excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 274-5 (257 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 274-5 (257 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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The "Lombardi" of Verdi, never a very popular opera in England, was revived for the first appearance of a new tenor. The public had been so greatly disappointed for some time past in the "great" tenors who had lately appeared (though lavishly decked with Italian laurels), that but little sensation was created by the announcement of the debut of " again a new tenor " in Signor Baucarde. On the contrary, an expectation of fresh disappointment hung over the minds of all. Under these circumstances, Baucarde may be said to have taken the town by surprise. According to a current story, young Baucarde had been originally employed in the palace kitchen of the Grand Duke of Tuscany; and, like the celebrated composer Lully, he first attracted the attention of his superiors by his talents for cookery. His manifest vocal advantages caused him to be placed in a position to acquire a sound musical education, and thus to become one of the most agreeable tenors of his time. Nothing was expected, yet great results were achieved. With a charmingly sweet, bnt still robust voice of wonderful extension; with a style wherein the use of the falsetto was at once sparingly and judiciously employed, this young artist won easily upon a public accustomed to give a preference to natural gifts over the display of skill. Not that Baucarde was deficient in skill; on the contrary, his "school" was excellent. As an actor he rose scarcely above mediocrity, but any deficiency in this respect was overlooked in the splendour of his "organ."

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 274-5 (257 words)


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