excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 192-3 (302 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 192-3 (302 words)

part of

Reminiscences of the Opera

original language

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

in pages

192-3

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text excerpt

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Verdi now offered his "Masnadieri," composed upon the subject of Schiller's well-known play, "Die Rauber," and with this proposal I was obliged to close. On Thursday, July 2nd, "I Masnadieri " (after wearying rehearsals, conducted by the composer himself), was brought out, with a cast that included Lablache, Gardoni, Coletti, Bouche, and, above all, Jenny Lind, who was to appear for the second time only in her career, in a thoroughly original part composed expressly for her. The house was filled to overflowing on the night of the first representation. The opera was given with every appearance of a triumphant success: the composer and all the singers receiving the highest honours. Indeed, all the artists distinguished themselves in their several parts. Jenny Lind acted admirably, and sang the airs allotted to her exquisitely. But yet the "Masnadieri" could not be considered a success. That by its production I had adopted the right course was unquestionable. I had induced an Italian composer, whose reputation stood on the highest pinnacle of continental fame, to compose an opera expressly for my theatre, as well as to superintend its production. More I could not have done to gratify the patrons of Italian music, who desired to hear new works. It may be stated, in confirmation of the judgment of the London audience, that "I Masnadieri" was never successful on any Italian stage. The libretto was even worse constructed than is usually the case with adaptations of foreign dramas to the purpose of Italian opera. To Her Majesty's Theatre the work was singularly ill-suited. The interest which ought to have been centred in Mademoiselle Lind was centred in Gardoni; whilst Lablache, as the imprisoned father, had to do about the only thing he could not do to perfection — having to represent a man nearly starved to death.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 192-3 (302 words)

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