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Autograph letter signed "C. Saint-Sa√ęns," - SAINT-SA√čNS, Camille 1835-1921 - 1901. [1194222]
2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated Paris, August 16, 1901. Decorative initial incorporating a serpent's head and text in black ink on lined paper. In French (with translation). Saint-Sa√ęns discusses the casting of the principal tenor role for the premi√®re of his opera, Les barbares. Saint-Sa√ęn's correspondent was probably Victorien Sardou, the opera's co-librettist. "[Guillaume] Ibos has stage presence and shines with a lively radiance in loud passages, but sings flat in soft passages... [Emilio de] Marchi, the new Italian phoenix, doesn't sing in French... [Albert] Vaguet will sing wonderfully. As an actor, he's not bad, he's hopeless; but perhaps with your advice we will do something about him because he is full of drive. He is already a favorite with the opera audience." Slightly worn, browned and stained; creased at folds and somewhat overall; short splits to at upper and lower portions of central fold; small edge tears. Albert Vaguet (1865-1943) did indeed sing Marcomir, the principal tenor role, in the premi√®re of Les Barbares, which took place at the Paris Op√©ra on October 23, 1901. Guillaume Ibos (1860-1952) sang the title role in the first Paris performance of Massenet's opera, Werther in 1893. in 1900, the year before this letter was written, Emilio de Marchi (1861-1917) created the role of Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca. Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) was a prominent French dramatist best known for his historical melodramas and comedies. Opera composers were attracted to his melodramas in particular: Puccini's Tosca, for instance, is based on Sardou's play of the same name. Although he himself did not provide many libretti, he worked closely with Saint-Sa√ęns on Les barbares.
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