Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Helmut Krausser's The little gardens of maestro Puccini

In the street outside the villa.

Doria confronts Elvira.

DORIA: Signora!


DORIA: Padre Michelucchi came to see me. How could you? How could you say something like that about me? Behind my back. Why don't you say it to my face?

ELVIRA: And other demands, little Miss Strumpet?

DORIA: Signora, I've … I've done nothing wrong. Nothing. It's a slander.

ELVIRA: Oh? You have the gall to lie as well! To accuse me of slander!

DORIA: I've never given you any cause for complaint.

ELVIRA: You slut! You bitch! Go and collect your papers. No, papers aren't for the likes of you. What you need is a stamp from the Public Health Inspector, you whore!

More and more people gather in the street. Doria bursts into silent tears.

ELVIRA: Look at those crocodile tears! Out of my sight and never dare come near my house again. Never! They should set the dogs on you! (to the bystanders) She had the cheek to do it under my roof! The little tart! Having it off with him on top of the piano!


PUCCINI (coming out of the door) Elvira! What's going on here?

BYSTANDER: Shame on you, maestro!

ELVIRA: Let everyone hear. The slut!

PUCCINI: What have you done now, Elvira? Come back in.

ELVIRA: I've fired her, that's what I've done. She should be burnt, never mind fired!

PUCCINI: You're completely mad!

ELVIRA: Let everyone hear how you treat me.

Puccini is embarrassed by the whole situation. Words are not his strong point. He goes back in the house, slamming the door.