excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 105-6 (219 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 105-6 (219 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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"Ernani," however, ran on, with its moderate degree of success, for several nights during the ante-Easter season, to be followed by "Le Desert" of Felicien David, which was given as a "musical fete" on the boards of Her Majesty's Theatre. This "Grand Symphonic Pastoral Ode" (as it was denominated) met with a larger amount of "fair play" than the opera of Verdi, was very generally treated as an "extraordinary production" (not always in the best sense of the term), and was both applauded and to a great extent appreciated. As an "extra" entertainment, indeed, it was repeated several times. Felicien David's odd composition, though rather more than a nine days' wonder, was but the wonder of a season. None of his subsequent works have attained an equal degree of celebrity ; and it is recorded of a celebrated composer, who in society is scarcely less celebrated as a wit, that when asked his opinion respecting one of David's late productions, he drily remarked, "II est descendu de son chameau." An explanation often spoils as much as it elucidates a joke, but for the benefit of my younger readers I must take the liberty of stating that the subject of "Le Desert" is the journey through the desert of a caravan, in which of course the camel plays an important part.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 105-6 (219 words)


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