Brave New World: The Opera

A letter from Aldous Huxley housed in the Woodson Research Center here at Rice University made me wonder what could have been (Bernstein’s response is not supplied):

April 4, 1957. Letter to Leonard Bernstein.

As a very busy man with a large correspondence, I can well understand your annoyance at receiving yet another letter from a perfect stranger. But, at the risk of being a bore, I am writing to ask if you would be at all interested in reading a dramatic verskion [sic] of my novel ‘Brave New World’, which I have recently made, with a view to a musical setting. (I envisage the piece as a play with music and dancing, rather than as a conventional ‘musical’.) The story calls for a very resourceful composer, who can run the gamut from the primitive dances of the Indian Reservation to the music of the hypothetical future. So I naturally thought of you and am hopefully writing this on the off chance that you may have the time and the inclination to consider such a project.

Sydney Boyd