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A friend of Luigi Arditi’s, told of the composer’s plans to visit Birmingham one day, strongly encouraged him to visit Stratford-on-Avon as well: ‘It would be a pity to leave the area without visiting the birthplace of Shakespeare,’ he remarked.
‘But who is this Shakespeare?’ Arditi asked. ‘Haven’t you heard of the man who wrote Othello,’ the friend replied, understandably amazed, ‘and Romeo and Juliet? The Merry Wives of Windsor?’ ‘Ah,’ Arditi declared after a moment, ‘you mean the librettist!’

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