in Bologna, musicians in Bologna.
The Maestro and the
Singer. Giuseppe Verdi’s letters to Maria Waldmann (1873-1900), exhibition
held at the G.B.Martini Conservatoire in Bologna, on the occasion of the
che le vanità. Bologna per Giuseppe Verdi"
arranged by Piero Mioli (14-21 December 2001).
2001, on the occasion of the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi’s death and within
the meeting “Tu che le vanità. Bologna per Giuseppe Verdi”,
the Conservatoire of Bologna
has arranged for an exhibition of the original manuscripts of Giuseppe Verdi’s
letters to Maria Waldmann, also promoting the publication of the complete
catalogue of all autographs.
The pages of the catalogue report
some of the most significant texts so far published on the
Verdi-Waldmann correspondence, preceded by a short portrait of Maria
Waldmann sketched by Gino Monaldi, biographer and chronicler of 1800s. Moreover
there are reproductions of documents
about the circumstances of the purchase of the collection of letters by
“G.B.Martini” Conservatoire in Bologna kept in the administrative archives
of the institution. There follows finally an unabridged transcription of the
letters, based on the edition by Luzio in 1936 and complete with original notes
and, where possible, also with some extracts of Waldmann’s letters to Verdi,
today kept care of Verdi-Carrara heirs in Sant’Agata.
For the sake of completeness, I have reproduced also the texts of Verdi’s five
letters which are not included in the collection of the Bologna Conservatoire;
two among these are particularly remarkable: the one recently identified by
Adriano Cavicchi in the Massari Fund within the State Archives in Ferrara (20
March 1891) , and Giuseppe Verdi’s last
one written to Maria Waldmann before dying, opn 22 December 1900; his autograph
was presented by the singer herself to the Municipal Library in Ferrara, on the
The collection owned by the Conservatoire in Bologna includes on the whole
ninety-four autograph letters, among which as many as eighty-nine written by
Giuseppe Verdi (four of them including some lines by Giuseppina Strepponi),
three written by Giuseppina Strepponi and two by Teresa Stolz. The collection is
complete with seventyfour Giuseppe
Verdi’s autograph envelopes with original stamps. It is necessary to note that
about a half of the correspondence refers to the years when the artistic
collaboration between Verdi and Waldmann was the most intense, that is to say
between 1873 and 1880: this is surely also the most interesting section of the
whole corpus, in which stand out the most relevant biographic information; the
correspondence between about 1880 and 1900 appears to be less relevant from a
historical-documentary point of view, yet of great interest.
The exhibition of Verdian autographs promoted by the Bologna Conservatoire
includes some of the most significant letters in the Verdi-Waldmann
correspondence; the exhibition, open from 14 to 21 December 2001, consists of
five sections: The preparation of the Requiem Mass (1873-74), The ideal
interpreter of Aida and of the Mass (1874-75), Waldmann’s quitting the stage
and her wedding (1876-79), Towards Otello (1880-87), Verdi’s old age
to request the complete text (Italian version only)