Puccini, Giacomo. (1858-1924) [Schenker, Karl. (1886 - 1954)]
JUMBO Signed Photograph, inscribed at the German premiere of "Fanciulla."
Exceptional large original platinum print photograph (17.5 x 22 cm) showing the great composer in a reclining seated pose with cigarette. Photograph by the important photographer Karl Schenker, who signs in pencil beneath image on the mount "Schenker, Berlin", measuring an impressive 28.5 x 43 cm. Boldly inscribed by the composer in Italian in ink on the mount, translated in full: "To dearest Mr. Joseph Muetter, great memories of the Berlin Fanciulla...affectionately yours Giacomo Puccini 1913". A stunning image, with the lightest of toning to the mount and overall in very fine condition. Beautifully framed in pink-hued gold over wood to 44 x 54 cm overall.
"La fanciulla del West" was commissioned by, and first performed at, the Metropolitan Opera in New York on December 10, 1910 with Met stars Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn for whom Puccini created the leading roles of Dick Johnson and Minnie. This was the first world premiere of an opera at the Met and it was initially well received in the United States. However, it was never quite as popular in Europe, except perhaps in Germany. There it enjoyed a triumphant premiere at the Deutsches Opernhaus in Berlin (now known as the Deutsche Oper) in March 1913, under the musical direction of Ignatz Waghalter. The present inscription references this historic Berlin premiere.