Italian Government crashes Sotheby’s Verdi auction

A last minute intervention by Rome stopped the auction of a cache of Verdi manuscripts and letters at Sotheby’s London yesterday. The Italians agreed to pay £358,000 to make the documents, privately owned in America for half a century, available for scholarly and public perusal.

The Italians will also pay Sotheby’s commission.

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  • They were primarily autograph letters, including 36 (some of them never published) to Salvadore Cammarano (librettist of Il trovatore among others.) There was a page manuscript of a scene from Ernani, but I don’t know if that was part of what the Italian government bought.

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