Dello Joio, Norman. (1913–2008)
Autograph Letter Signed about "The Triumph of St. Joan"
Autograph letter signed from the American composer to music critic Rual Askew, regarding his opera The Triumph of St. Joan. January 17, 1961; 2 pp. Dello Joio writes: "Dear Mr. Askew— I was sent your review of my 'Joan' and may I thank you for the very kind words. I gather that the performance was truly expressive. Unfortunately for me I have as yet to hear the piece played as I wrote it. [...] the New York critics have confused me, having slaughtered the work when it was done at the City Center but then some months later giving it their Critics Circle Award as the best opera done in the season. [...] Would the Dallas opera people be at all interested in it? If you could be of help in this or offer advice, needless to say I would appreciate a word from you." With original envelope. Paperclip mark upper left; otherwise fine. 7.5 x 9.5 inches (19 x 24.5 cm).
Dello Joio's opera The Triumph of St. Joan had a complicated history. The original version was a three-act opera performed at Sarah Lawrence College in 1950, parts of which were adapted into a symphony in 1951 (later renamed Seraphic Ode.) In 1955, Dello Joio was commissioned by NBC to create a two-act opera for television with new music and new text, retitled The Trial at Rouen. Finally, he adapted the work a third time into a one-act opera for the stage in 1959, returning to the title The Triumph of St. Joan. Boston opera company Odyssey Opera recently revived The Triumph of St. Joan.