Item 54 - Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan


  • [early 1929?] (Creation)

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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.

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