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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently acquired a collection of approximately fifty autograph letters of singers connected to the nineteenth-century Parisian operatic stage. Some photographs and press clippings are also included. Several of the letter-writers, such as Emma Albani, Emma Eames, Emma Calve, Marcella Sembrich, Lucienne Breval, and Pauline Viardot, will be well known to students of the period. Male writers represented in the collection include Louis Lablache, Victor Maurel, Gilbert Duprez, and Jean-Alexandre Talazac. Several letters are addressed to Jules Massenet. The collection was donated by Robert Zarbock of Escondido, California.

Much of the correspondence is of an everyday kind--recommendations by the letter-writer of a rising new singer, letters of apology for absence from rehearsals, notes about problems with costume fittings, and so on. Nevertheless, taken as a whole they add to our knowledge of the French operatic stage during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The letters will be transcribed and translated, with some of the more interesting items being digitized sometime in the future. For further information about the collection please contact John Wagstaff, head of the Music and Performing Arts Library at
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Title Annotation:NOTES FOR NOTES; acquisition of autographed letters of opera singers from the nineteenth-century Parisian operatic stage
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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