collected
over more than two centuries of activity of the publishing firm but also huge
amounts of business correspondence and documents that reveal the
entrepreneurial side of music publishing as it was in the nineteenth and the
twentieth centuries we hit upon the idea of telling the story of two fascinating
episodes from the latter part of Verdi’s career and in doing so also telling in
greater detail than anyone had done previously the fascinating background
story of how this all developed so not only an artistic tale which the story of
the creation of Tendo and Falstaff certainly is but also a story of
commercial acumen and entrepreneurial daring Zachary wolf
recently observed in his New York Times review of this exhibit the exhibit
serves to remind us that quote music publishers in Verdi’s day did not just
print and Mail scores they also connected artists advanced favored
singers created set costume and prop designs compiled staging books that
allowed opera houses to reproduce more or less moment by moment the blocking
from the premiere promoted openings manager reputations soothe egos the
company in other words was a one-stop operatic shop crucial from beginning to
the end of the process of composition and production it is safe to say that
Othello and Falstaff would not exist without Julie recording you’ll recall
having seen this at the beginning of the most rough this is a header from the
graphic and that puts into clearer prominence the role of Judo as long long
with the two creators but let’s set the stage Verdi Giuseppe Verdi was a
legendary figure even during his own lifetime he was a true man of the
theatre with a powerful sense of writing captivating melodies and crafting scenes
of effective dramatic impact he was uncompromising about artistic
integrity and demanded the utmost of his librettists and performers as well an
attitude that earned him the nickname the bear of bisetta
perceptive being the small town outside of parma where he was born but this
approach was always in the quest for the highest artistic achievement possible
throughout his life he remained an ambassador of Italian values and
tradition both on stage and off his career which spanned more than half a
century culminated with to his greatest masterpieces the one we’re focusing on
the last of which premiered when he was nearly 80 years old the majority was
works still occupy a permanent part of the repertory many of which Rigoletto La
Traviata in Trovatore Don Carlo Aida Otello and
falstaff are among the most performed of all operas beloved by audiences the
world over boy though brilliant erudite volatile a superb man of the theater a
regal boy tom was a poet a translator an essayist and author of short stories a
composer his avant-garde mefist often it remains a favorite in Opera theatres
worldwide however among lovers of Italian operas and specialists he is
perhaps best remembered as one of the finest craftsmen of librettos in opera
history his fine sense of dramatic pacing word choice was enhanced by a
sophisticated and nuanced mastery of the intricate interplay of verse structure
he was equally at home with the challenges of tragic expression and the
delightful irony’s of comedy and he was the perfect
partner for Verdi’s last masterpieces an interesting detail however which makes
it somewhat curious how record he thought he would pair these 2.0 in his
youth was a radical iconoclast of the new art so called capilla to a movement
that translates to the disheveled ones and he was an early champion of vogner
indeed he had implicated Verdi among the targets of his youthful criticism
against old-style music but over time he grew to venerate both the music and the
singular moral integrity of Verdi who in turn developed a close paternal rapport
for the younger colleague I love these two photographs these come from
supposedly the one on the left so that’s Verdi and boy toe the one on
the left was supposed to have been taken this is in the courtyard or junior
record his home in Milano via vertical normal where Verdi had been invited the
summer before the creation of Falstaff and
surreptitiously took photographs he hated to pose for photographs he
certainly did not like to have them so they’re actually the reason boy – what
is caught off-guard there you because there’s a hidden camera behind a
box or some bushes or something well when then Verdi finds out they finally
put themselves in pose and I love the way boy doe if immediately grabs a
cigarette a modern man and strikes a pose and Verdi does as well Verdi
strikes his typical pose of the not so much the composer but the well-to-do
farmer in his old stuff I love that look which brings us to recording Giulia
recording was the third in the line of a four generation father-to-son dynasty
that led Casa recorded for its first 110 years from 1808 to 1919 he grew from
being a scrappy impetuous young man to become a veritable patron of the musical
arts he was himself a capable composer with a portfolio of charming
compositions most of which he signed under a pseudonym
Jules Abreu combined and people are speculated for years about how he came
up with that but I’ll leave that to other scholars to determine he was also
a perceptive music critic and an ingenious entrepreneur he would become a
legendary name in the annals of music publishing and was a champion of new
talents of course famous the story that he’s the one who discovered in champion
Puccini and many others and it became so well-known and influential that when he
died in to 1912 his obituary filled a complete column in The New York Times so
the next step we have Judy recording there on the left Verdi adjusting his
glasses here they’re seated again at record his house and boy told this time
either rolling another cigarette or checking his watch we have the master
diplomat who brings a boy too and Verdi together Verdi considered himself
essentially retired from the theatre after the premiere of Aida in 1871 even
though he did mull over an occasional new opera project the after that and he
wrote of course the rake we amass in 1874 he never really started
new opera at this point he was wealthy and world-famous
how wealthy well according to the economic historian John recently quote
if Verdi had been able to collect all the royalties that were legally due to
him he would certainly have been in modern terms a billionaire now that if
is a key element very was certainly the beneficiary of a series of laws to
protect intellectual property that had been enacted progressively starting in
the mid nineteenth century his publisher Tito recording that’s Julian’s father
was at the forefront of the battle to have all those laws and enacted through
much of Europe editorial piracy and the difficulty of enforcing such laws in all
places and all occasions curtailed a considerable amount of what Verdi
actually earned but he was nonetheless certainly able to build a great wealth
in ways that his predecessors like Rossini and Donizetti could never have
imagined Verdi was by the 1870s a very wealthy man and looked forward to the
calm life of a country gentleman at his large estate that he had purchased
outside of his hometown in Parma which he called Santa cotta also and this is
important Verdi very much felt the strain of attaining such success because
they did have been considerable for him he actually became physically challenged
writing many times many of his letters are filled with these these terrible
stomach complaints he has in stress he found that the process of dealing with
theaters and censors to be terribly exhausting as well as the rigors of
preparing performances all frustrating so if he were to be convinced to write
again it would have to be on his own terms entered Julian recording although
in the late 718 seventies and 1880s Julio’s Father Tito was still the head
of the firm Tito’s relationship with Verdi had
become somewhat strained and jr. became the main liaison with the maestro Giulio
venerated Verdi the gran the old man of Italian opera and he
hoped to get the chance to work directly with Verdi on a new project just as his
father and his grandfather had done it would be Julian recording who
single-handedly lured Verdi back to the stage he was convinced that Verdi’s
retirement was a waste of genius therefore he first contrived a tenuous
reconciliation of Verdi with a regal boy – by proposing a collaborative revision
of an earlier Verdi opera Simon Boccanegra from 1857 it took some time
to accomplish a letter on display in the exhibit that you may have seen or will
see from Verdi to record E in 1879 reads I’ve received a large package which I
assume contains the score – Simon Boccanegra
if you come visit me in six months in a year in two years or three you will find
the package still unopened I told you I detest and doing useless things true
I’ve never done anything else in my life but they were extenuating circumstances
there is nothing more useless than a new opera from me better to bow out with
Aida and the mass than adapting an old work but in the end the insistence of
Giulio worked very undertook the revision with boy – adapting the revised
libretto it proved highly successful after which record he resumed the
pursuit of his original meticulously planned project to get Verdi to consider
an opera based on Shakespeare’s Othello this took a long careful strategy of
diplomacy on record his part months passed years passed punctuated by
gestures of impish if impatient encouragement the most famous of these
gestures were the Milanese panettone the recorder would send to Verdi each
Christmas one of which was decorated with a figure of Othello just as a
gentle reminder Verdi however continued to play his cards close to his chest no
recording pressure and boy toe to Santa Verdi his draft of the old teletext
before Verdi might lose interest in it at one point Verdi wrote to a
functionary it caused a recording and I believe this letter is in the exhibit as
well if I don’t hand over the strangle to this Damona –
this week I’m afraid he will strangle me very gradually warmed the appeal of
burritos elegantly crafted libretto the inspiration took root and their
collaboration began in earnest so here we have our trio of creative minds a
world famous and fabulously successful opera composer but the stubborn
reluctance to put pen to paper again after retirement another younger
composer and respected man of letters who had recently worked with that very
grand old man of Italian music to revise an earlier opera and a skilled and
perceptive entrepreneur who had royally negotiated this collaboration in the
profound conviction that it would produce something new and magnificent
for the opera stage the creative collaboration amount of this trio was
very different talents would blossom into the enduring cultural legacy of
Othello and Falstaff so how to reshape Shakespeare Oh Tendo the greatest
challenge facing the librettist in the composer was to find the most effective
way to transform a Shakespearean masterpiece that was conceived of course
for spoken theatre with its different rules of dramatic timing and natural
emphasis on dialogue into theatre in music with its need for moments of
synoptic narrative exposition its musical rendition of emotion motivation
and its numerous passages of suspended time in which characters stop and
express their inner thoughts you will omit a bit here a number of
conversations these these audio portions that have been acted out by professional
actors we actually derive them from letters every single word that you hear
is a translation of original text that were exchanged between Verdi Boyko and
recording discussing various phases of composition preparation staging etc and
we’ve assembled them as though these letters were actually narrated here’s
the one of the observations from one of these conversations from Boyko an opera
is not a play our art lives on elements unknown
when tragedy 8 measures can suffice to revive a feeling a rhythm can restore a
character music is the most important of the arts it has a logic all of its own
more rapid or free than the logic of spoken thought and far more eloquent so
for all Tendo boy to respected the overall structure of Shakespeare’s work
but he created a more complex role for Yago as we’ll see in a moment and added
scenes of intensified high drama one particularly significant addition to the
Shakespeare play is also one of the most striking moments in the entire opera
Iago’s malevolent credo a moment that greatly enriches the profile of the
character here we produced from the original libretto just the opening lines
credo in dear crew there came a trial for semen hace bien le era yo no mo da
da da da on Jeremy or do not amo Venus or not o son Shanna righto podcast on
normal I believe in a cruel God who created me in His image and whom in
anger I named from some vile seed or base Adam I was born I am wicked because
I am part of mankind and then the terrible terrible oops sorry
the terrible closing lines where he says a cradle one jordan eco salt dal Jeremy
the cool environment eleven viendo potentate Eruzione la morte boy la morte
alula a mecca for live child and I believe man to be the sport of unjust
fate from the germ of the cradle to the worm of the grave and after all this
mockery comes death and then death is nothingness heaven is but an ancient
fable how this piece came to be added to the Opera is a fascinated story all of
itself after Verdi had begun composing the first act in early 1884 a notorious
and highly unfortunate incident brought everything to a halt
Boyko who was in naples for a performance of his opera memphis toffee
there was quoted in a local newspaper as having
supposedly said during a banquet that he regretted not having kept the libretto
of Othello for himself to set to music at first Verdi believe this to be true
and was deeply offended offering to send the libretto back to boy to immediately
record Ian’s boy – were shocked boy towhead – he was all the tact he could
to explain the misunderstanding nonetheless Verdi stopped working and
although he forgave Boyd oh he wrote all this has cast a chill over Othello and
has stiffened the hand that had begun to write just a few bars of music what will
happen now I cannot say so soon after that boy doe sent Verdi a peace offering
this new credo for Iago in act 2 a piece as I said not found in Shakespeare very
had told him earlier that he wanted something with complex verse structure
that he could set to a very original musical patterns boy does new evil cry
though used as he described it a fascinating mix of broken non
symmetrical lines Verdi like the new credo which he found to be very powerful
and completely Shakespearean and soon the project was back on track there’s a
wonderful performance of this by the way at the end of the exhibit in the videos
that you’ll see the credo is included among these there’s one other detail
that I find amusing this isn’t amusing but I find amusing of one of the changes
it’s a stage change really that boy doe does with respect to Shakespeare in
Shakespeare Desdemona is smothered with a pillow in boy though even though the
clip that you’ll see at the end here the stage director decided to go back and
use a pillow but in boy though very specifically she is strangled and one
wonders what is the point of that and I’m just hypothesizing here but think of
an opera diva excepting in the most dramatic last scene she has onstage to
have her face covered by a pillow not over
well a premiered of course on the 5th of February 1887 – a run of sold-out
performances Otello was a huge success Julie Ricordi as his father and
grandfather had done attended the premiere when it was in Milan nervously
annotating a libretto and this is the closing pages and we see these in the
handwriting a recording this is also in the exhibit where he writes one curtain
call for everybody a call for Verdi to come out by himself
frenetic applause all the artists are coming out on stage the same for Verdi
Verdi called out on stage with Boyko Verdi Boyko and the conductor in factual
everyone out again Verdi and boy dome and Verdi alone it was a success
following the triumph of all tango junior record he kept up his insistence
and returned once again to the attack by this time in 1888 Giulio has succeeded
his father as the general manager of the publishing firm despite various prudent
reminder of just how far his Restless genius might be able to carry him he
wrote at one point have you considered the enormous number of my years very
would indeed create his cultivating culminating tribute to Shakespeare the
timeless comedy Falstaff and it’s interesting how rarity has framed his
career his very first opera which was a complete failure was a comedy a failure
due largely in part because his wife and two children had died while he was
composing it so he was in no mood rather a comedy it was also not the greatest of
librettos but then he ends this magnificent career once again with
economy but in the middle of all that great amounts of tragedy the shaping of
the Falstaff libretto was in some ways even more imaginative than the work that
boy doe had done with attend look since instead of using a single play it was
assembled from several Shakespearean sources in was period distillation with
a prodigious with all its own and a lively pace to match indeed there was
barely a moment of rest in Falstaff and conductor Toscanini always described it
as Quicksilver false to have draws three plays the basic plot follows that of the
Merry Wives of Windsor but the storyline is simplified and there are several
changes for example and known as Nanette and false to have is now the daughter of
mistress Ford not mistress page and she has betrothed by her father to doctor
Caius alone with mistress Ford and Paige conspiring to aid in her elopement with
Fenton and several roles from the play were eliminated as often happens in
opera most importantly the Merry Wives the character Falstaff is a rather
two-dimensional comic foil Bordeaux chose to flesh out Falstaff’s character
by adding material from Shakespeare’s Henry the fourth parts one and two the
most significant of these of course for those that know the Opera was the famous
soliloquy about honor found in act 1 scene 2 Henry the fourth part one boy 2
also had great fun playing with meter arcane vocabulary since he knew that
Shakespeare’s plays had been based on a Florentine play from the 14th century
he returned to that horse to recapture delightful and delightfully musical
words that he used for instance in the third act scene when the villagers are
tormenting Falstaff works like cold solder I got sawdust it’s not again food
science called a lot of whom psychotic completely unfindable words in most
dictionaries but all fine and boy though being boy doe that is to say an
absolutely brilliant mind and a lover of puzzles also couldn’t resist intricate
games with a poetic structure like this one this line this section is when
Falstaff thinks he’s able to seduce Alice Alicia comes on after he’s all
prettied himself up and says Daniel a imaginal fragile Adele near stem in
other words worthy of a king you are a tree adorned with my coat of arms and
Alice says only Belle joy L mean watches Prairie Flint Oh interlude or B Bastogne
Vella Gatto encroach in fragile I’ll change the intestine pure in other words
even the loveliest of Jew repulses me and i despise the false idol
of gold a veil tied in a knot is enough for me an ornament at my waist and a
flower on my head but look at the games boy who plays with diverse structure
which also of course frees up very to set it to music in very interesting ways
the first one you can set it as an 11 syllable verse followed by a 7 only
pubic joy joy L mean watch a is / a jewel
if into it the road or me must own veiled agate encroach on Frazier alkene
to intestine in pure spray Joe Frazier Dorf your or you can break it up in the
9 syllable verses only if you bel jorielle mean watching a stranger fin to
eat road or the bus from Malaga then when they got encroach on fragrance into
intestine pure water crotchet or fewer or you can break it up into five
syllables only pube and joy L mean watch a special fin to eat a load or the
bathroom well they got encouraged in French into intestine pure then they’ll
water cross feel fatigued or pure there’s a famous letter that once he
Berto wrote a little enigmatic Canon that he sent apparently they could be
read in several ways and very said nothing and boyhood then wrote little
miffed and he said do you know how long it takes to come up with something like
that and Verdi said that’s why you shouldn’t do it anyway I have to say
things like this and Falstaff is found with these wonderful little mind games
that are meant for the cognoscenti who will then go on and read the libretto
and have a fun time with it themselves I’d have to say the boy too would have
been the sort of person as the old joke goes that would have done the Times
crossword puzzle with a typewriter Verdi also enjoyed filling the score –
Falstaff with little musical puns veiled the musical quotes from other composers
even vogner and reminiscences from some of his other operas the more I look at
Falstaff and I’ve been studying a Falstaff since 1917 that kind of days
man every time I look at it and I think most people that most composers that
look at it you always find something new in it
always it’s really one of the most tightly written operas it’s just just a
marvel enough I digress as we thought endow the correspondence between Verdi
and boy 2 regarding Falstaff embraced everything from major issues of
contextualization and structure to the tiniest details of word choice and
staging much of this correspondence has survived provides us with a faceted
window into the minds of these two incomparable artists as they wrestled
with the creation of two timeless masterpieces of the opera repertory
again in one of those conversations that you’ll hear in the audio bits of the
exhibit here’s an exchange about how to end a comedy Boyko rights to Verdi no
doubt about it the third act of Falstaff they’re still shaping and hammering out
how the libretto will work the third act is the coldest and this in the theatre
means trouble unfortunately there was a law common to all comic theater tragic
theatre has the opposite law in comedy when the knot is about to be unraveled
interest dwindles because the end is happy there’s a moment when the audience
says it’s finished and instead the stage business is not yet finished very
responds I am in perfect agreement as to the demands and the nature of tragedy
and comedy and the examples that you cite confirm what you say but even
comedy there is a point when the audience says it is finished on the
stage and he does not yet finished then something must be found that can firmly
fix their attention either on the comics side or on the musical side for those of
you that know Falstaff they’re delightful solution to this problem was
a masterstroke a full ensemble quasi fugue with all the characters breaking
the fourth wall addressing the audience a concept
inspired by the commedia dell’arte Falstaff analysis let’s say in the scene
with the chorus and the cast in tells the delightful message everything in the
world is but a jest and all of us are mocked but whoever laughs last laughs
last laughs best the overall result of their collaboration was a brilliant work
as the critic David Carnes has observed by replacing the fat butt of jokes of
the Merry Wives with the philosophy for nave of Henry the fourth boyo gave
very the opportunity to create and authentically Shakespearean work such
that an opera based on the merry wives alone
would not have been as for the music very created a wholly new and exciting
sound world with Falstaff with a pacing that left contemporary critics astounded
seventy years later the composer Igor Stravinsky would say I am struck by the
force especially in Falstaff with which Verdi resisted or kept away from what
had seized the advanced musical world he’s referring of course to vogner the
presentation of musical monologues in Falstaff seems to me more original than
in Alton more original also are the instrumentation the harmony the part
writing yet none of these has left any element of a sort that would create a
school so different is Verdi’s originality from that of vogner but even
more remarkable than the gift itself is the strength with which he developed it
from Rigoletto to Falstaff to name the two operas I loved best end quote
nonetheless pardon me as a very boy too and certainly recording nuwell a
brilliant and masterful score was not in and of itself enough to completely
ensure success and even if the new work was by Italy’s most famous and revered
composer so we come to designs and staging and here’s an interesting aside
one of the things that record II could guarantee to Verdi barely had been told
that both of these offers would premiere at the Teatro alla Scala by the 1880s
the Teatro de Scala throughout most of the 19th century the visual aspects of
opera productions sense costume and staging were the responsibility of
contracted impresarios who commissioned two operas and programme to the seasons
later this role was assumed by stable theater managers in the case of La Scala
in easier throughout the 1880s Casa record II was the supervisor supervisory
let’s say team besides behind it deciding the repertory of what would go
on stage in fact in those year not a single vogner opera was produced
until record he bought the partner catalog from luca and then suddenly they
started doing wagner then for two years causes antonio his bitter rival he of
Cavalleria rusticana and songs ano took over and then again in 1918 92 through
1894 recording so in each case record he could guarantee to Verdi that the
production would be carefully carefully prepared and overseen because Casa
recording was innocent in effect the impresario and Italy’s most important
theatre so for a 1001 Falstaff the publisher record he did not intend to
leave the supervision to others the recorded firm itself had a staff of
outstanding artists and designers in its famous graphic arts division and Giulio
used their talents to the fullest Alfredo Adel was the designer of the
costumes for Othello and he was also a graphic artist working at Casa recording
Giulio instructed him to study Venetian paintings of the late 15th and early
16th centuries in order to prepare some 60 historically accurate costumes for
the principal roles of a panel along with the accessories and accessories in
the stage props several originals of these are in the exhibit and you can see
a slideshow of almost all of them they were pursuing the goal of authenticity
in those days in representation and the publisher even went so far as
authorizing the commissioning of custom-designed fabrics there we have
yann with the left you have this damned Allah in the middle and Otello on the
right there are several versions of other costumes really beautifully
beautifully studied and done for Falstaff Adolfo Hohenstein who had
recently become the artistic director in those years it has a recording home
screen for those of you who are also familiar with poster art is very very
famous as one of the fathers of the Italian Art Nouveau movement known as a
out of the fleur-de-lis or sealant Liberty for full staff record ascent Hohenstein
to Windsor and to London to study the architecture of the days and to examine
costume details of the Henry fourth era at the British Museum and here we have
up at the top the bottom we have forward Alicia
Falstaff Dame quickly now to ensure the quality of subsequent productions and
here we have to go back into the mindset of the late 19th century we’re used to
thinking about the way cinema is done these days we’re a fixed performance
never changes in those days eaten up was not only important that the premiere go
well but a whole string of subsequent performances were also successful or
very least well done to ensure the ongoing and continuing success of work
recording prepared oh sorry here’s a wonderful set painted by Holland Steen
as well all was for Falstaff recording would prepare entire sets of black line
costume designs so that smaller theatres could if they wanted reproduced exactly
the costumes that have been done at La Scala with detailed instructors for how
to do everything from the wigs to the the the shoes even to the type of
stockings they wore and how to build the costume exactly how it ought to be
designed and recorded here he even appears as the author here prepared in
this one for Otello a series of production books these the so called
disposition oceanic these were manuals that were based inspired by the Paris
Opera live redeem ascension they were often a record of the premiere
production as in this case with Othello and were primarily intended as
instructions to be able to replicate the staging at other theaters to ensure an
opera success as it traveled while this one was automated by judo and is it very
interesting all these these these bits that you see often tied to actual
music examples they’re the actual principal players arrows to show in what
direction they should be facing when they sang certain things choruses
supernumeraries how the movements should occur in what case and even details as
to exactly what should happen when you’re seeing certain things actually
stage directing even all of the movements here tied when you sing this
line here very softly quickly to Desdemona
then loudly as you did before etc quite detailed even though very often liked to
protest that he knew nothing about such things he would often send recording
letters that were very detailed or things that he wanted to find this one
was also in display Antigua’s event where he mentions I’m simply envisioning
for Falstaff a large garden with paths bushes plants grouped here and there so
that characters can hide and or appear as the drama and the music dictate and
here’s where all his little instruction is drawings there’s a multiplicity of
these letters in the record archive casting of course was a fundamental
importance and one of the conversations that you can hear in the exhibit
involves discussion among the three men regarding the baritone victor morale who
created the role of both Iago in Othello and later Falstaff and he knows audio
samples you can also hear Morel singing quandary Pedro de Luca the Norfolk from
Falstaff from a remastered original recording of 1907 to get an idea also of
his performance finally but not least marketing it was important for the
publisher to generate a very high level of interest in the premieres of the two
operas but maintaining that interest over the course of the first season
performances beyond was a vital to the overall success of the entrepreneurial
endeavor you will also see or have seen the contracts that Verdi at that point
in his career was able to command we did the calculations going back to
the original years and found that the advance on royalties guaranteed that
Verdi was promised for Othello was in modern terms close to 1 million dollars
now that doesn’t make us blink when we think of the kind of money that some
music generates today but for classical music at the end of the nineteenth
century this was an astonishing investment on the part of the composer
of the publisher sorry so it was very very important for Giulio that this
would all be a commercial success as well and he was a master at this console
record he worked on many levels first and foremost the carefully planned work
of the publicist both in recording own publications the popular journal musica
musica ste as well as in collaboration with newspapers and special editions of
one of Italy’s most popular periodicals the ear Luciana Ethan Yana this was for
high-end aficionados also they were beautifully produced limited luxury
editions a couple of these are on display from the Morgan collection in
the exhibit for a broader audience interested in collectibles there were
also merchandising items like postcards or souvenir photographs of the principal
audience artists some of which were also available this was a two page full-color
spread in the elusive attorney Ethan Yana piece for Othello and here’s the
Falstaff piece which was this chasm record he collaborated with a publisher
in Milan to produce these collector’s editions of the most popular periodical
at the time one Pro tell’em one for false to have articles described Verdi
and Falstaff various librettists Shakespeare’s Falstaff character has
discussed by literary critics etc there was also an essay by Giulio himself
about how very rehearses an opera and they were specially commissioned to
photo essays etc one delightful as they suggest that the Shakespeare’s Falstaff
character had in fact come from Italian literary route
a 1368 tale from the picard owner by giovanni fiorentino a precursor of the
Decameron these beautifully designed issues intended to bring the public’s
interest to a fever pitch for the new operas and was very interesting in this
for people that are interested in this the history of this sort of thing these
are very very modern promotional techniques when you consider this was
happening in the 1880s and 1890s thirty years later or more Hollywood would
adopt these same kind of techniques commissioning special play books that
were based on films obviously commissioning magazine essays and
articles etc in 1884 for opera this was a very very new idea and it struck a
chord internationally as well that earlier thing we had seen the three men
actually come from a outsized folio sized publication in London of the
graphic it shows a scene from Falstaff talking about this new premier and
setting up the interest there as well international recognition for this kind
of work let me fast-forward a little bit here recording the firm record he became
enormous ly famous for this to the point that in the New York Times in 1911 there
was a full page article this is just the very very top of it you can find it
online the music trust that reigns over Italian opera the record is a Milan who
controlled the goal of the Golden West this was after the premiere of Laughlin
Shula at the Metropolitan had been factors in operatic history for a
hundred years what’s interesting of this this article you should take a look at
it online it goes on to talk about even our publishers here in America I haven’t
caught on to how to do this yet and it talks about French composers that their
publishers haven’t even showed up where are they and just marveling at the
commercial acumen of this Italian publishing firm in all this activity we
mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the entrepreneurs role in the world of
publishing is not only to use existing great talents in their catalogue but
also to continually search out new talents
on which to build the future fortunes of the firm Giulio had many irons in the
fire not just Othello and Falstaff and indeed just eight days before the
premiere of Falstaff in Milan another opera opened in Turin just 88 miles away manone of course would proved to be the
breakout opera that definitively launched Puccini’s international career
so just days apart recording offered the crowning achievement of the end of the
career of the grand old master and the new masterpiece of the rising young star
we might say that Giulio had a pretty good week by the way Giulio also
collaborated actively in the creation of the operas as many of you know he’s one
of the people that shaped the final libretto ruminal Moscow and he worked
very very intensely and carefully on the libretto for when so although Falstaff
is brilliant theater and brilliant comedy there’s a strain of cynicism that
vanes its closing few that apparently light-hearted to tuna noodle Buddha that
I mentioned earlier we’re all indeed played for fools as varied himself
stated the boy toe in one of the acted out conversations you can hear in this
exhibit thieving world rascally world evil world Falstaff says I know that in
alas I knew it 30 years before you did after Verdi’s death years later when
Toscanini was examining the autograph score in the recording archive to
Falstaff in order to repair the famous of revival performances at La Scala in
the 1920s the archivists found this slip of paper that Verdi had stuck in with
the lines that Falstaff pronounces in act two vivec your jaw and vah vah
Bellavia go old John go go along your way it was very quiet way of saying and
this finally is the end of the career but let’s quote the words of boy to one
the matter he said that Falstaff is more than a brilliantly amusing opera it is a
source of intellectual joy a vindication of the world and if humanity is an
incorrigible optimism in the face of every possible
discouragement from Beru liqu added a lovely letter at the end of the exhibit
that Verdi had written to Emma’s Ely silk-screened on the wall you’ll find it
in which she recalled the melancholy of when we rehearsed Falstaff first in my
home and later in the risotto on Escada here’s a lovely watercolor by Holman
Steen of Verdi at rehearsals at La Scala the so called probably italiana in front
of a what it meant is that for him the final performances of Falstaff signaled
that now finally his career as a composer for the stage was concluded so
we’ve talked about several logistical and practical aspects of what helped
ensure the success of these offers but of course we mustn’t lose sight of one
fundamental fact these were miraculous artistic creations the dramatic pacing
is superb and in these late works very showed a masterful command of orchestral
shading in effect from the tremendous power of the tempest scene of the
nuanced touches of the ensembles a notable to the scintillating and
brilliant orchestral color of Falstaff I love this image here this is on the wolf
many of you will know that Verdi left as his legacy his children who died of
course very very young he left his worldly goods and his future royalties
to build an old folks home in Milan for retired musicians who had been left
indigent the Cosley opposed a movie the bouzouki st at eco Bertha’s brother
Camille a boy I thought was the architect this is boy on the left and
recording on the right looking out over a council and we’re sort of bidding them
adieu with this letter as they’re looking out over the work as it
progresses on the Casa de deposal now of course there’s much more to see an
experience in this exhibit than the brief overview that I’ve offered here
don’t let this apparently compact dimensions of the show fool you in its
seven main sections that they’ve been laid out commissioning creating
contracting designing casting staging publicizing publishing
there was a wealth of extra information as well as extra media beyond the
precious original artifacts that are on display Fran Berwick and her
collaborators have done an absolutely wonderful job creating a very elegant
and indeed a striking layout of this exhibition thank you so much and thank
you for listening Juana Sarah good evening
can you hear me yes so this is a nice quote from Roger pocket about the scale
of recorded in the 19th century and let’s start from this building it’s the
building of that rava Scala and this is where the record the business started
with Giovanni record did a grandfather of Julia record and the company was here
but today you find the Scala Museum and the restaurant you can see Giovanni and
they had a very unique career in the field of music publisher because
Giovanni started as a copyist then went to Germany to learn the printing methods
and imported some machines from Leipzig and became founded established the
publishing business in 1808 then in 50 years it became something more than a
publisher it became the producer the impresario handling all the complexity
of the staging of these operas so not only a publisher and all this is in the
earth in their kiba today so this is why the collection is so peculiar and unique
this is the mill on the map of Milan in the nineteenth century is smaller than
today obviously and the core of this was the diorama Scala and record a is known
for melodrama for big opera composers it was the publisher of the fantastic five
you see in this picture absolutely so Bellini Verdi the leads et Puccini
Rossini and many others and we have some pictures of the
production shops at the times of where did the music stores of Ricordi in Italy
Naples London so broad New York maybe somebody knows which Street this is so
you have to imagine a very complex diversified music industry representing
artists and handling their careers internationally in a pre-internet
preformed era and all these artistic power needed a machine an organizational
machine to exist and we find these traces in their kyv gabriela mention at
the the big investment made by recording on the last where this operas like hotel
and in this book record this summarizes the main conditions of the contracts
with the composers so basically each line is an opera and in the top line you
can see Hotel know so if we zoom on Italo you see the two hundred thousand
liras this is the minimum fee given by the publisher to Verde which is
approximately 1 million of euros of today so it’s a very important
investment plus and this is the crucial part from the intrapreneurial
perspective plus the royalties so the 40% on the rentals of the opera to the
theaters plus the 50% of sales of printed editions and record introduced
at this system in Italy which is the beginning of the modern music industry
is the copyright system before this the relationship was not between the
publisher and the composer but was between the theatrical impresario and
the composer so it’s change just the system and if you compare this
fee with a contemporary composer of Verdi my raincoat
you can see how different is is the feed so a very tough tough system and Verdi
at the time it was at the peak of his career he had a huge contractual power
and it was conscious of this so it was a very tough negotiator with the publisher
and this is a quote from you can understand how demanding I was very it
makes me laugh when innocence for those but for me I have never found the singer so for Julia for the young junior record
it was not easy to handle this this guy and you can see this wonderful picture
of Verdi in his Villa and Sant’Agata together with Julia record E with the OS
time the lawyer in a very royal mood it was Verdi in a way was the reason the
factor who brought record the intern on the international stage the big
expansion of the publisher was drivin by Giuseppe Verdi and then Julia record II
was clever enough and sensitive enough to him to find the new Verdi because the
problem for the publisher was the continuity and find the new big composer
and Giulio invested on June Giacomo Puccini
despite is fierce not successful operas against the board of the company the
constant is that all the recorded managers from the recorded family had
music skills they can recognize good composers good music and a very quick
overview of other documents in our collection I will try to bring you in
Milan in our vaults the autograph scores of Puccini and this is boham and Puccini
sketches ska when the character of mimic dies and often you also find notes
direct directed notes so the composers are also directors so many layers of
information in the same documents the Capri chip from niccolò paganini
contemporary scores like the visuals course from Silvana Basara Graham this
is also the key the symbol even image of our archive because you Salvatori sherry
know he use uses to bright music graphically so this is diagram which is
like the condensation of the full score of the music and of course graphic art
the posters and the records this is the first record producer by recorded in
1958 Maria Callas singing media and this was the beginning of the label recording
which then became the label of Italian pop singers like battisti D’Andre and
the graphic Coover arts were realized by Bruno Neri
or prayer box what is this this is a milestone for us this is a document of
1994 from the Minister of Culture in Italy which declares that this set of
document is not just the archive of a company but is national cultural
heritage so for their kyv this means a real change of nature of activities and
this is the starting point of what we do today what we are today their key
historical record a cultural entity in Italy which is promoting this collection
in many different ways and we are part of birthdays man the
German media group and we are one of the cultural projects inside the birthdays
man field and they are giving an important contribution in preserving the
archive today we are in the Brera building in Milan the Brera building
houses the Pinacoteca the Brera the Academy of Arts the biblioteca Nacional
de prensa we are hosted by the library presents a library this is the
meditation hall where we do concerts and conferences and of course the Deposit
vaults of their cave you where the document sleep with the exception of the
exhibition’s like the one we are bringing here and you can see some
highlights from this collection and of course a big part of the project is
about preserving the collection which means not only storing but means also
coping digitizing this collection to make it available this is interesting
these are the press clips of the time so we also know the reactions of press
and audiences to the various opera so it’s so rich production cards you can
see this in the exhibition so you know how much that opera was produced truly
brett-o sand printed edition and of course I mention it the restoration in
the digitisation the restoration is interesting because sometimes is the
case of Giacomo Puccini it brings new content about the document in this case
you can see here this window Puccini use it to stick stripes of new music paper
on the autograph score with these Corrections so with the restoration we
were able to unstick this and see the previous the original original version
and this for musicologists and scholars is very important and the documents like
the full scores of Boheme for example David Remo thanks to digitization we can
map them and synchronize them with sight with music in the exhibition you will
find an example of this so you can listen and follow the music of fast
stuff of Tudor among the Borla synchronize it with the score with
different interpretations so it’s a way to complete the document because the
document is mute without the execution of the music and of course our portal
the colatina digital is the digital resource to access the archive so we are
gradually digitizing the collections and make these collections available and you
can already find the world economic collection with the designs of costumes
sets props and the letters sometimes with transcriptions of the
content translation and we are also inviting users and scholars to provide
the missing contents the missing translations and transcriptions so it’s
a it’s a dynamic system very flexible which is gradually completing the
Messiah of recorded and there is a book this book is called the Cathedral of
music is a general is the way to access the archive so you can see there are a
gramma from Silvana boo sati we are using obsessively this image and I
suggest this as a first step into the collection and it’s also about reusing
our heritage we find creative ways to revive the documents through project and
one example is the collaboration we did in 2015 with the Teatro de l’opéra de
Roma they wanted to stage the original staging of Tosca of Puccini’s Tosca so
we collaborated so what you can see the original set design reproduce it for a
new staging and as well as the costumes some cases a same thing we did here in
New York with New York City Opera one year afterwards concerts in Brera but
also for example in Berlin reviving the repertoire reference we are trying to
highlight some interesting records produced by this key record like this
Luigi no no non-consumable marks a very political vanguard electronic record
from the hell late sixties special concert
giving the records to contemporary artists and let them use these records
as to shape them and creating something new and also fashion shows as a
collaboration we did three years ago in Milan with dolce gabbana and they were
using some signs of their kvo to create new new clothes and of course this is
not this is not my costume when I go to theater I would like to but the message
here is that the archive is available to the creatives of today to generate new
science new contents and we really encourage this on many levels not only
with big fashion companies but also with the students of fashion design costume
and set design they come to our offices they study the document the documents
and they make laboratories so on many different levels and finally Milano
because the Ricordi is a very Mellon his company and everything started in La
Scala and today if you go to La Scala square on the left you find the statue
the statue of Giulia Riccardi which has been taken form the dismissal premises
of recorded restore at in place on front of his original office you can see the
major you can see the grand grants on housing of crowd the recording you can
see me very proud but now today we have tourists going to visit this statue and
also very special tourists like our Gabriela and finally a project which I’m very
proud of is the way the exhibition we did this in 2015 was the concept was
curated by gabriela doto and called the enterprise of opera and the meaning was
precisely this big machine which was necessary to produce these masterpieces
and today we’re really proud that this concept met the Morgan Library and was
enriched by the collection of the Morgan Library and brought here to New York in
this very special place for you and I hope you will enjoy the exhibition and I
hope that you will investigate more about our collection is difficult to
condensate all this complexity all this richness in this time but I hope I try
to thank you very much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *