Autograph letter signed to the composer's long-time friend, tenor Josef Tichatschek. Richard WAGNER.

Autograph letter signed to the composer's long-time friend, tenor Josef Tichatschek.

4 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated Paris, October 19, 1859. In Wagner's characteristically dense, elegant script. In German (with translation).

Wagner, who has recently moved from Zurich to Paris and is in even more financial need than usual, turns to Josef Tichatschek in Dresden, the tenor who created the roles of Rienzi and Tannhäuser, asking him for an advance of 5,000 francs. As security, he offers his fees from productions of his operas planned for the following spring that will enable him to pay off his debt: Tannhäuser in Paris and Tristan und Isolde (yet unperformed) in Karlsruhe and Vienna. Wagner warns Tichatschek that nobody in Paris must learn about his precarious situation and laments his inability to return to Dresden (where there was a warrant for his arrest).

"It has been impossible for me to raise this money merely by doing business, hence I have to resort to the help of friends, then I always hear how they love and esteem me, the wretched devil, in Dresden... Do you know anybody who would be capable of extending this advance of 5,000 fr. to me? ... See to it, for heaven’s sake, what an act of friendship may make possible. ... But, most importantly, my wife must not have any clue about it; she would get terribly excited if she knew of the predicament I am in. Thus, your wife must not know anything either."

From the noted Burrell Collection.

Very slightly worn.

Wagner-Briefe-Verzeichnis 2565. German original published in Richard Wagner: Sämtliche Briefe, vol. 11. ed. Martin Dürrer (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1999), pp. 307-8 and 541 (letter no. 176); earlier in Richard Wagner: Briefe—Die Sammlung Burrell, ed. John N. Burk, transl. Karl and Irene Geiringer (Frankfurt: S. Fischer, 1953), letter no.. 337B, pp. 220-22. Full English translation in Letters of Richard Wagner: The Burrell Collection, ed. John Burk (New York: Macmillan, 1950), letter no. 337B, pp. 160-61.

Josef Tichatschek (1807-1886), a friend of Wagner's since the early 1840s, continued to live in Dresden until his death. Tichatschek responded to Wagner's letter immediately, but did not send money: Wagner’s next letter to him, of October 24, 1859 (Sämtliche Briefe, vol. 11, p. 316-17; letter no. 184), repeats the request.

Wolf Adolf August von Lüttichau (1786-1863) was the director of the Royal Saxon Court Theater from 1824 to 1862. His relationship with Wagner was strained and ambivalent. He was responsible for the first productions of Rienzi, Der fliegende Holländer, and Tannhäuser, but he was not willing to stage Tristan und Isolde, which was not heard in Dresden in Wagner’s lifetime.

The productions of his operas Wagner was looking forward to, and apparently took for granted, were all either delayed (Tannhäuser in Paris, 1861) or canceled (Tristan in Karlsruhe and Vienna). Tristan und Isolde did not receive its first performance until 1865, in Munich, with the support of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Item #23515

Price: $9,500.00  other currencies

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