The friends you meet when sailing…

New York Tribune December 15, 1910. Just how did the Bert Levy befriend so many famous people across the globe ? Read on to find out ….

Returning from his second European tour Bert sailed back to New York from London in November 1910. The ship was the SS George Washington built in Germany in 1908. The Ship was built for luxury as you can see from the First Class Lounge photo in the right image.

As an aside- Wikipedia states, on a return journey on 14 April 1912, the George Washington passed a particularly large iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and radioed a warning to all ships in the area- as they say, ‘the rest is history’!!

In his 1921 book, Bert dedicated a chapter titled ‘With Genius on the High Seas’ detailing his experiences with two internationally acclaimed sailing companions. The first featured here was…..

Giacomo Puccini was making this trip to the United States to oversee the debut of his latest opera, La fanciulla del West, The Girl of the Golden West’. The great composer is known for his more popular works of ‘La Boheme’ and ‘Madam Butterfly’.

Now, Puccini wasn’t just some international celeb disappearing into his Royal cabin behind protective handlers. Bert’s depiction of the composer paints quite a different picture of the man and is well worth the read. (here are my iphone photographs of the pages from Bert’s book on Puccini)

Extract from Bert’s 1921 Book – For the Good of the Race and other Stories.

Extract from Bert Levy’s book, ‘For the Good of the Race and other stories’. (Copy on loan from Phil Lipshut) Finally, I found this. Puccini writing a letter to his friend and colleague at The Milan Record company whilst on board the SS George Washington. Kind of supports Bert’s description of the great man.

UNITED STATES -: Scene from the premiere of La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), opera by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) performed at New York in 1910, with Enrico Caruso as Johnson. Milan, Museo Teatrale (Scala) (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: