Letter from Alan Bush to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 
December 28th, 1957.

Dr R. Vaughan Williams, O.M.
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park, N.W.1.

Dear Vaughan Williams,

On January 23rd next Rutland Boughton will be celebrating his 80th birthday.

A number of his friends have met together to discuss how this could be suitably enjoyed.  We propose to hold a dinner, either in London or in Gloucester, should Mr Boughton feel disinclined to make the journey to London.  He is suffering from cataract in both eyes, and travelling is therefore rather a problem for him.

In addition to this dinner we propose, if possible, to make his remaining years happy by staging one or more of his operas.  Evidently the greatest contribution we could make would be to stage the two Arthurian music-dramas which have not as yet been produced.  The "Death of Arthur" is Boughton's last work, and was completed about ten years ago.  The other un-produced stage work is "Sir Galahad", also one of the most recently composed works.

In order to promote this project an organising Committee will have to be formed, in order to collect guarantors, as well as to undertake the manifold tasks of mounting these productions.  I am writing to ask whether you would consent to lend your name to this project.  The organising will be undertaken by Mr Adolf Borsdorf, 104, Baker St, W.1., a former manager of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and now an impresario in his own right.  Mr Borsdorf is responsible for initiating this idea of celebrating worthily his 80th birthday.  If you would like me to come and discuss the matter with you I would be delighted to do so, but it would have to be during the next fortnight, as I am returning to Weimer to conduct further performances of my second opera "Men of Blackmoor", on January 14th.

Hoping that you will help us in this project, and with best wishes for 1958,  Yours very sincerely,

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