Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Geoffrey Keynes

Letter No.: 
November 17 [?1945]

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,

Dear Geoffrey

Your letter puts me in rather a difficulty because I have nearly finished the sketch of an opera on the same subject1 which incorporates the scene of the Delectable Mountains which was performed as a one act opera years ago and is possibly to be revived at Sadlers Wells this season. On the other hand, though I says it as shouldn’t, that anyone else would make a complete mess of the music to the proposed Masque. On the 3rd hand if there were such a thing - if I used up some of my opera music for the Masque it might spoil its chances, if there ever were any, of its being performed as an opera - So there you are!
I send you a copy of the libretto of my opera in case it would interest you to glance at it.
My love to Margaret


1.  Keynes had suggested that VW write a masque on Pilgrim’s Progress. VW had sent the libretto of his Pilgrim's Progress to Gerald Finzi in October 1945 for comment (see VWL2007) and had heard back on 5 November with some suggestions (see VWL2013). The work was therefore much on VW's mind at this time.


Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS 1252-1985

Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/25, f. 153
General notes: 

In the hand of AVW, signed by VW.

Cobbe 451
Original database number: