excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 242-3 (383 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 242-3 (383 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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Shortly after Easter appeared Mademoiselle Parodi, the favourite pupil and friend of the great Pasta. Upon her, it was said, the mantle of the illustrious prima donna had descended. Pasta herself had declared that, in the person of this object of her solicitude and her future hopes, she herself was to rise again before the world. These sentiments were repeated by Madame Pasta in a letter to me, in which she recommended “la mia Teresa" to my care. The delight of the now aged prima donna in seeing herself revived in her favourite pupil, is apparent in every phrase. She writes: "Plena di riconoscenza;" and, in the fulness of her heart, exclaims, "Oh! beata I'lnghilterra! Che Dio la renda sempra piu felice!" The zealous and eager sympathy of the instructress with the pupil was unbounded. Mademoiselle Parodi appeared in one of the most favourite and celebrated characters of la Pasta, although the choice of this role de debut was bold and even dangerous. As has been seen in the quasi failure of Jenny Lind herself, the most popular and most adored of all prime donne of the time, in the part of Norma, it was impossible even for the most petted of pets to dare to undertake the task of rivalry, even in seeming, with the one who had been so long associated in English estimation with the true ideal of the Druid Priestess. Of all Madame Grisi's parts, Norma was the one in which no effort of rivalry was to be endured. The success of Mademoiselle Parodi, however, on her first debut, was in appearance very great. Moulded as her whole style, both as singer and actress, were upon her great prototype, she gave to a new generation an idea of the "Pasta" of their fathers; and, with old opera-goers, revived in some degree the memories of the past. Her voice was full and melodious, but " veiled," like that of her instructress, in its upper notes. Her acting was distinguished, as had been that of the Siddons of the operatic stage, by simple grandeur, rather than by fiery impulse. Her success, as has been said, was great on her appearance; but no evening of triumph filled the void left in the hearts of the public by the seclusion of Jenny Lind.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 242-3 (383 words)


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