from Vaughan Williams, Ursula, 1911-2007 to Boughton, Rutland, 1878-1960

Letter No. VWL3428

Letter from Ursula Vaughan Williams to Rutland Boughton

Letter No.: VWL3428

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.


September 29th 1956

Dear Mr Boughton,

It is strange to answer your letter when that lovely morning we all spent together is so fresh in our minds, and to think that now we are without Gerald.1 It was a happy time for us all being with you and your wife – and I am so glad of it.
I wonder if staging an opera wouldn’t complicate the Festival resources too much?  The business of lights, clothes and props as well as all the usual arrangements?  In some ways it would be lovely but Ralph is still very anxious to keep it as a stage piece, & keep very clear of the “concert arrangements”.  And I think for this it would have to retain vanity fair, as it is needed dramatically.  Perhaps you’ll see a way round all this – the Cambridge Guildhall production was lovely but I don’t know what the chorus would feel like if they had to learn a whole opera, & rehearse it, & dress up, as well as their usual quota!2
We are having wonderful summer weather, & I was on the edge of, & in, the sea; we come home on the 7th.
It is such a great pleasure to me to know Ralph’s friends, and to be able to share in even the very old established friendships.  Please tell your wife how at home we all felt in her welcome.
We both send affectionate greetings
Ursula VW

 It was such a pleasure to meet you again after so long – the memory will remain with me  RVW3

1. Gerald Finzi had died on 27 September.
2. Boughton had presumably suggested a performance of Pilgrim’s Progress.
3. Postscript in the hand of RVW.