Autograph Letter - Georges Bizet


BIZET, Georges (1838-1875). Autograph letter signed (‘Georges Bizet’) to an unidentified correspondent (‘Monsieur’), n.p. [?Paris], n.d. [?May 1875]. 

In French. Two pages (130 x 98mm), (adhesive marks where pages attached together at versos). 

Apparently writing just weeks before his premature death, Bizet looks forward to future projects. ‘I have just spent a month in my bed, which explains to you my silence – I will spend my convalescence in the country, but when I am completely recovered I will speak to you about our project’. 

Soon after the opening night of Carmen – which premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875 to an outraged audience and a hostile 

press – Bizet suffered a recurrence of the throat abscesses that had first struck in the mid-1860s and blighted him since. His health unstable and his spirits low, he moved towards the end of May to the villa at Bougival, just outside Paris. Here he began to feel a little better and went for a swim in the Seine, only to suffer a severe attack of rheumatism followed by two heart attacks on 30 May: he died on the 3 June 1875 at the age of 36, just a few hours after the 33rd performance of Carmen.

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