Autograph letter signed "Francilla." BELLINI, Francilla 1816-?1888 PIXIS.

Autograph letter signed "Francilla."

3 pp., densely written on two conjugate octavo leaves. Weimar, March 4, 1841. To Madame Maschinka Schubert, "famous artist." With integral address panel. In German, with translation.

An important letter,describing the German premiere of Bellini's "La Sonnambula" by the celebrated contralto singing Amina, one of her most famous roles.

"Over the course of six days in Leipzig, I sang three times, came here the other morning, where the next rehearsals were already awaiting me... Besides La Sonnambula and Romeo, I also sang Norma; all three performances were sold out... and applause was just what you would wish for in Germany. The Sonnambula was performed here for the first time. I confess that I enjoyed greatly making this dear opera known... The tenor Götze is very good and sang and acted with a passion... So the opera caused a big splash. I was called out twice, which, I was told, happens never, or at least only very rarely..."

Slightly soiled and foxed; minor tears and paper defects; creased at folds.

Pixis was the foster-daughter of the pianist and composer Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874), "who had recognized her vocal gifts... Pixis was her principal teacher, although she studied further with Josephine Fodor-Mainville, Henriette Sontag, Rossini and Paer... Her voice was powerful and sonorous, free from strain at louder dynamics and, when required, softly beautiful. Among her most renowned roles were Amina (La sonnambula), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Norma, Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and Gabriella (Mercadante's Gabriella di Vergy). Pixis conceived his operetta Die Sprache des Herzens for her, and Pacini wrote for her the leading role in his Saffo (1840)." Gaynor G. Jones et al. in Grove Music Online.

Madame Schubert (1815-1882), a coloratura soprano, was the wife of Franz Schubert (1808-1878), violinist and composer, eldest son of the composer and double bass player Franz Anton Schubert (1768-1827), and daughter of the Kapellmeister Georg Abraham Schneider (1770-1839) and singer Caroline Portmann. "She made her début in London in 1832 and was later a valuable, versatile member of the Dresden Opera, her range including soubrette and tragic roles." John Warrack in Grove Music Online. Item #17641

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