DIAGHILEV, SERGEI PAVLOVICH. 1872-1929.
Typed Document Signed Twice, 2 pp recto and verso, legal folio, [St. Petersburg, 1909], with a manuscript revision in ink at the end, countersigned by ALEKSANDR MIKHAILOVICH DAVYDOV [1872-1944], being an exclusive contract for an unrealized production of Aleksandr Borodin's opera, Knyaz Igor (Prince Igor).
WITH: a miscellanea concerning Davydov's life and career including a flyer and programme for Davydov concerts; a fawning letter addressed to Joseph Stalin (apparently not sent); and two notes from Franklin D. Roosevelt's office in response to a personal matter.
Provenance: Aleksandr Davydov.
SIGNED CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GREAT BALLETS RUSSES IMPRESARIO AND A RUSSIAN SINGER FOR THE ROLE OF EROSHKA IN KNYAZ IGOR. Diaghilev refers to himself as "Dvoryanin" [Nobleman] and Davydov as "artist IMPERATORSKIKH Teatrov" [artist of the Imperial Theater]. Diaghilev details the restrictions of this agreement and the payment scheme. In 1908 Diaghilev produced Moussorgsky's Boris Godunov for the first time outside of Russia at the Paris Opera. It proved to be such a triumph that the former law student and magazine editor considered following it in 1909 with Borodin's Knyaz Igor with Davydov in the cast. Then Diaghilev changed his plans and altered the contract to transfer Davydov's performance from Knyaz Igor to Rimsky-Korsakov's Ruslan i Ludmila and Pskovityanka [The Maid of Pskov], that Diaghilev produced in Paris in 1909 as Ivan the Terrible. Diaghilev eventually abandoned opera to devote the remainder of his life primarily to his Ballets Russes.