Reyer, Ernest, composer and music critic (1823-1909). 7 autograph letters signed.

Bruxelles, [Paris], [Baden], place illegible, and no place or date.

12mo and (oblong) 8vo. Together ca. 16½ pp. on 5 bifolia and 1 single leaf. Enclosure (see below).


A collection of letters written during preparations for performances of Reyer's operas "Sigurd" and "Salammbô", mirroring the European stages' vogue for orientalism in the 1860s.

Three letters to the theatre director Eugène Ritt. Through a letter by the composer Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray, Ritt should have been informed by the librettist Blau that Reyer could no more do to postpone Mily Balakirev's "Tamara". Rehearsals for "Salammbô" should start as soon as possible, and Reyer sends greetings to the director Pedro Gailhard: "Vous avez dû comprendre en lisant le lettre de M. Bourgault-Ducoudray que j'ai prié Blau de vous communique, qu'il ne m'a plus guère possible de faire la moindre dèmarche officielle pour tâcher d'obtenir l'ajournement de Tamara [...]" (Friday). Reyer misses his star Rose-Lucille Meuniez, known as "Rose Caron". As regards a reprise of "Salammbô", he is satisfied with the conducting of the orchestra as well as with the musicians; he asks Ritt to let Gailhard know that a duo's solo performances are working out perfectly. Reyer announces his arrival in Paris for the next performance of "Sigurd": "Tout est bien qui finit bien [...] Mad. Carna m'a joliment manqué, à moi et à beaucoup d'autre [...] La reprise de Salammbô avait pourtant attiré beaucoup de monde [...] orchestre très-bien condit et artistes très delicieux de ne pas faire regretter leurs prédécesseurs [...]" (Bruxelles, Monday). Further about postponing "Tamara", which would permit staging "Salammbô" earlier (Saturday).

To Nérée Desarbres, Secretary of the administration of the Paris Opera, requesting two box tickets for "Guillaume Tell" for the Dutch senator M. Durand and his daughter, who wish to see the singer M.lle Thompson as Mathilde: "Mr Durand, Sénateur hollandais et sa fille tiennent beaucoup à voir Mlle Thompson dans Guillaume Tell [...]" (Tuesday, before 1863).

To minister Durand with a note that tickets are reserved for "Fidelio".

To a minister requesting an audience of five minutes ("24 rue Tour d'Auvergne", no date).

To his friend, the poet and librettist Joseph Méry, about the singer Caroline Lefebvre, who performs in "Maître Wolfram" (with a libretto by Méry), and who had made a critical statement about Reyer's expression in his letter to her, as he had mentioned her "pretty mouth". Reyer further invites Mèry to Baden, which is ravishing in spring, and mentions a Bavarian girl: "Elle me répondit de lui avoir écrit d'une manière pas convenable parce que je lui dis ceci dans une lettre que je lui ai adressée à propos de Maître Wolfram: ce j'aurais mieux aimé apprendre la visite par votre jolie bouche que par les plume de M. Méril. Voilà pourquoi je présume que votre visite lui fera infiniment plus agréable [...]" (Saturday, 21 May [before 1866]).

Enclosed is a note to receive the costumer E. Lacoste and communicate to him certain detailed instructions concerning the Act II of "Salammbô", especially regarding electric lighting, avoiding of any reflections on the costumes and jewellery so as to create a "milky" atmosphere; also with details for the costumes of the title character.

Partly with slight ink offsetting. One letter with blindstamped monogram.

Stock Code: BN#54102 Tag: