Autograph letter signed in full to American contralto Louise Homer
by THEBOM, Blanche 1915-2010
Thebom, an American mezzo-soprano of Swedish parentage, "made her first appearance with the Metropolitan on tour in Philadelphia as Brangäne in 1944 and her New York début with the company as Fricka in Die Walküre in the same year; she remained with the Metropolitan until the 1966-7 season, singing much Wagner and a variety of other leading roles. In 1950 she sang Dorabella at Glyndebourne, and in 1957 she had considerable success at Covent Garden as Dido in the first English professional staged performance of Les Troyens. In 1967-8 she was artistic director of the Atlanta Opera Company. Thebom had a wide-ranging mezzo-soprano of generally fine quality, not a great voice, but one capable of most pleasing effect, confirmed by souvenirs of her Dorabella, Eboli and Brangäne on disc." Max de Schauensee and Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online. Louise Homer (1871-1947) "studied music at Philadelphia and Boston, then married the composer Sidney Homer in 1895 and went to Paris, where she studied singing and acting... Her American début (1900) was with the Metropolitan Opera on tour in San Francisco as Amneris, in which role she also made her first New York appearance. Homer began a long and successful Metropolitan career, singing chiefly in Italian and French opera, but she soon assumed leading Wagnerian roles; she was also a notable Orpheus in Toscanini's 1909 revival of Gluck's opera, created the Witch in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1910) and was the first to sing the title role in Parker's Mona (1912). After resigning from the Metropolitan in 1919, she sang with other major American companies including the Chicago Grand Opera (1920-25) and the San Francisco and Los Angeles operas (1926). She returned to the Metropolitan in 1927 and made her last appearance there in 1929, as Azucena. A performer of great artistic integrity, she had a beautiful voice and a majestic stage presence. Among her many recordings the ensembles with Caruso, Martinelli, Gigli and others are particularly successful. Samuel Barber was her nephew." Herman Klein et al. in Grove Music Online. The present letter was written just a few months before Homer's death, on May 6, 1947.. 3 pp. of a bifolium. Small octavo. Dated January 9, 1947. In red ink. On stationery with Thebom's name and New York City address printed at head. With original autograph envelope.Thebom is surprised and delighted to have received what was apparently a very complimentary letter from her older colleague, the renowned contralto Louise Homer. "I shall never be able to explain what a thrill and what a joy your kind letter gave me. It came as such a complete surprise and is one of the nicest things which has ever happened to me... this letter shall always be treasured by me as one of the greatest tributes I shall ever hope to receive, coming as it does from one of the greatest artists of an era of greatness."Very slightly worn. (Inventory #: 23710)
Musical Autographs and Manuscripts; Rare Books on Music and Dance; First and Early Editions of Printed Music; Prints, Drawings and Ephemera relating to Music and Dance including Opera and Ballet.
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