Caruso, Enrico. (1873–1921) [Alda, Frances. (1879–1952)]
Signed Self-Portrait Caricature inscribed to the secretary of Frances Alda
Charming self-portrait sketch from the legendary tenor (also a prolific caricaturist), who has drawn his bust in left profile and inscribed "To dear Bubina / Very sincerely / Enrico Caruso / 1914" on a pale pink album sheet. A poem in French is written to verso in an unknown hand ("Que voulez vous que je vous dise?/ Un Axiom, un compliment / Que d'aucuns trouveront charmant / Et bien d'autres, une bétise?"). In fine condition. 2.5 x 4 inches (6.4 x 10.2 cm.).
Bubina was the secretary of the great soprano Frances Alda (1879-1952), who was also the wife of legendary Metropolitan Opera Manager Gatti-Casazza through most of his tenure. Alda sang 369 performances at the Met, including frequently opposite Caruso and Bubina is referenced in many letters between the two singers.