Hermann Klein in Covent Garden - July, 1890

from Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900, page 291:

Notwithstanding its French origin  and treatment, “Esmeralda” was in all essential  matters an English opera, and as such the public  knew and remembered it. Clothed in a foreign  garb, it did not really appeal to connoisseurs, while  the subscribers, as usual, gave infinitely more  thought to the interpreters than to the work. That  Goring Thomas's charming opera would have  fared better— obtained an abiding-place in the active repertory— had it been presented in English by  the same distinguished artists, is also a matter of  doubt. Experience has proved that Covent Garden audiences do not care for opera in the vernacular, whether the work be of native or Continental origin; and it is the same, I believe, with  the audiences of the Metropolitan Opera House in  New York. Nor will the prejudice be overcome  until the leading singers of the English-speaking countries are perfectly trained in the enunciation of their native tongue and can coax  their compatriots into listening with pleasurable appreciation to first-rate native works rendered in the language “understanded of the  people.”

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cite as

Hermann Klein, Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900 (New York City, 1903), p. 291. https://led.kmi.open.ac.uk/entity/lexp/1438444169457 accessed: 24 June, 2024

location of experience: Covent Garden


Hermann Klein
Music Critic, Singing Teacher, Writer

Listening to

hide composers
written by Arthur Goring Thomas
performed by Jean Lassalle, Jean de Reszke, Nellie Melba

Experience Information

Date/Time July, 1890
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public

Originally submitted by sp327 on Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:49:30 +0100
Approved on Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:48:33 +0100