New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, London: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917. Folio. Original publisher's black cloth-backed dark ivory wrappers with illustration printed in green and titling "Joe Weber Presents A Romantic Comic Opera Eileen... Staged by Fred G. Latham." 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (recto named cast list, verso blank), 1f. ('Musical Programe[!]," verso composer's printed statement), 7-165, [i] (blank) pp. With publisher's catalogue of works by Herbert to verso of lower wrapper.
Inscribed and signed by the composer in dark blue ink at upper outer corner of upper wrapper "With all good wishes from Victor Herbert April 1917" and with a fine 5-measure autograph musical quotation to upper inner corner with text "'Tis a great day tonight for the Irish!"
Named cast includes Vernon Stiles, Algernon Grieg, Scott Welsh, Harry Crosby, John B. Cooke, Greek Evans, Joseph Dillon, Edward Martindel, Josie Claflin, Louise Allen, Olga Roller, Grace Breen, Paullette Antoine, Thomas Mann, and Francis X. Hennessy, with Arthur Kautzenbach as Musical Director.
Wrappers somewhat worn and soiled with small edge tears to lower margin; lower outer corner creased. Very slightly browned; small stains to inner margins of pp. 10-11; small hole to blank area of pp. 45-46; minor creasing to blank upper inner margins of some leaves; some signatures slightly split. With composer's facsimile signature handstamp to lower outer corner of title.
First performed in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Colonial Theatre on Monday January 1, 1917 and in New York at the Shubert Theatre on March 19, 1917.
Herbert "was the most talented and successful American operetta composer and important also as an advocate of copyright and performance-rights protection for composers... His longstanding wish to compose an Irish operetta was finally gratified with the production of Eileen (1917; originally entitled Hearts of Erin), which boasts a solid libretto concerning the Irish rebellion of 1798 and a rich score, but marks the end of his greatest theatre pieces." Steven Ledbetter in Grove Music Online.
"For Eileen he wrote a score of genuine distinction and of extraordinary dramatic potency. The Irish theme seems to call for extra effort, and the composer responded nobly. Every piece and incidental number in the printed score of this 'romantic comic opera' testifies to special affection, but in addition he prefaced the score with the note: "In this score I have not made use of any traditional Irish airs, but have endeavored, to the best of my ability, to write all "Irish" numbers in the characteristic spirit of the music of my native country - Ireland." He succeeded admirably, as everyone who heard the music agreed... After the week in Cleveland Hearts of Erin started on a tour of eastern cities, but it was not supposed to enter New York this season. A substantial run developed in Boston, where it was rechristened Eileen... No operetta of Herbert's is more deserving of revival than Eileen. It is his most earnest attempt at light opera, and may be his greatest. Beyond question Eileen 'marked the last truly characteristic, genuine effort of his long and brilliant career." Waters: Victor Herbert, pp. 495, 497 and 504. Item #29350
Price: $475.00 other currencies