Madame Blanche Corelli at the piano surrounded by her voice pupils on the occasion of her 60th birthday, 4 February 1913 at her apartment in Berlin.

As well as transcribing Madame Corelli’s letters to Hall Lippincott, we provide scans of the originals, including their envelopes. You will not fail to notice that Hall was an avid stamp collector.

The Google Photos album containing the scans opens in a new window and does not navigate you away from this web site; simply click on the link below. The letters are arranged–and named–in date order, starting with a few miscellaneous letters predating Mme’s correspondence with Hall. Look on the top right of any scanned page for the name/date.



1931 – 11 January

   Posted by: admin   in 1931

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

Sincere thanks for your card for Xmas and New Year—for your nice wishes. I reciprocate herewith heartily. Lovely of you to have thought of me! If I live to see February 4, I shall be 78 years old. I confess it, I do not feel my age, but it is hard to face the morrow, business is so wretched! Who has the courage to study singing today? as salaries for artists have gone down terribly! It is a hard existence today!

Why don’t you write and let me know what you are doing? what profession you have chosen? Hoping these lines reach you in the very best health and spirits, believe me your true Berlin friend,

Madame B. Corelli


1931 – 3 July

   Posted by: admin   in 1931, Olga and Max Wegener

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

It is alas nothing good I have to communicate today. Trusting that you have not forgotten the old lady that showed you kindness and courtesy when you were in Berlin, I venture these lines to ask you kindly to help me if it is in your power. I am alas a victim of these disastrous times! I am of course still teaching singing. So many meant to profit from my art, so many are learning, but not one single pupil has the cash to remit.

I have given notice (a 3 months notice is necessary and legal) that I wish to quit this apartment Oct. 1st now that my daughter has married and is in Russia with her husband since last February with no possible way of returning for the present, there is no need of my keeping this large apartment of 6 rooms any longer. I must look for a small flat of 3 rooms. I do not need and cannot afford any more, but how will I be able to manage? That I do not know.

Before the war my house was a large house, friends and acquaintances came in and out and I was able to show hospitality to everyone! Today? I am crippled. After residing in this flat for 30 years! Today one has no friends, especially when people know that I cannot even offer a cup of tea today! It is sad and distressing, dear little friend. I turn to you, dear Mr. Hall, begging you—yes, imploring you to kindly help me! It is no shame to be poor, is it? I am not poor through carelessness—you know I do not drink a drop of anything, only tea and coffee—you know I do not smoke, have never touched a cigarette!—no, I am poor because people do not pay me!  Maybe they will remit tomorrow or the day after, then I will only be too happy to repay you, dear friend.

If you are kind and generous enough to help me, please send me a check or the money on the Deutsche Bank—Behrenstrasse, Berlin, the bank where we first met. Name and address must be correct. Madame Blanche Corelli, Nürnbergerstrasse 1, Berlin W.50. Please help.

I hope these lines find you in excellent health and spirits and I hope you are not vexed at me. At any rate, please answer this by return of mail, if the answer be good or bad for me.  You can imagine that I am almost desperate—spare me saying more—spare me giving details. I only beg you, help me! Thanking you in advance for your wonderful kindness, especially your answer by return of mail, believe me yours in gratitude,

Madame Blanche Corelli


1931 – 29 July

   Posted by: admin   in 1931, Conditions in Berlin

Dear Mr. Lippincott,

I am really at a loss to find words and expressions! I do not know what to reply to your dear kind letter and its contents! of July 17th. Thousand thanks to you for your extreme kindness, for your wonderful help, for your great generosity! You do not begin to know the great good you have done.

I do not know what has become of our country, and things are unfortunately growing worse every day. Can you remember the little candy store right across my window? They had to close their doors—failed in business! Aïda the Stal Restaurant at the corner is shut since 4 days! The owner left Berlin leaving debts of 24,000 marks! The furrier at the corner in the same house has changed hands 3 different times! and in my studio? Dear friend? Imagine I have 2 pupils (I used to have 20)—and these 2 pupils are unable to pay for their lessons. I continue teaching them, hoping that tomorrow or some time to come, they might get an engagement and then be able to remit. But who feels like singing today? Theatrical business is disastrous! One theater after the other closes its doors.

I have been corresponding with a lady from Mannheim, a Mrs. Fasenmeyer, for the past 6 months regarding singing lessons. She has decided to begin September 1st. I am wondering now whether she will come or not. I will let you know if you are interested.

I am so glad for your sake you have received a position—especially the position you have been trying for, as you say, over a year. But you must not deprive yourself of anything; you are young and you work hard, you surely need every cent you earn to remain healthy and strong. You must take good care of yourself, you must take good food, and you must certainly practice some sport; rowing is fine; riding, or perhaps base ball! I repeat it, good friend, you must not deprive yourself of anything by helping me.! You must enjoy your young days! and all these things are expensive and I am sure you need every cent you earn! You speak of my kindness to you in Berlin! Why, dear Mr. Lippincott, I was unable to show you any kindness, I would have loved to invite you to attend the opera with me, but alas, already at the time my misfortune began—my hands were tied—but I must stop telling you of all my misfortunes.

I have one good fortune, one great fortune and that is I have won such a dear little gentleman friend in Mr. Hall Lippincott! I have read and reread your dear letter, I think it all a dream! Heavens blessings on you and may heaven reward you for your wonderful kindness to me. Do be glad and generous and answer this. Let me hear from you please, as it is a ray of sunshine in my now dismal life. Once more God bless you!

In eternal gratitude, your devoted sincere friend