Puccini’s Chronicles: Volume Three

by Amanda DeLalla (Moderator)

“But,” said the maestro, “that will have to wait for another day. Speaking of my work, dear Signora Geraghty, I must return to it. I do believe I am on the brink of artistic breakthrough with the third act of Madama Butterfly.”

Isobel nodded and turned to head for the doorway. But as she did so, she was stopped by the maestro’s voice.

“Puoi repetere?” Isobel said.

Puccini didn’t repeat what he had said. On the contrary, he rushed upon her and cornered her against the wall near the doorway, as if to kiss her, but at the sight of her shocked teal-colored eyes, he backed away. It was too early yet to put the old Tosca moves on her; neither had earned the other’s trust entirely. But a good scare would be sufficient to keep her swooning overnight with thoughts of things other than his operas. Blushing, Isobel slicked from the maestro’s presence and walked briskly to her quarters. Puccini, for his part, went back to his piano aglow with the idea of a new lover and channeled it into the completion of Pinkerton’s next aria. It was entitled “Addio, fiorito asil.”

“But it is a lachrymose piece,” Puccini wrote in an update letter to Antonio that he would send along with the money. “In a brilliant turn of events I have composed a complete reversal of my personal feeling for Pinkerton to embody.”

The maestro glanced at the clock; it read 2:45 in the morning. The rain continued to fall outside, but so pleased with himself was he that he did not mind personally bringing the envelope to his messenger…

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