[ 'Ben Greet' [ Sir Philip Barling Greet ], Shakespearean impressario and 'an ardent opera goer'. ] Two Autograph Letters Signed (both 'Ben Greet') to Neil Forsyth, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, requesting boxes and commenting on productions.

'Ben Greet' [ Sir Philip Barling Greet ] (1857-1936), Shakespearean actor, director, impresario, manager of Old Vic Theatre, London [ Neil Forsyth, General Manager, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden ]
Publication details: 
One from 20 Buckingham Street WC [ London ], on letterhead of 'The Ben Greet Players', 14 July [no year]. The other from 2 The Terrace, Camden Square. 17 August [no year].
SKU: 20624

ONE: On letterhead of 'The Ben Greet Company', addressed from 20 Buckingham Street, WC [ London ]. 14 July [ no year ]. 2pp., 8vo. In fair condition, aged and worn, with the first page carrying pencil scorings and a short note by Forsyth. The first paragraph reads: 'If business will permit can I have one of the small boxes for Monday night. You generally let me have something during the Season. I've been a very regular Gallery & Amphitheatre and stallite this season.' He continues: 'You've got a genius in Frau , & you sd keep her. Everyone is raving about her. I saw her as K<?> last Bayreuth & I've heard her every night since she's sung here except Thursday when I unfortunately had some Pastorals at Ramsgate.' He realises that there is not likely to be 'an off night', but if there is, he should like a seat, adding: 'Please remember I am an ardent opera goer'. He ends with some illuminating comments on the state of Covent Garden, thanking him for having 'those shutters opened – the difference was marvellous', and expressing a wish that 'the Syndicate wd only remove the awful spangles of fire or “electrify” them & back the 2/6 gallery'. These changes would be welcomed by 'their grateful public'. He concludes: 'Dont laugh at my managerial requirements!' TWO: 2 The Terrace, Camden Square. 17 August [no year]. 2pp., 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Headed with recipient's name: 'Neil Forsyth Esq'. Having just returned from America, he asks to be presented with four seats for that night: 'I want much to hear “Armida”. If full up, never mind & I'm glad.' He announces that he is 'going to produce shortly in Chicago almost the earliest known opera one of Cesti's, circ 1606 [sic], Musical and Dramatic.' The letter concludes, referring to America: 'Things out there are very very faddy – the Covent Garden Opera season seems to go on very steadily'.?>