4 pp. of a bifolium. Ca. 114 x 180 mm. Dated London, July 22, 1875. In black ink on mourning stationery. In Italian (with translation).
Campanini complains about a potential engagement in St. Petersburg, which he may not be able to accept because his contact, [Gaetano?] Ferri, may not be in charge of the theatre, and because he may not receive adequate pay and recognition. He then lambasts two prominent singers, Ernest Nicolini (1834-1898) and Victor Capoul (1839-1924), whom the directors favor simply because they are French.
"... I think it is almost useless to discuss the Petersburg affair (I'll explain why now)... As for the salary, it will be a somewhat difficult thing to arrange because I know that Ferri would want to pay me as a debutant, and if they do not grant me 80,000 francs, I will not go to Russia... Nicolini, what a horror, he has a voice that rumbles like a paralytic and he also sings out-of-tune quite well, and for this they grant him everything because he is French... If you want to show this letter to Ferri, please go ahead, I don't mind... "
Creased at folds; several small perforations, with no loss to text; small abrasion to central fold of second page; remnants of former mount to corners of final page; some bleeding, not affecting legibility.
"Engaged to sing Manrico in Il trovatore in Odessa, [Campanini] stayed three years in Russia, returning to Italy for further study with Lamperti in Milan. In 1871, after singing Gounod’s Faust, Don Ottavio and Gennaro (Lucrezia Borgia) at La Scala, he attracted wide attention when he sang Lohengrin at Bologna under Angelo Mariani, in the first Italian performance of Wagner’s opera. At La Scala he also sang the title role of Marchetti’s Ruy Blas and Lohengrin (1872–3). Having made his London début in 1872 at Drury Lane as Gennaro, in 1874 he sang Kenneth in the première of Balfe’s Il talismano. In 1875 he sang Faust in Mefistofele in the first performance of the revised edition of Boito’s opera at Bologna, and in 1878 Don José in the London (Her Majesty’s Theatre) and New York (Academy of Music) premières of Carmen. Having sung Gounod’s Faust at the opening of the Metropolitan in 1883, he returned (1891–4) as Almaviva, Don Ottavio, Raoul (Les Huguenots), Lohengrin, Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Boito’s Faust. He sang the title role of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust at the Royal Albert Hall in 1894, the year he retired. His voice was reportedly neither large nor perfectly even, but was sweet, flexible, brilliant on top and used with intuitive musicality." Elizabeth Forbes in Grove Music Online. Item #24193
Price: $250.00 other currencies