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Hedmondt, Emmanuel Christian (1857-1940) singer and producer
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Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Has written to [Charles] Ricketts explaining that the chorus is 'a body of singers of no individual presentability' who begin to sound chorus when there are 'at least 6 to a part'; agrees with him on 'the uselessness of them as a spectacle', but knows how things sound. Enjoyed Bob's visit very much; relieved that 'he was not unfavourably impressed by the singers'. Hedmont, the producer, is very competent, and Tovey approves of him, though he is 'conceited, obstinate, rude, unfriendly, disloyal, and vulgar in his musical tastes'. The singers are working 'with the utmost keenness & care'.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - A 'famous victory' has been won: 'Hedmont, (after being extremely offensive) has spoken his first rational words' and asked for a score marked with stage positions which he will try to carry out. Has written to [Charles] Ricketts and asked him to consult with Trevelyan as soon as Tovey can get a score 'interleaved & annoted'. He will send this on tomorrow and the day after. His notes will give his suggestions, the 'exact time of each tableau, passage & interlude', and what the music is emphasising. Will arrange the notes and interleavings so that the score is free for 'succinct & complete directions'.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Following Hedmont's suggestion, Tovey has had a telephone message from [George?] Campbell asking who is to be named as producer, since Hedmont says he is leaving everything to Tovey. Replied firmly that he was not the producer, and that he is having a score marked with the wishes of himself, Trevelyan, and Ricketts; if Hedmont carries these instructions out he will be the producer, at least technically - which he had already stated in a letter to Campbell. In case there is an attempt to make Tovey responsible for production, he would like to find a 'competent artist in sympathy with Ricketts and [Trevelyan]' whom he would be able to work with; perhaps 'the man who did the Court Theatre operas' or Frederic Austin who did Rutland Boughton's Glastonbury productions and may be 'rather conceited & wooly pated but anything's better than Hedmont'. Does not want 'too haw-haw' a person like [Thomas] Beecham: hopes he does not take criticism badly, but there is no time for 'inattention and flightiness'. Hopes to post his interleaved score tomorrow. The local oboes are not available - the first oboe 'has always been rather a skunk in his behaviour to [Tovey] - so he has wired to [Hugh] Allen to see how much a good R.C.M. [Royal College of Music] student oboist would be.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Sends the score of the first act [of "The Bride of Dionysus"]: it takes more than one sitting to 'thrash out the thing without utter fatigue. Four hours of Hedmont nearly killed [Tovey]!'. This act is much the hardest: thinks the rest will be comparatively easy for Trevelyan and Ricketts to get plotted out. Will definitely not be the producer as he would need such precise instructions; the suggestion that he should be 'means that Hedmont, having discovered his own incompetence, wants to shift the blame for it'. Tovey and Trevelyan together might be producers, but he thinks it much better to get a professional person with 'intelligence and knowledge' but also the 'good nature' to see that 'he can't have a free hand and must make the best of a work of which the words, music, times, & scenes, are now rigidly fixed'. They must also remember they have not officially got rid of Hedmont, but Tovey thinks that if Hedmont will not work with a producer chosen by Trevelyan, he 'as paymaster' can persuade Campbell that Hedmont must go unless he can execute orders.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Wonders if Trevelyan could see [Charles] Ricketts 'before things get too rigid'. Finds him 'very reasonable, but apt to illustrate quite a different plot' [in his scenery and costumes for "The Bride of Dionysus" and fears that two points, the Labyrinth and the 'concealment of Dionysus & Ariadne before the apotheosis' may cause serious practical difficulty. Originally enclosing Ricketts' sketch of the Labyrinth, which currently shows no stairway and avenue outside. The 'deplorable pencil wiggles & unoriginal notes' are by Hedmont, who wants a lower, broken skyline and a rostrum; this is not significant artistically but Hedmont is 'technically very practical'. Tovey does not mind the stairway and can give up his visualising ideas to Ricketts, but cannot 'give up the music & the action'. In Act III, Rickett's use of a panorama cloth apparently makes it difficult to lower clouds or other scenes, but Dionysus and Ariadne must be able to disappear and then be unveiled. There are smaller difficulties with the Nereids, 'whom Ricketts persists in calling Sirens'. Also originally enclosing an argument [synopsis] for the opera which he has written to be issued, including 'many colloquialisms' which may jar upon Trevelyan; will also issue a musical analysis.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Thinks all going well so far [with the production of "The Bride of Dionysus"] except for the disappointment that one of the best local performers is now unavailable. Tovey's friend and solicitor [Charles] Guthrie will deal with cash transactions. Asks if Trevelyan is prepared for a 'much larger expense' than Tovey's initial estimate of two thousand pounds; reminds him that something will come in from the box-office. Cannot take the orchestra through the score in fewer than six rehearsals, two for each act. Trevelyan must be firm in his support of Tovey when Hedmont [producer] and probably Ricketts [designer] want to make cuts. Tovey states that he will not conduct or attend a performance with cuts; if necessary, the local man [David Stephen] who is scheduled to conduct one performance can take them all, and Tovey 'can go abroad for a very necessary cure'. However, Hedmont is very successful in getting people to work with him: has the reputation of 'getting things done in 3 minutes over the heads of all the trade-union jibbings & jobbings' and the singers are all devoted to him. Is sure he will be able to get the singers to want to do the whole opera. As the financier as well as author, Trevelyan must be very firm. If it is a 'physical impossibility' to perform the whole piece, Tovey would rather omit the first part of Act II than 'put up with local mutilations', but they should not mention that possibility unless they must.