CARUSO, ENRICO.  1873-1921.
Lot 3272
CARUSO, ENRICO. 1873-1921.
Sold for US$ 3,286 inc. premium

Lot Details
CARUSO, ENRICO. 1873-1921.
IMPORTANT LETTER TO HIS HOSTESS AFTER THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE.
Autograph Letter Signed ("Enrico Caruso"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), London, May 20th, 1906, on Hotel Cecil stationery with autograph transmittal envelope, the latter age toned, else fine.

Caruso composes this moving letter shortly upon his arrival in London to his close friend Amy Bachman, who provided him with shelter the night of the San Francisco earthquake. Caruso had been in the city after a successful run at the Met, and had sung "Don Jose" in Carmen the night before the tremblor struck. After the earthquake Caruso proceeded to Union Square from the Palace Hotel, carrying only a framed inscribed portrait of Theodore Roosevelt. A companion was able to secure a ride for Caruso to the Pacific Heights home of Amy & Arthur Bachman whom he knew well. That first evening Caruso could not be persuaded to take a room and instead slept under a tree in the Bachman's yard. The next morning, still carrying the Roosevelt portrait, he secured a ferry to Oakland, and from there traveled by train to New York and sailed to London (via Milan) for the opening of the Covent Garden season on May 15th.
He arrived exhausted and ill, according to this letter, but was apparently eager to send word to his friends left behind during the tragedy. In part (translated): "I have received the two cards that you sent me here, and I thank you very much for them. They will be jealously preserved as they will remind me of the terrible and beautiful moments passed in that city. My return voyage to Europe was quite touching because of the continual demonstrations of affection received from all ... I have been here for 10 days and I have already sung two evenings in Rigoletto and Boheme and everyone found that my voice has become (even) more beautiful. I hope that this letter of mine will find you at home and that all your things will be settled down since, with the disaster, your affairs must have suffered greatly. And also I hope that the city will be quickly rebuilt so that I can revisit and see that it is recovered. I wish all possible fortune & will imagine what the future harbors. I send greetings to Arthur & your dear baby. Love & 1000 times thanks for your hospitality which gratefully leaves my memory unchanged...."
See illustration.
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