Benjamin Lumley - 1850

from Reminiscences of the Opera, pages 282-3:

It was necessary, however, in spite of the great success of the "Tempesta," to provide employment for the other artists of the establishment, and to give some repose to those whose powers had been so long and so arduously taxed. The first change was made by the revival of the "Montecchi e Capuletti" of Bellini, for Madame Frezzolini as Giulietta, and Mademoiselle Parodi as Borneo. So many years had passed since Bellini's version of "Romeo and Juliet" had appeared on the boards of Her Majesty's Theatre, that it was received with a certain amount of curiosity, not to say as a novelty. Pleasing as are Bellini's, melodies throughout this opera, its disjointed and unsatisfactory libretto had always caused it to fail of securing a hearty welcome in a theatre where Shakspeare was involuntarily more or less in men's thoughts. But the combined attraction of Frezzolini and Parodi, both of whom were admirably "suited" in this opera, carried it through with very considerable eclat. The same occasion was used for the reappearance of Gardoni (the fourth successful primo tenore in my abundant list for the season), in the somewhat unsatisfactory part of Tebaldo; when this popular favourite was welcomed back with more than usual cordiality. Some of the enthusiasm demonstrated upon this occasion was due to a false report which had been spread about and had appeared in the public prints, respecting the death of this accomplished young tenor at St. Petersburg, where he had a winter engagement. The intelligence had been frequently given as authentic, although Gardoni had never had a moment's illness.

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Benjamin Lumley, Reminiscences of the Opera (London, 1864), p. 282-3. accessed: 25 June, 2024


Benjamin Lumley
Opera manager, Solicitor

Listening to

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I Capuleti e i Montecchi
written by Vincenzo Bellini
performed by Erminia Frezzolini, Italo Gardoni, Teresa Parodi

Experience Information

Date/Time 1850
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public

Originally submitted by sp327 on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:57:32 +0100
Approved on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:18:16 +0100