Signed autograph letter to Maria Bianca Ginori-Lisci. Signed autograph letter, Viareggio (Italy), December 24, 1923, 1 page in-4°, on paper with his address, to Maria Bianca Ginori-Lisci. Beautiful letter about the revival of Manon Lescaut, directed at La Scala with Gilda dalla Rizza in the title role, which was more successful than the previous year: "[.] Manon was revived at La Scala with dalla Rizza to greater success than last year [.
He thanks her for her letter sent to the ministry on his behalf and informs her about his days: he has sometimes hunted but has caught little or nothing, while he is stuck with his wife Elvira, bedridden with the flu for 8 days. Manon Lescaut, a lyrical drama in four acts in Italian, is Giacomo Puccini's third opera, with a libretto by Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa, and Marco Praga, based on The Story of the Chevalier des Grieux and Manon Lescaut (1731) by Abbé Prévost. This opera, created 30 years earlier on February 1, 1893, at the Teatro Regio in Turin, was his first major success. The year 1923 saw the production of the thirtieth anniversary of Manon Lescaut with the latest revisions by Puccini to his score.
It was conducted by Arturo Toscanini (who also successfully directed La Bohème), with Gilda Dalla Rizza, one of Puccini's favorite sopranos and his preferred choice for Liu in Turandot. Also, although he composed the role of Minnie in The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West) for another soprano, the composer immediately changed his mind upon seeing Dalla Rizza: "Here, I have finally seen my Fanciulla" (Colin Kendell, The Complete Puccini, Amberley Publishing, 2012).
At the time of writing this letter, Puccini was still working on Turandot but would be taken less than a year later by throat cancer. The opera remained unfinished at the composer's death, but the score would be completed by Franco Alfano using some notes left by Puccini. However, his additions were never universally accepted. Maria Bianca Ginori-Lisci was the daughter of Marquis Carlo Ginori-Lisci, the dedicatee of La Bohème, who granted Puccini hunting rights on his neighboring estate, hence the information he provides about his hunting days. The original envelope is preserved.
You must have received communication from the Ministry about your ban - they also wrote to me telling me that they had notified you. Thank you for your little letter. I, Cunaro - I go hunting for a few rare days but there is little or nothing - Elvira has been in bed with the flu for 8 days!
But now she is a little better - but she is already down, poor woman. Manon was revived at La Scala with dalla Rizza to greater success than last year. I am reasonably well, when will I see you again?
Many warm greetings from yours and Elvira. Best wishes, remember me, joy, kisses.
To Maria Bianca Ginori, Via de' Ginori, Florence.