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DEBUSSY Claude - Autograph Letter Signed 1902 regarding a rehearsal for Pelleas et Melisande

  • £1,750.00

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)

Autograph Letter Signed (“Claude Debussy”) to Gustave Doret, director of the Opéra Comique, telling him that he is unable to attend a rehearsal due to ill health.

1 page 8vo in French with integral blank leaf, [Paris], 26 October 1902.     

Together with the autograph envelope addressed to Doret at the Opéra Comique, rue Favart.

Together with an Autograph Letter Signed from Gerard Ricon[?], Secretary General at the Opéra Comique, explaining how a note from Debussy had come into his possession.            

Trans: “I waited until the last moment, and I really cannot come to the rehearsal. Having been ill for a few days, tonight I felt even worse and I cannot stand up.  

Forgive me . . .”

In a postscript he adds “I hope that there will be another rehearsal?

Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande had its premiere at the Opéra Comique on 30 April of that year, with Jean Périer and Scottish soprano Mary Garden in the leading roles, and enjoyed an initial run of fourteen performances.

The genesis of the work had been difficult. At first, Debussy struggled to find a suitable libretto. Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, Pelléas et Mélisande, proved ideal, and Debussy and Maeterlinck were in accord about the undertaking, although they were to have a grave falling out later in the proceedings over casting decisions.

Several singers found the music exceptionally difficult, unsurprising in what was a revolutionary work. Many members of the public found it equally difficult, although the opera had perhaps an equal number of enthusiastic admirers.

The work was deemed sufficiently successful to have a second series of performances at the Opéra Comique, starting on 30 October, and the rehearsals discussed in this letter would have been scheduled for this second run. With four days left before the opening, it is likely that another rehearsal could well have been scheduled.

Pelléas et Mélisande remained in the repertoire of the Opéra Comique until just before the First World War.

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    For Items priced from £700.00 up to ​£1,499.99:

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    For Items priced ​£1,500.00 and above:

    North America FedEx minimum charge £50.
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  • Rest of the World:

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    Rest of the World Tracked £16.00

    Rest of the World FedEx minimum charge £45.
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    For Items priced from £700.00 up to ​£1,499.99:

    Rest of the World FedEx minimum charge £45.
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    For Items priced ​£1,500.00 and above:

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For all locations outside the UK, items above £700 will be sent using FedEx.

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