SAINT-SAENS, CAMILLE. 1835-1921.
Autograph musical quotation signed ("C. Saint-Saëns"), 1 p, folio, Geneva, May 6, 1916, being 8 bars from the first act of Samson & Dalila, [sic] with lyrics, with an endorsement at the lower left corner stating that the quotation was presented to the soprano Rosa Raisa [1893-1963], leaf with moderate to heavy toning, cuts at lower center and upper left margins, small stain near serif of signature. Together with an Autograph Letter Signed of Raisa ("Rosa"), 3 pp, 8vo, Pacific Palisades, CA, July 18, 1962, presenting the quotation to Francis Robinson, with original autograph transmittal envelope.
Provenance: presented by Francis Robinson to baritone Jess Thomas at the Metropolitan Opera's 1964 premier of Samson and Dalila (notecard); descended through the family of Jess Thomas.
At the time of this quotation, 23-year old Rosa Raisa was a rising star in the opera world, having made debuts in Milan, Geneva and Buenos Aires. Through an intermediary, she gifted this piece to her protege, Jess Thomas, whom she discovered in 1957 at auditions for the San Francisco Opera.