In a series of letters written to his wife Felicia while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the show’s progress during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C.  The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria.  In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander.

Correspondence from Leonard Bernstein to his wife, Felicia

 

1 of 8

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 19, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (17) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 26, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (18) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. July 28, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript.  Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (19) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 3, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (20) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein.  August 8, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (21) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 11, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (22) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 15, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript.  Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (24) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

  • Letter from Leonard Bernstein to his wife Felicia Montealegre Bernstein. August 23, 1957. Typescript and holograph manuscript. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (23) By permission of The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.