At the close of the representation the performers invited their favoured visitors on to the stage, the orchestra performed the airs from some in style ballet, and a grand ball happened, in which the charbonniers chose their partners from among the many operatic danseuses, while the poissardesgave their arms to Vestris, Dauberval, &c. The composers, in whose music the above singers mainly excelled, had been Gluck, Piccinni, Guglielmi, Cimarosa, and Paisiello. We have seen that “Susanna” in the Nozze di Figaro, was considered one of Catalani’s favorite parts; but as but Mozart’s music was little or no recognized in England, and it was not until 1817 that his Don Giovanni was produced at the King’s Theatre. The next great vocalist who visited England after Mara’s début, was Banti. She had commenced life as a street singer; but her fantastic voice having attracted the attention of De Vismes, the director of the Académie, he advised her to return to him at the Opera, the place the futureprima donna, after listening to an air of Sacchini’s 3 times, sang it perfectly from beginning to finish.
In England it ran sixty-four nights in four years. Eitner, II, one hundred twenty five; Smith, Bibliography of musical works published south american tree snake by John Walsh, no. 221, p. 70; Wolffheim, II, 1326 . Inscribed Mrs. Weldon by the composer.
It was not the Opera of Paris, nor of London, nor of New York that should have been referred to as the Academy, but evidently that of Berlin. The first English opera then was produced, ten years later than the primary French opera; however the Siege of Rhodes was carried out publicly, whereas, it was not until fifteen years afterwards that the primary public performance of a French opera (Cambert’s Pomone) took place. Ordinances for the suppression of stage plays had been in force in England since 1642, and in 1643, a tract was printed beneath the title ofThe Actor’s Remonstrance, displaying to what misery the musicians of the theatre had been already reduced. The first English opera produced at Sir William Davenant’s theatre, the 12 months of its opening, was The Siege of Rhodes, “made a representation by the artwork of perspective in scenes, and the story sung in recitative music.” There were five modifications of scene, based on the traditional dramatic distinctions made for time, and there were seven performers. The part of “Solyman” was taken by Captain Henry Cook, that of “Ianthe” by Mrs. Coleman, who seems to have been the first actress on the English stage—in the sense during which Heine was the primary poet of his century and Beaumarchais the primary poet in Paris (to an individual entering town from the Porte St. Antoine).
Jéliotte was one of many nice favourites of modern Parisian society ; but Chassé was one of the admired men in France. Among other triumphs of the same sort, he had the honour of causing a duel between a Polish and a French girl, who fought with pistols in the Bois de Boulogne. The latter was wounded rather critically, and on her restoration, was confined in a convent, while her adversary was ordered to stop France. During the little hassle which this affair triggered within the well mannered world, Chassé remained at home, reclining on a sofa after the manner of a fragile, sensitive girl who has had the misfortune to see two of her adorers danger their lives for her.
In the meanwhile, Spohr’s dramatic works, with all their beauties, have by no means taken root on this nation; whereas even Beethoven’s Fidelio, one of many biggest of operas, doesn’t occupy any clearly marked house in the historical past of opera; nor is it as an operatic composer that Beethoven has gained his immense movie star. Most of the good singers of the trendy faculty,—indeed, all who’ve appeared since and including Madame Pasta, have gained their popularity chiefly in Bellini’s and Donizetti’s operas. Since Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, composed for Grisi, Mario (Rubini’s successor), Tamburini, and Lablache, no work of any importance has been composed for the Italian Opera of Paris—nor of London both, I might add, in spite of Verdi’s I Masnadieri, and Halévy’s La Tempesta, each manufactured expressly for Her Majesty’s Theatre. Nourrit took his farewell of the French public on the first of April, 1837, and on the 17th of the identical month Duprez made his début on the Académie, as “Arnold,” in William Tell. Before talking of Meyerbeer’s better known and extra celebrated works, I should say a few words about Velluti, a singer of great powers, however of a peculiar type (“non vir sed Veluti”) who, as I even have stated earlier than, played the principal half in Il Crociato.
From time to time Italian singers have been suffered to make their appearance on the Grand Opera; however on the regular Italian Theatre established in Paris, as on the Comédie Française, singing was solely permitted under prescribed circumstances, and the orchestra was strictly limited, by extreme penalties, rigidly enforced, to a certain variety of instruments, of which no more than six might be violins, or of the violin family. The Duchess du Maine was celebrated for her Nuits de Sceaux, or Nuits Blanches, as they had been referred to as, which the nobles of Louis XIV.’s Court discovered as pleasant as they discovered Versailles uninteresting. The Duchess used to stand up lotteries amongst her most favoured friends, during which the prizes have been so many permissions to offer a powerful entertainment.
The story of the Red Sea, and of the refrain sung on its banks, has usually been told; but I will repeat it in a couple of words, for the good factor about those readers who could not have met with it earlier than. The Passage of the Red Sea was supposed to be particularly grand; but, instead of producing the impact anticipated, it was obtained each night time with laughter. The two first acts had been all the time applauded; but the Red Sea was a determined impediment to the success of the third. Tottola, the librettist, came to Rossini one morning, with a prayer for the Israelites, which he fancied, if the composer would set it to music, might save the conclusion of the opera. Rossini, who was in mattress on the time, noticed directly the importance of the suggestion, wrote on the spur of the moment, and in a couple of minutes, the magnificent Del tuo stellato soglio. It was performed the same night, and excited transports of admiration.