2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated ca. late October 1864-1865. In French (with translation).
An important letter in which Berlioz includes information for the first playbill of a projected concert performance of excerpts from his grand opera, Les Troyens. He lists the names and addresses of the singers who are to appear: Mme. [Anne] Charton-Demeur, Mlle. [Palmyre] Wertheimber, Mr. [Jules] Montjauze, Mr. [Louise-Émile?] Wartel, Mr. Péront, Mr. Legrand, and Mlle. Estagel. He also mentions a Mr. [?Prosper] Bagier, likely the director of the Théâtre-Italien in Paris. Finally, he includes a number of special woodwind and percussion instruments that must be added to the orchestra.
"Here are the addresses and a short agenda... You will find the last five artists at the Théâtre Lyrique on evenings when they play Violetta... [You] will include the names of the artists only later, in order not to upset Mr. Bagier."
Slightly worn and stained; creased at folds.
Berlioz was the leading French composer, conductor, and critic of his age. "In many senses the Romantic movement found its fullest embodiment in him, yet he had deep Classical roots and stood apart from many manifestations of that movement. His life presents the archetypal tragic struggle of new ideas for acceptance... and though there were many who perceived greatness in his music from the beginning, his genius only came to full recognition in the 20th century." Hugh Macdonald in Grove Music Online.
Although Berlioz finished Les Troyens in 1858, it was not performed in its complete form until years after his death, in 1890. The première of Acts 3-5, which included several of the singers mentioned in this letter, occurred at the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris on November 4, 1863. The performance mentioned in this letter may have taken place in late 1864 or 1865. ("Violetta," i.e. the French version of Verdi's La Traviata, enjoyed 102 performances at the Théatre Lyrique between October 27, 1864 and 1865). The intended recipient of this letter was perhaps Georges Hainl (1807-1873), conductor of the Paris Opéra and the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire from 1863 until 1872.
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