1 page. Octavo. N.d. [?Paris, ca. 1860s]. In light black ink. On stationery with Cruvelli's monogram embossed at head. In French (with translation).
Cruvelli recommends her letter-carrier, the composer Antonio Visetti.
"Permit me to recommend the carrier of this letter, Mr. Antonio Visetti, a very talented composer. I have had the opportunity to hear him several times in Nice, and he gave me great delight. I have given him a message for you."
Slightly worn and foxed; creased at folds.
Sophie Cruvelli was a noted German soprano. "Verdi’s early operas suited her voice, which was large and powerful if not always under perfect control, and in 1848 she sang Elvira (Ernani) and Abigaille (Nabucco, given as Nino) at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, as well as Leonore (Fidelio) and Countess Almaviva. She appeared in Milan in 1849–50, singing roles including Odabella, Elvira, Abigaille, Rosina and Norma. She made her Paris début in 1851 as Elvira, and at the Théâtre Italien she also sang in Norma, La sonnambula, Fidelio and Semiramide. In 1854 she transferred to the Opéra (her performance is reported in Dwight’s Journal, iv (1853–4), 150–51), appearing as Valentine (Les Huguenots), Julia (La vestale) and Rachel (La Juive). She then returned to London, where she sang in Rossini’s Otello, in Fidelio and as Donna Anna at Covent Garden. She created Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes at the Paris Opéra in 1855, and retired the following year after her marriage to Baron Vigier." Elizabeth Forbes in Grove Music Online.
Antonio Visetti (1846-1926) was an Italian composer, singer, and voice teacher. He studied in Milan (1855-1865), where he met Arrigo Boito and Giuseppe Verdi. He worked as a conductor in Nice, and then moved to Paris, where the composer Daniel Auber introduced him at the court of Napoleon III. His opera, Les trois mousquetaires, was produced in 1872. In 1870, he moved to England, where he became a professor at the Royal College of Music and friend of Adelina Patti. He authored several works in English, including a history of singing and a biography of Verdi. John Clarke in London's Necropolis and Carlo Schmidl in Dizionario Universale dei Musicisti, p. 670
The recipient of this letter was perhaps Marie-Pierre-Pascal Escudier (1809-1880) or, more likely, Léon Escudier (1815-1881). In 1840, the Escudier brothers founded a Paris publishing firm, which developed out of their weekly journal, La France musicale. "From May 1842 the firm began to publish music on its own account... In 1849 Marie Escudier had become sole director of La France musicale, with Léon as his co-editor; and by November 1853 at the latest Léon had taken sole responsibility for the music publishing activities of the firm." Both La France musicale and the publishing firm paid special attention to Italian opera; indeed the firm served as Verdi's chief French publisher, and did much to establish his international reputation. (Many of Verdi 's letters to Léon have survived.) It is therefore not surprising that Cruvelli would introduce Visetti, a young Italian composer, to Léon Escudier, a potential publisher of his operas, cantatas, and other vocal works. Richard Macnutt in Grove Music Online.
Price: $200.00 other currencies