Jul 30, 2020 - Sale 2543

Sale 2543 - Lot 62

Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
TO LADY FRIEND: "I SENT EVERYONE INTO RAPTURES DESPITE . . . NERVOUSNESS" CARUSO, ENRICO. Archive of 47 letters, each Signed, "ECaruso," "Caruso," "Enrico Scatolaruso," "Carusetto," "Carusotto," "Enrico," "Biscruso," or in full, to Sybil Seligman, in Italian or English, including 46 ALsS and a TLS, mentioning the great success of his various performances, reporting on the current state of his "little box" ["La Scatoletta": his larynx], giving news of his children, etc. Together 120 pages, 4to or smaller, most on folded stationery with terminal page written vertically across internal pages; generally good condition. One with the original envelope. Vp, 1906-20

Additional Details

3 October 1908: ". . . I have already sung in Wiesbaden with the usual success that accompanies me . . . and I debut here with Bohème. Write me at the Hamburg Palast Hotel and ask me if Mimmi [his son, Enrico] has behaved well when you come for tea. . . ."
6 December 1909: ". . . I have done 4 operas, which are Gioconda, Aida, Traviata, and Pagliacci, and all were successful. La Scatoletta ["The Box"] is fine, especially in Aida, where I sent everyone into raptures despite the extreme nervousness I feel when I sing. . . .
". . . The young lady from Milan doesn't want to know about my dismissal because, after having sent her to Berlin, I have given up the illusion. I wrote him[?] a letter in which I expressed . . . that I couldn't get married, but she doesn't want to know. . . ."
26 May 1910: ". . . As you learned from the newspapers, I had great success here [Paris] both in Aida and in Pagliacci, and every evening I sing they make money . . . ."
2 November 1910: ". . . I will not fail to send you the telegram after . . . Fanciulla [La fanciulla del West] which is very successful.
"I am happy with my success in Berlin in all respects. . . ."
9 November 1912: ". . . We open the season on Monday the 11th with Manon [Puccini's Manon Lescaut]. This morning we did the General rehearsal and everyone is in tune with my voice . . . . Hopefully the success will be complete. I will ask for a favor and I hope you will not deny me. I would like to have the music . . . [by Paolo?] Tosti that I once heard from you and your sister Violetta. . . ."
20 January 1916, TLS: ". . . My box ["scatola": his larynx] is doing quite well and I have already sung in eighteen performances with the usual success. . . .
"I am sorry to hear that Vincenzino [Seligman, her son] will go to the front but we hope that nothing will happen to him and that he will return home decorated.
"My boys are in Livorno studying and they are in perfect health: Mimmi has become a true Tuscan . . . .
"I don't know if I will return to Europe this year because of the dangers . . . at sea: maybe I will do a tour of the U.S. . . ."
29 February 1920, in English: ". . . It is so sweet of you to send us such . . . nice compliments. . . . I hope very soon to pay you, with my wife, a visit. . . ."
Nd: ". . . You cannot imagine how sorry I am that I cannot attend the premiere of the 'Fanciulla' with you. A previous commitment forbids it. Your thought is very nice and I will never forget. . . ."
With--Group of 13 telegrams, each a copy of an Eyre & Spottiswoode telegram form accomplished by Caruso to Sybil Seligman, in Italian, mostly arranging or declining meetings. Each 1 page, oblong 8vo. London, 2-28 July 1904.
Sybil Beddington Seligman (1868-1936) was the daughter of Samuel Henry Beddington, a wealthy London merchant; she formed sometimes close relationships with several notable authors and musicians, including Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Giacomo Puccini, and Caruso.