"You must know...." - a setting for voice and piano of a letter from Amelia Earhart to her fiancé George Putnam on the morning of their wedding, February 7, 1931
commissioned by Lyric Fest through a generous gift from Lauren and Craig Meyer
first performed by Katherine Pracht, mezzo soprano, and Laura Ward, piano on April 2 and 3, 2016 (recording below)
There are some things which should be writ before we are married. Things we have talked over before, - most of them.
You must know again my reluctance to marry, my feeling that I shatter thereby chances in work which means so much to me. I feel the move just now as foolish as anything I could do. I know there may be compensations, but have no heart to look ahead.
In our life together I shall not hold you to any medieval code of faithfulness to me, nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly. If we can be honest I think the differences which arise may best be avoided.
Please let us not interfere with each other’s work or play, nor let the world see private joys or disagreements. In this connection I may have to keep some place where I can go to be myself now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinements of even an attractive cage.
I must exact a cruel promise, and this is that you will let me go in a year if we find no happiness together.
I will try to do my best in every way.