Paris: G. Hartmann, [ca. 1885]. Large folio. Finely bound in half green morocco with marbled boards, raised bands on spine in decorative compartments gilt, titling gilt, green endpapers, with original publisher's parchment wrappers with decorative devices by A. Renard above and below titling bound in. 1f. (recto blank, verso engraved frontispiece by P. Avril), 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (blank), 1f. (recto blank, verso limitation statement), 1f. (recto half-title, verso blank), 1f. (recto composer's printed dedication to Madame C. Miolan-Carvalho, verso blank), 1f. (recto named cast list, verso table of contents), 1f. (recto table of contents continued, verso blank), 1f. (recto part-title, verso blank), 391 ("Variante pour les Théâtres qui n'ont pas de Ballet"), [iii] (blank) pp. Printed on fine laid paper within decorative floral borders by Barbizet. Uncut.
A presentation copy, with a fine autograph musical quotation in the hand of the composer to half-title, being two measures from the beginning of the second act of Manon notated in treble clef on one hand-drawn staff. With a key signature of three flats, and text underlay in French ("On l'appelle Manon elle eut hier seize ans... "). Signed and inscribed in black ink "au Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch. Hommage de grand sympathie. J. Massenet Paris. 1893."
Named cast includes Marie Heilbronn as Manon, Molé-Truffier as Pousette, Chevalier as Javotte, Rémy as Rosette, Lardinois as the servant, Talazac as Les Chevalier Des Grieux, Taskin as Lescaut, Cobalet as the Count Des Grieux, Grivot as Guillot de Morfontaine, and Collin as de Brétigny, with Lbis, Texte, Reynal, Legrand, Troy, Davoust, and Bernard.
With unpaginated part-titles and illustrative engravings by P. Avril preceding each act.
Binding very slightly worn, minor wear and foxing to wrappers. Slightly browned and cockled at edges; occasional light foxing. A very attractive copy overall.
Deluxe Limited Edition, this number 19 of only 50 copies.
Although an early work, Manon is one of Massenet's best-known and most popular operas. "The designation ‘opéra comique’ is misleading: there are only a few lines of spoken dialogue. But in their place there is much mélodrame, faultlessly handled at a technical level... In the final analysis Manon is by way of being a ‘highlights’ opera, lacking the cohesion and economy of more mature Massenet works, but those highlights were seldom surpassed in the composer’s oeuvre." The opera's libretto, by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, is based on Antoine-François Prévost's novel L'histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731). Rodney Milnes in Grove Music Online.
Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch (1862-1908) was "a Serbian artist and writer on art, world traveller, and member of the Serbian Karađorđević dynasty. He gave singing and drawing lessons and later earned his living as an art critic and translator. He was a contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Le Figaro, La Revue de Paris, Revue des Revues, Magazine of Art, and other publications." Wikipedia.
A highly attractive and rare edition of one of the most popular operas of the 19th century. Item #25724
Price: $3,200.00 other currencies