LAWRENCE TIBBETT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 03/25/1924 - HFSID 283960
Sale Price $552.50
He signed this 3-page, typed letter in 1924, with a detailed discussion of program and cast decisions for a pending summer program in California
Typed Letter signed: "Lawrence Tibbett", 3 pages, 6x7. New York, N.Y. 1924 March 25. On personal letterhead to "Dear Dr. Waite". In full: "I have before me three of your letters. I am sorry to have delayed answering for so long but as you know things have been somewhat hectic for a long time. I was just getting over my serious illness and feeling better than at any time during the season when last Saturday I was overtaken by the 'mumps' and am now home again for another two weeks. There are still a few other diseases that I haven't had this season, housemaid's knee and chicken pox, but however I am safely through the first and most serious illness. I had even returned to the Metropolitan having sung a performance of 'Lohengrin.' Am glad the soprano question is settled. Have you seen or heard Pilcher yet? Of course if you fail to make connections with a good tenor we could manage as we did last season. You know my mind on the subject, so I will rely on your discretion in this matter. Any personal dissension could be overcome most probably. I like your plan for the Congregational chair with the quartette as soloists and agree with you that it would not interfere greatly with our community work. Your dates for the Oratorio and our own Community Chorus seem properly placed. In scheduling chorus rehearsals, try to allow at least an hour for rehearsal. If this is not possible please just make them as long as you can. If you have not already engaged Madame Sprotte I believe she would be good to have. Either alone or in combination. I think you would find Gertrude Ross's program with 'The Vision of Sir Launfal' included would make an interesting evening with Fred McPherson as the baritone. Homer Simmons who has been touring throughout the country as pianist with Mr. Hubbard giving operalogues. He is very fine and would merit a place on the program in combination with some other event. He will be in California during the month of August. He would appear for $50. As for our housing for the summer I do not believe we will want to take a house on the tract but will accept for the present your casita reservations for us. This no doubt can be settled definitely for us when we arrive. I believe you are right to be slightly suspicious of the Russian Royalty. Certainly I know that to warrant a fee of $600.00 she should have far more of a reputation than she has. She has none that I know of in New York, although this is a hasty judgment. I still do not know quite what to tell you about the big event. My mind is still very much in the same state as when I talked to you, however. I do not believe it would be best to re-engage Graneure or if we can avoid it any other baritone. Otherwise you will be surfeited with baritones. There are a few of my colleagues down at the Metropolitan that I can ask about summer plans. For instance Florence Easton, Rosa Ponselle, Elizabeth Rothberg and a few others. As to the advisability of having a big event; that is a difficult matter to ascertain. If we could get an important event for say $600.00 I would strongly advise it. I believe you and I are both of the opinion or perhaps of the lack of opinion in regards to this matter. However I will think this over more thoroughly. I hope you will have the Department of Expression matter settled as you suggested. The changes sound most beneficial. Before closing just another thought on the tenor situation. If Florence Middaugh is away three weeks during our prospective rehearsal period we will certainly need a tenor who can read readily. Give our best regards to Dr. and Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Waite. If you are not acquainted with the mumps perhaps you had better sterilize this letter. Sincerely yours". Lawrence Tibbett (1896-1960) was the principal baritone singer of Italian roles with the Metropolitan Opera (1923-1950). He also performed on radio and appeared in six films of the 1930s. His first film, The Rogue Song (1930), earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. This letter shows him focused on the details of a pending summer concert program in California. Tibbett, a Bakersfield native, had strong ties to that State, performing with the San Francisco Opera in its opening season (1923) and making many engagements in Hollywood. Paperclip crease at top center margin. Edges lightly toned. Horizontal fold crease. Page1 lightly foxed with moisture stain at 4th and 5th line. Otherwise, fine condition.
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