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Contracts Keyed to Barnett
Lumley v. Wagner
Citation:Chancery Division, 1 De G., M. & G. 604, 42 Eng. Rep. 687 
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
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In November 1851, Joseph Bacher, agent of Johanna and Albert Wagner, came to Berlin and signed an agreement with Lumley. The agreement stated that: Ms. Wagner would sing twice a week for three months at Lumley’s theatre beginning April 1, 1852 in six different opera roles for 400 pounds sterling a month. Lumley then requested Bacher add a provision preventing Ms. Wagner from contracting to perform at any other theatre during the contract without Lumley’s approval. Ms. Wagner and her father subsequently contracted with Gye for Ms. Wagner to sing at Covent Garden for more money and to therefore abandon the contract with Lumley. Lumley sued, seeking to enjoin Ms. Wagner from breaching the exclusivity provision of their agreement and to enjoin Ms. Wagner from performing for Gye or any other theatre without Lumley’s permission.
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