OFFENBACH, Jacques, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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OFFENBACH, Jacques (1819-1880). French composer.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to a friend and musical collaborator, 4 closely written pages 8vo, Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, c. 1864. Railing against the high-handed behaviour of the musical director (?Alerme), especially his treatment of the soprano Zulma [Bouffar] (with whom Offenbach was conducting an affair). With a translation.
'I've just had a huge ding-dong with ?Alerme, who seems to me to have gone even crazier than ever. He's so busy being Mr High-and-Mighty Director these days that you can't have a normal conversation with him. I'm being quite serious - that cretin has a grudge against me. I've told you about the business with Mlle Zulma [Bouffar], it's quite straightforward, he has put new clauses into her contract this year, she can only leave when he does, she can't leave [Bad] Ems without his permission, stupid things like that, particularly for such a conscientious artist as her, these clauses were and are unnecessary. He says he doesn't need her - fine. ...
 'I'm keener than ever for this artist to go to Ems - firstly because she is now the darling of the public, and also because as you know she went down so well there last year. A hundred francs more or less is neither here nor there. Anyway I want to show Mr Alerme that your friendship for me is above such impertinence. He's played another trick on me too - when he came to see me, I asked him about a conductor. He said he had come to consult me about that and ask my advice. I mentioned my brother. He never referred to it again and finally the other day he told me that he was in discussions with a conductor from Brussels. This sort of crap shows exactly what I can expect from him. ...
 'Get back to me as well about the pieces - should there be two of one act, one of two acts, or despite our earlier agreement, one of one act? I am entirely at your disposal. Reply quickly, and tell Alerme that you want the artist that I want to engage and who will do the job better than anyone else. If he spins you a line, don't believe a word, he's going barmy. ...'

[No: 23278]

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