excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 172-3 (333 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 172-3 (333 words)

part of

Reminiscences of the Opera

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

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172-3

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Thus, amidst unusual discussion, turmoil, and agitation, the season of 1847 at length commenced on Tuesday, the 16th February, with Donizetti's opera, "La Favorita," and an entirely new ballet, composed by Paul Taglioni, under the title of "Coralia." "LaFavorita," although not entirely new to England, having been already performed at London both in French and English, was new to the Italian boards; and in its Italian form had all the interest of a novelty. Perhaps, thus given as it was with singers far superior to any heard in it in this country, and with a far more correct and powerful ensemble, the opera gained in popular favour rather than lost, through the familiarity of opera-goers with its melodies. Apart from the unwonted interest attached by all the friends and habitues of the long-cherished establishment, to the opening of Her Majesty's Theatre in face of the new opposition, considerable sensation was excited by the first appearance on the Anglo-Italian stage of Signor Gardoni. Much had been said of the strange adventures that had befallen the handsome and gentlemanlike young tenor during his brief musical career. His first appearance on the stage raised a battery of opera-glasses from every part of the house; a murmur of gratified expectation followed. The success of Gardoni on this occasion was undoubted. Both his principal solos, sung in the purest taste and with perfect feeling, were encored with enthusiasm. The attraction of his performance was felt by all. Voice, style, and expression were there. His talent as an actor was alone disputed; for these were already days when a singer, however great his merit as a vocalist, was expected (and justly, on the lyrical stage) to be a histrionic artist also. It became the fashion among some dilettanti to say that Gardoni was no actor. Still, even as an actor he was pleasing. His manner, his bearing, his feeling, his conception of parts were blameless. He lacked only one element — power; he was not capable of bursts of passion.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 172-3 (333 words)

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