The man who made The Letter possible died a few weeks ago, though the news has only just been released.
Lord Glendevon, who went by his given name of Julian Hope, was the grandson and literary executor of Somerset Maugham, who wrote the play on which Paul Moravec and I based our opera. He was a noted opera director in his own right, and so he was enormously encouraging when Paul and I first approached him about adapting The Letter.
Alas, I never met Julian, who was too ill to attend the premiere of The Letter in Santa Fe. Judging by his affectionate obituaries, I missed out on an exceedingly good thing.
Paul, who got to know Julian a bit, passes on this reminiscence:
I met Julian for dinner in New York a few years ago to discuss plans and rights for The Letter. As steward of the Maugham estate, he enthusiastically supported the project and granted permission generously and expeditiously. I liked him immensely. He was a person of unpretentious intelligence and elegant civility, a true gentleman. We stayed in touch by e-mail and telephone as the project evolved, and though I didn’t know him well, I still feel as though I’ve lost a good friend.
Would that I could say the same!