4 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated Aise, August 25, 1888. In black ink on cream paper with deckled edges and watermark. Pencil annotation "to Louis-Henri Obin, bass" in a late twentieth-century hand at head. In French (with translation).
Calvé recovers from an illness, which has not affected her voice. She warmly thanks her mentor for his lessons, which helped her successfully perform the role of Ophelia in Ambroise Thomas's opera, Hamlet. She regrets that she will not be able to come to Paris to see him. She asks him to tell her the repertoire of his young protégé, so that she may speak with Edoardo Sonzogno, and important Italian publisher, about her.
"... I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your good wishes for my health, which which is recovering visibly. My voice has not suffered and I really hope to be completely recovered and to leave for Rome where my contract for this winter calls me. I had a great success last winter in the role of Ophelia, thanks to your admirable lessons. Allow me to express to you all my gratitude for them. People have often asked me with whom I worked on my mad scene, and I was very proud to be able to pronounce your name... If the young artist of whom you spoke to me is ready to make a debut, please be so good as to write to me and tell me her repertoire. I will speak of her to Mr. Sonzogno who is looking for interesting artists. You know that to please you, I will do all that is in my power in favor of your protégée... "
Slightly worn; creased at folds.
A colour reproduction of a painting by Théobald Chartrain of Calvé as Carmen. 272 x 202 mm.
Emma Calvé was a pupil of Jules Puget, Mathilde Marchesi, and Rosina Laborde. "In 1887 she was called to La Scala, Milan to create the heroine of Samara’s Flora mirabilis; but she did not achieve lasting success until a triumphant return in 1890 as Ophelia in Thomas’ Hamlet (with Battistini in the title role) was followed by appearances with Fernando de Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana in various Italian cities and with the same tenor in the première of Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz (31 October 1891, Rome). Calvé soon became one of the first favourites of the international public, especially in London and New York, where her Santuzza and above all her Carmen were considered incomparable. Although these parts were to dominate her repertory, Massenet wrote two roles for her, Anita in La Navarraise (1894, Covent Garden) and Fanny in Sapho (1897, Opéra-Comique), and she also created the title role of Hahn’s La Carmélite (1902, Opéra-Comique)... Her voice – a luscious, finely trained soprano strong in both chest and head registers (originally extending to high F), the secret of which she claimed to have learnt from Domenico Mustafà, the Italian castrato who became director of the choir at the Cappella Sistina – derived charm from its combination of absolute steadiness with rich colour. As an interpreter she was intensely dramatic and impulsive... " Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Karen Henson in Grove Music Online. Item #24099
Price: $250.00 other currencies