Lot 786: Camille Saint-Saens

RR Auction

2015-07-07 11:01:45

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Lot 786: ALS in French, signed "C. Saint-Saens," seven pages two sets of adjoining sheets, 6 x 7.5, personal letterhead, July 8, 1905. Lengthy letter to the director of the Opera de Monte-Carlo. In part (translated): "Your letter arrives at a perfect time as I am in Paris, because I have something very important to tell you!! When I have started working, I realized that three opera backgrounds will be needed—which, incidentally, is what the author longed for too; I had thought that I would have been able to continue the work even without them, but it is impossible.—It's the 1st act that needs two backgrounds. The 2nd one represents the courtyard of Old Annunciata's house, and it must be vast, because the choir will come…Nevertheless, it is clear that the decoration should match the 1st background as much as possible, so that the changes would take lesser time…I've truly wanted to give you the freedom of setting up the decoration of the 1st background while avoiding difficulties or complications; but I could not. Though this decoration is going to give some diversity to the 3rd one, which will produce more effect on the audience. For the details about the 2nd decoration, you could write to Mr. Ange de Lassus…You are going to help us with marvelous things; do not forget to go to Corte and most importantly, Vizzavona, which could quite inspire you. There are also other places that I do not know of, but I'm sure you will find inspiration there as well. Do not forget to go to Corte's cemetery—not because of visiting a person there, but because of what you will see on your way. As for the music of the 1st background, it is already done." In fine condition. Saint-Saens must have been working on his three-act opera L'Ancetre, which premiered the next year at the Opera de Monte-Carlo on February 24, 1906. The libretto was written by Lucien Auge de Lassus, who he also mentions in the letter. With excellent content directly pertaining to his craft, this is an especially appealing letter. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456 Wednesday, 15th July 2015 Estimate: $400-600
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