Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Arthur Benjamin

Letter No.: 
9th January, 1952.

The White Gates,
Dorking, Surrey.

Dear Arthur

I have been thinking a lot about the possibility of a run-through of your opera, and I was wondering if we could appeal to the Butterworth Trust, who ought to help that kind of thing and probably would like to do so if they have any money left, but I rather fear they have spent most of their income for this year already.1
But there is nothing like trying.  Would you “state a case” and send it to me and I would send it on to the Secretary of the Trust, giving an approximate estimate of what it would cost with reasonable fees for the soloists, and how much of that could be provided from other sources.  (I think you said that the Arts Council were prepared to put up a certain amount.)
Then the Butterworth Trust would know where they stood and see whether they could provide the whole or some of the rest of the cost.
I think you ought to have a chorus, say eight or twelve singers, but perhaps some of these could be competent amateurs or students from the College.
I am very keen on hearing the work myself and so I hope this scheme will materialise.

R. Vaughan Williams

Arthur Benjamin, Esq.,
3, Gloucester Gate Mews, N.W.1.

1. A tale of two cities written in 1949-50. It appears that Benjamin declined VW's offer - see VWL2356. The opera was eventually given a performance on BBC radio in 1953.


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Typewritten, signed.

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