excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 68-9 (222 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 68-9 (222 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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"Linda di Chamouni" was produced, for the benefit of Madame Persiani, on the 1st of June. The cast, including Persiani herself, Brambrilla, Mario, Lablache, Fornasari, and Federico Lablache, was a great, almost a perfect one. The town was "taken by storm," and I was universally congratulated on the great success achieved. It is somewhat curious to see how the musical world of that day contrived to recede from the previous tones of depreciation with which it had been the fashion to receive the operas of Donizetti, "Dramas of a higher class," people affirmed, "were unsuited to Donizetti's powers. Unable to cope with the grand and terrible, he can treat a subject like this with considerable feeling." He had displayed "more aim at the chaste and pathetic, less confidence in naive and unmeaning common-place." He was suddenly found to possess "to a considerable degree the gift of melody." And so on, and so on, in varied phrase of retractation. Some of the would-be consistent, it is true, declared the music "poor," with "no richness of harmony, no depth of combination," or admitted, at most, that it was the "least offensive" of Donizetti's operas. As for the public, it insisted on judging the opera from its own point of view: it applauded, it crowded to the representations, it insisted upon making it a success.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 68-9 (222 words)


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