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Grisi, Giulia (1811-1869)

Autograph Letter to Balfe Signed

"Julia Grisi Gérard da Melcy". August 7, [before 1844]. 7.5" h x 7.75" w. 1 p. on folded onion skin paper with integral address leaf. In very good condition with former folds and some light creasing. Tear at address leaf from seal (not affecting).
The great Italian soprano writes a short note in French to her friend, Irish opera composer Michael Balfe, offering a bagatelle (not present) and well wishes for his wife.

Grisi's signature, Julia Grisi Gérard da Melcy, uses the surname of her first husband, indicating that she must have penned this note before 1844 (the year of her divorce). The letter could date to 1838, when she premiered a role in Balfe's Falstaff at The Italian Opera House in London.

Giulia Grisi was among the foremost sopranos of her time, premiering roles in Donizetti's I puritani and Don Pasquale and Bellini's I Capuleti e Montecchi. She often performed alongside her equally gifted (second) husband, tenor Giovanni Matteo Mario (commonly known by his stage name, Mario). The couple was immensely popular both on the Continent and in London, where they settled in 1844 to raise their six daughters.
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