OPERA

[ Agnes Nicholls, English soprano, and Ben Davies, Welsh tenor. ] Autograph Signatures on leaf from album.

Author: 
Agnes Nicholls (1876-1959), English operatic soprano; Ben Davies (1858-1943), Welsh operatic tenor with the Carl Rosa Opera Company
Publication details: 
Place and date not stated.
£50.00

Written one above the other on one side of a pink 12mo leaf of paper removed from an album. In fair condition, aged and worn, with small square of tape staining at head, and some light offsetting of ink over Nicholls' signature. Reads: 'Yours sincerely | Ben Davies.' and 'In remembrance of | Agnes Nicholls'.

[ Charles Manners, singer with D'Oyly Carte and the Moody-Manners Opera Company. ] Autograph letter Signed ('C Manners') to 'Mr. Streatfield'

Author: 
Charles Manners (1867-1935), English opera singer, first with D'Oyly Carte, then with his own Moody-Manners Opera Company, run with his wife Fanny Moody [ Gilbert and Sullivan ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Moody-Manners Opera Company, Limited. 19 January 1901.
£80.00

2pp., 4to. In good condition, lightly aged and worn. Elaborate letterhead headed 'Third Year', with 'Repertoire' (beginning with 'Tristan & Isolda') down left-hand margin. Two printed notices as part of letterhead. First: 'At present the largest English Oper Company that has ever travelled Great Britain | Being played for the first time in the Provinces to the Pitch that the Composers intended their Operas should be Played, viz.; - NORMAL PITCH.' Second, 'The above Company are offering two Prizes of £250 each, and 10% on all profits for two Operas, selected by public competition.

[ Ben Davies, Welsh tenor. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Ben Davies.'), expressing condolences to the widow of the composer Herman Finck.

Author: 
Ben Davies (1858-1943), Welsh tenor with the Carl Rosa Opera Company [ Herman Finck [ Hermann Van Der Vinck ] (1872-1939), Anglo-Dutch composer ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 33 Compayne Gardens, West Hampstead, NW [ London ]. 23 April 1939.
£35.00

1p., 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Docketed at head 'Answered'. Reads: 'Dear Mrs Finck - | We were very grieved to hear of the passing of your dear husband & our old friend - will you please accept our deepest sympathy in your great sorrow - & our prayers that you & your daughters may be greatly comforted - | Very sincerely Yrs. | Ben Davies'. From the Finck papers.

[ Madame Albari, opera singer. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('E Albani Gye') to an unnamed female correspondent, making arrangements for the 'voice trial' of 'Miss Moore'.

Author: 
Dame Emma Albani [ born Marie-Louise-Emma-Cécile Lajeunesse ] (1847-1930), Canadian opera soprano, wife of Ernest Gye, son of theatre manager Frederick Gye (1810-1878)
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 61 Tregunter Road, S. W. [ London ] 11 March 1891.
£38.00

1p., 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. Reads: 'Dear Madam, | Friday morning at 11.30 will suit me quite well for a voice trial - and I shall expet Miss Moore unlesss I hear from you. - I would like her to bring her music and whatever method book she has studied.'

[ Dame Eva Turner, English soprano. ] Photographic portrait on postcard, inscribed in autograph 'Eva Turner'.

Author: 
Dame Eva Turner (1892-1990), English soprano opera singer, born in Oldham, Lancashire
Publication details: 
Without date and place.
£35.00

14 x 9 cm black and white postcard. In good condition, lightly aged.. A head and shoulders image, with Turner's face looking to the left, looking downwards, hands clasped under her chin. Inscribed at foot: 'To Mr A Watt | Best Wishes | Eva Turner'.

Autograph Letter Signed "M W Balfe" to a Mrs Macdonald

Author: 
Michael Balfe [ Michael William Balfe ], Irish composer
Publication details: 
Queens Hotel, Cork St, Burlington Gardens, London, 27 Nov. 1857.
£120.00

Four pages, 12mo, bifolium, fold mark, good condition. He would have answered sooner but for illness ("a bad attack of influenza or bronchitis, call it what you will"). He assures her of his attachment to her and hers. "I should like to see your chick [child?] - Is there any chance of your coming to LOndon again? Has Fanny any children? Do not show her this or she would be shocked to be called Fanny[.] I don not know her blessed married name. Remember me affectionately to [...] PS I send you some of the pieces of the Rose of Castille." This was first performed in 1857.

[ The Vestris Family. ] Printed receipt to 'M. Gye', on letterhead, signed over tax stamp by 'G Vestris' (;Mad[moisel]le Vestris'.

Author: 
[ The Vestris Family, dancers on the London stage; Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden. 6 June 1866.
£56.00

1p., landscape 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Reads, with manuscript text in square brackets: 'Royal Italian Opera, | Covent Garden. | [Madle Vestris] | Londres, [Le 6 Juin] 18[66]. | Recu de M. Gye la somme de [£40 - -] | [G Vestris | B.V, | £[40 : - : -']'.

[ John Frederic Gill, Second Deemster of the Isle of Man. ] Two Autograph Letter Signed (both 'J. Fred. Gill') to 'Miss Jull', regarding the arrangements for her to sing at a concert at the Grand Theatre, Douglas.

Author: 
John Frederic Gill (d.1899), Second Deemster of the Isle of Man, 1884-1899 [ The Grand Theatre, Douglas ]
Publication details: 
The first on letterhead of Anfield Hay, Douglas, Isle of Man; the second from Douglas. 3 and 31 December 1896.
£100.00

Both letters 2pp., 12mo. Both in good condition, on lightly-aged paper, with tape from previous mounting adhering along one edge (and in one case overlapping a few words, including the signature). The two letters concern a concert 'at the Grand Theatre on 7 January', 'entirely of Manx music', in which the recipient has agreed to sing. Having put her down for two songs, he sends her 'our Book, out of which all the items of the concert will be taken', with suggestions of two songs and three encores. The second letter gives details of the rehearsal in Fort Street.

[ Printed pamphlet. ] The Flight of the Shadows. A Discourse delivered by Colonel Ingersoll, the Great American Orator.

Author: 
'Colonel Ingersoll, The Great American Orator' [ Colonel R. G. Ingersoll; Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), 'The Great Agnostic' ] [ Robinson's Opera House, Cincinnati ]
Publication details: 
'Sixth Edition.' Sold by R. Forder, 28, Stonecutter Street, London; Truelove, London; Morrish. Bristol; The Bookstall, Freethought Institute, Southampton; S. Watts, Manchester; Alexander Orr, Edinburgh; Robert Ferguson, Glasgow. No date [1890s?].
£50.00

18pp., 8vo. Disbound. With pink front wrap, carrying an engraved portrait of 'Colonel Ingersoll. The Great American Orator and Wit.'. In good condition, lightly aged. A report of a speech at Robinson's Opera House, Cincinnati. A prefatory note, titled 'Eloquence of Ingersoll', quotes from Samuel P. Putnam's 'Golden Throne'. Scarce: the only copies of any edition traced at Oxford (second edition) and the London School of Economics (edition not stated).

[ Richard Tauber, operatic tenor. ] 34 letters to him, almost all from German correspondents, including material relating to films and a charity concert. With unsigned copies of four of his replies. Also printed libretto of his musical 'Old Chelsea'

Author: 
Richard Tauber [ born Richard Denemy, also called Ernst Seiffert ] (1892-1948), Austrian operatic tenor
Publication details: 
From England, Germany and Austria. Between 1928 and 1935. Libretto published in London in 1943.
£650.00

Six of the letters are in autograph, the rest are typewritten, as are the carbons of the five letters from Tauber. Letters and copies total 49pp. All substantial letters, with content. The following description is divided into four parts. ONE: Thirteen letters, and a copy of one by Tauber, dating from between 1932 and 1934, all relating to the film industry. Correspondents are: Crescendo Theaterverlag, Berlin (regarding 'Die Dubarry'); Sonor-Film-Verwertungs, Berlin; Bosna-Film, Zagreb; Slaviafilm, Prague; and five letters, all from 1934, concerning the film 'Blossom Time', from the firm B.

[ Dame Nellie Melba, opera singer. ] Autograph Signature ('Nellie Melba').

Author: 
Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), Australian operatic soprano
Publication details: 
Date and place not stated.
£35.00

On 6 x 14 cm piece of paper torn from letter. In good condition, lightly-aged. Cut from the valediction to a letter and reads: 'from Yrs most sincerely | Nellie Melba'.

[ Enrico Caruso, operatic tenor. ] Autograph Signature.

Author: 
Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), Italian operatic tenor
Publication details: 
Date and place not stated.
£28.00

On irregular slip of paper, roughly 1.5 x 6.5 cm, cut from a letter. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper.

[ Richard Brinsley Peake, English dramatist. ] Autograph Signature ('R B Peake') and additions relating to 'Mr Mathew's entertainments', made out to 'Mr Gardner', added to a lithographed facsimile letter in his handwriting.

Author: 
Richard Brinsley Peake (1792-1847), dramatist, author of the 1823 play 'Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein', based on Mary Shelley's novel [ Theatre Royal, English Opera House, Strand, London ]
Publication details: 
Theatre Royal, English Opera House, Strand. 2 March 1824.
£56.00

1p., 12mo. Bifolium, addressed by Peake, with broken seal in black wax, to 'Mr Gardner | Globe & Traveller Office | Strand'.

The Royal Carl Rosa Opera Co. Aberdeen - April, 1934: 16 signatures of members on detached album page.

Author: 
The Royal Carl Rosa Opera Co.
Publication details: 
Aberdeen - April 1934
£120.00

Detached album leaf, 17.5 x 11.5, good condition, headed "The Royal Carl Rosa Opera Co. | Aberdeen- April, 1934. Names : Eric Warr ("Conductor"); Kingsley Lark; Mabel Baker; Redvers LLewellyn; Betty Thompson; Ivor John; Ronald Stear; Helen Ogilvie; Leyland White ("Figaro"); Howell Glynne; Godfrey Stirling ("Almaviva"); John Wright; Gladys Parker; Charles Draper; Pauline Maunder.

[ Peter Ustinov, actor and playwright. ] Corrected typescript of his unpublished play 'The Man behind the Statue', performed under the management of Robert Donat at the Opera House, Manchester, in 1946.

Author: 
Peter Ustinov [ Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov ] (1921-2004), English actor and author [ Robert Donat (1905-1958), Oscar-winning actor ]
Publication details: 
'The property of: Robert Donat, 23 Three Kings' Yard, Davies Street, W.1. [ London ]' Undated [but only performed at the Opera House, Manchester, in 1946. ]
£580.00

158pp., 4to. Typed text on rectos only. With manuscript emendations (possibly in the hand of Judith Spearman, stage manager) throughout, including deletions and a few short additional passages, as well as stage directions. Makeshift thumb index at head. In fair condition, with moderate signs of age and wear, bound with pink ribbon into buff card covers. Typed label on front cover, together with 'Judith Spearman' and 'Effects' in pencil.

[ John Braham, opera singer ] Autograph Letter Signed "J. Braham" to unnamed correspondent (theatre manager?), an interesting letter about an engagement offered, giving terms, and incidentally his imminent marriage.

Author: 
John Braham, (c.?1774–1856), tenor opera singer
Publication details: 
No place [context = Manchester], 10 Nov. 1816.
£125.00

One page, 4to, pasted to card frame, grubby and stained but text readable and complete. "I confess your offer to be liberal in the extreme - and if [excision] I possibly can,will be with you about the second week in January - I am now interestingly engaged being on the point of marriage with a young lady of this place (Manchester) therefore the excuse of 'being married and can't come' (at least these 2 months) must in this case be valid - Have the goodness to send the agreeement [...] to me at T. Wilson Esq.

[ Agnes Huntington, American opera singer. ] Autograph Signature with quotation from her London success, 'Paul Jones'.

Author: 
Agnes Huntington (1864-1953), American actress and opera singer with her own company
Publication details: 
London, 1890.
£56.00

1p., 12mo. On aged and worn paper. Expansive signature. Reads: '"Where ever "Paul Jones" is - I shall be!" | Act III | Agnes Huntington | London | 1890.' Huntington was a great success in this 'trouser role'. In 1892 Huntington married Paul Drennan Cravath (1861-1940); they were divorced in 1926.

[ Sims Reeves, English operatic tenor. ] Autograph Signature ('J. Sims Reeves') with note to autograph hunter.

Author: 
Sims Reeves [ John Sims Reeves ] (1821-1900), English operatic tenor
Publication details: 
'En route | Royal Hotel Cardiff'. 21 April 1876.
£28.00

1p., 12mo. In very good condition, lightly-aged, with parts of red wax wafer at each corner. Reads 'En route | Royal Hotel Cardiff | Sir | Here is my autograph according to your wish. | Yours faithfully | J. Sims Reeves | April 21st. 1876.' Good, strong signature, with a final flourish continuing in a circle, and enclosign the whole of it.

[Lottie Venne, Edwardian actress and comedienne.] Autograph Letter Signed to unnamed male recipient, describing her painful separation from her husband Walter H. Fisher of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.

Author: 
Lottie Venne (1852-1928), English actress and comedienne, wife of Walter H. Fisher [Walter Henry Fisher], singer with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 5 Norfolk Road, St John's Wood, NW [London]. 18 July 1910.
£35.00

2pp., 8vo. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. She begins by asking whether the recipient is 'the same gentleman who wrote to me from Bournemouth', and to whom she replied that she was 'unable to give the information required, for many years before my husband's death we were seperated [sic]'. She explains that when Fisher was not 'travelling about in the Country he lived with his Father I believe, who has now been dead some years. The whole thing was very tragic and painful, & I shall feel obliged to you not writing to me again on the subject'.

[Thomas John Dibdin, playwright.] Autograph Letter Signed ('T Dibdin') to the Pall Mall bookseller Clement Chapple, regarding terms for his 'New Opera'. With Signed Autograph Copy of Chapple's reply on reverse.

Author: 
Thomas John Dibdin (1771-1841), playwright and actor [Clement Chapple (d.1835), bookseller and publisher in Pall Mall, London]
Publication details: 
Dibdin's letter: place not stated; 'Sep 11 - mn' [dated in pencil in another hand '1824']. Copy of Chapple's reply: 'Pall Mall [London] Sep 12'.
£280.00

Dibdin's letter: 1p., 12mo. On bifolium, with the Signed Autograph Copy of Chapple's reply (also 1p., 12mo) on the reverse of the same leaf. Reverse of second leaf addressed to 'C. Chapple Esq', with a nineteenth-century shelfmark at the foot of the page: 'C.68.Coll.CR.' In fair condtion, on aged paper.

[Mme Erminia Rudersdorff [Hermine Rudersdorff Mansfield], operatic soprano.] Autograph note signed ('Erminia Rudersdorff') to the violinist and conductor Alfred Mellon, asking for the largest box he 'can afford', and calling him 'a naughty man'.

Author: 
Erminia Rudersdorff [Hermine Rudersdorff Mansfield] (1822-1882), Ukrainian operatic soprano, mother of English actor-manager Richard Mansfield (1857-1907) [Alfred Mellon (1820-1867), violinist]
Publication details: 
'Saturday morning [no date] | 16 Wellington Road, | St. John's Wood.'
£56.00

1p., 16mo. In fair condition, creased and lightly-aged, and laid down on a leaf removed from an album. In a close tiny hand, the note reads: 'Dear Mr. Mellon | can you oblige me with a private box for Monday evening next? The largest you can afford. | You are a naughty man. | Your's most truly | Erminia Rudersdorff'.

[Sir Henry Alfred Lytton, comic leading actor in D'Oyly Carte Opera Company Gilbert and Sullivan productions.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Henry A. Lytton'), granting permission to an unnamed recipient to dedicate his 'most beautiful lines' to him.

Author: 
Sir Henry Alfred Lytton [born Henry Alfred Jones] (1865-1936), English comic actor, known for his leading roles in D'Oyly Carte Opera Company productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Lion Hotel, Cambridge. Undated.
£25.00

2pp., 12mo. On aged paper, with creasing and short closed tear at foot of leaf (affecting first letter of signature). The letter reads: 'My dear Sir | So many thanks for your most beautiful lines. I should be grateful if you would dedicate them to me | Yrs Truly | Henry A. Lytton'. Lytton gives his Chiswick home address on the reverse.

[Margaret Francis Harris, theatre designer.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Margaret Harris') to 'Mr Rhodes', discussing the sale of her 'Motley designs' to the University of Illinois.

Author: 
Margaret Harris [Margaret Francis Harris] (1904-2000), English opera, costume and theatre designer [Motley Theatre Design Group]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Theatre Design Course at Riverside, Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith. 17 June 1982.
£80.00

2pp., 8vo. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. She apologises for not being able to be 'helpful on any of your questions'. She does not even possess a copy of her own 'Designing and Making Stage Costume'. 'I have no Motley designs at all, as every one which was in my possession has been sold to the University of Illinois, who have taken the whole collection of about 3000 swatches.' She is glad to hear that he has some of them, 'as it means that there are a few still in this country'.

[Claude Aveling, Registrar, The Royal College of Music.] Autograph Letter Signed, thanking Ernest Gye, son of the soprano Madame Albani, for his donation of his mother's clothes 'to our theatrical wardrobe'.

Author: 
Claude Aveling (1869-1943), librettist and Registrar of the Royal College of Music, London [Ernest Frederick Gye (1879-1955), son of Canadian soprano Madame Albani [Dame Emma Albani Gye] (1847-1930)]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London. 27 March 1933.
£35.00

1p., 4to. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. He thanks him 'for the valuable additions to our theatrical wardrobe which you have been so kind as to send us this morning', adding that he can assure Guy 'that we shall make good use of them and will remember with gratitude the source from which they came, for Madame Albani was one of the best beloved friends of the College since its earliest days'.

Autograph Letter Signed from John Coates to Miss Hood, explaining why he could not sing the song 'Nancy's Hair' at Preston.

Author: 
John Coates (1865-1941), leading English tenor
Publication details: 
On letterhead of [11] Beaufort House, Chelsea, SW3 [London]. 26 January 1925.
£65.00

2pp., 4to. In good condition, on lightly aged and creased paper. He writes that he is sorry that he could not sing the song 'Nancy's Hair' at Preston. He had not brought it: '(I only got your letter on arrival at the concert hall.) Funnily enough I picked it up before leaving home to put in my case as a possible encore & then put it back.' He is 'delighted to know that your mother liked my singing of it, I most certainly enjoy singing it & I hope to be able to help it along'.

Fifteen Typed Letters Signed from 'Britain's richest man' Sir John Ellerman to Cyril Rollins, regarding Gilbert and Sullivan and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. With two Autograph Letters Signed from Lady Ellerman, 13 Christmas cards and other items.

Author: 
Sir John Reeves Ellerman, 2nd Baronet (1910-1973), business tycoon said to be 'Britain's richest man; his wife Lady Esther Leopolda Ellerman (d.1985) [née De Sola, later Borwick] [Cyril Rollins]
Publication details: 
Ellerman's letters from Cape Town, South Africa, and the Dorchester Hotel, London between 1960 and 1971; his wife's letters from 1960 and 1973. The thirteen Christmas cards all undated.
£380.00

35 items, in very good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Ellerman's fifteen letters, all signed 'John Ellerman.', total: 10pp., 4to; 1p., 8vo; 7pp., 12mo. Rollins was co-author with R. John Witts of 'The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Gilbert and Sullivan Operas' (1962), and Ellerman's good-natured correspondence is entirely devoted to the same subject, with references to singers, current productions, historical information and Rollins's 'great book'. Two examples will indicate the tone. On 5 January 1968 he writes: 'I am indeed glad to get a little news of the G. & S. front; Mr.

Two Autograph Letters Signed (one with a drawing) and an Autograph Note Signed from the editor of 'Ballet' magazine Richard Buckle to Dr Erich Adolph Alport, with typed circular from Buckle and Typed Letter Signed to Alport from his secretary.

Author: 
Richard Buckle [Christopher Richard Sandford Buckle; 'Dicky'] (1916-2001),dance critic and editor of 'Ballet' magazine [Dr Erich Adolph Alport (d.1972), art connoisseur and book collector]
Publication details: 
One from Overstrand [Norfolk]; 27 May 1950. The other four on letterheads of 'Ballet', 'Ballet and Opera' and 'Ballet Publications Ltd'. Between 1949 and 1950.
£120.00

The five items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Item One: Autograph Letter Signed (with a crude drawing of Buckle sitting on a rope slung between the printed names of the two magazines). 1p., 4to. On Fleet Street letterhead of 'Ballet Publications Ltd.' Dated by Alport 14 February 1950. The letter concerns an article on the conductor Karl Rankl, and begins: 'Dear Erich | I have just spoken to Harewood [the Earl of Harewood, co-founder with Buckle of 'Opera' magazine].

Five Autograph Letters Signed, in French, from the French artist and designer Jean-Denis Malclès to an unnamed correspondent, regarding the sale of maquettes of costumes of a production of 'Orphée aux Enfers'. With price list of 31 items.

Author: 
Jean-Denis Malclès (1912-2002), French artist, illustrator and costume, set and poster designer for film, theatre, ballet and opera, who worked with Cocteau, Anouilh and others
Publication details: 
The five letters from 152 rue Leon-Maurice Nordmann, Paris. One from 1980 and the other four from 1982.
£280.00

The first four letters are each 1p., 12mo; and the fifth letter is 1p., 4to. The price list, which accompanies the last letter, is 2pp., 4to. All items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. In the first letter (4 May 1980) he replies to his correspondent, thanking him for a letter 'concernant la representation d'Orphée aux Enfers que vous avez vu à Oxford en 1977'.

Typed Letter Signed ('Harewood') from George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, as editor of 'Opera' magazine, to Dr Erich Adolph Alport, regarding a 'muddle' over an article on Karl Rankl, caused by a letter from the conductor's wife.

Author: 
George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood (1923-2011) [Dr Erich Adolph Alport (d.1972), art connoisseur and book collector; Karl Frankl (1898-1968), English conductor, born in Austria]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of Harewood House, Leeds. 14 February 1950.
£45.00

2pp., 12mo. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. 36 lines. Harewood explains that he 'originally asked Mrs Rankl to think of someone who had known her husband for, at any rate, a portion of his continental career who would be prepared to review his career before he came to this country, and also to give some idea of what he had achieved since arriving here [...] when the moment came she had to say that there appeared to be nobody who had known him abroad who had the necessary musical qualifications. When I saw her about 10 days ago I said I would find someone myself.

[Manuscript Notebook] "Rebecca Diary" [Notes concerning the libretto of the opera "Rebecca", music by Wilfred Josephs], based on the Daphne du Maurier novel

Author: 
[Wilfred Josephs, composer (1927-1997)] Edward Owen Marsh, librettist, author, translator (Anouilh, Cocteau, Gogol, etc)
Publication details: 
[Opera matinée 1983]
£280.00

Circa 78pp., used, some pages added, text worked over, red boards, hinge strain, mainly good condition. Indexes to Acts, lines through manysections. Contents include: questions for Wilfred [Josephs] ("Sets? | Scenes? | Act II???"]; stage directions; suggestions about characters; directions; music ("(5) Mrs v H [van Hopper] tells A. she is hopeless against Rebecca"); "final faults"; sets; dialogue; problems; phone numbers and addresses; more (detailed) points for Wilfred [Josephs]; suggested lines for a duet; characters with actors' names e.g. Mrs v. H[oppen] Nuala Willis (as happened); etc.

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