The fate of letters by composer Giuseppe Verdi hangs in the balance later this month.
Per The Times, opera experts are urging the Italian government to buy up a massive amount of correspondence at an auction, lest they be purchased by a private collector and be lost to the public eye for the foreseeable future.
“If another collector gets his hands on them we won’t see them again for another 100 years,” Fabrizio Della Seta, a Verdi expert, said in the report. “This is like finding the letters of Shakespeare or Jane Austen — it’s crucial we get them.”
The problem is that the price for the acquisition seems to be close to a whopping £300,000, which might prove too costly for the Italian government.
The letters mainly center on the correspondence between Verdi and Salvatore Cammarano, with whom he worked on “Il Trovatore.” They offer up a look at the composer’s creative process and the development of his increasing frustration with the workflow with the Italian librettist.
The sale of the letters is slated for Oct. 26, 2017, in London.