excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 190 (255 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 190 (255 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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In the same category can scarcely be classed the "Norma," which shortly followed, being first given by "Royal command," on the occasion of a state visit of the Queen to Her Majesty's Theatre, on Tuesday, the 15th of June. Doubtless there was a great charm in the new version given to the character by the gifted young singer, who made an unextinguished love for the faithless Pollione more conspicuous than the rage of the deceived and slighted woman — in the bursts of emotion, which were rather those of agonised reproach than of implacable revenge — in the mournfulness rather than the passion of her despair, and in the tender resignation of her self-sacrifice there shone the great artist. But the English public, ever loyal to their idols, had been accustomed to another delineation of the slighted Druid Priestess. It had long gazed with emotion upon the burning passion, the withering indignation, and the imposing grandeur of Grisi, and could not be taught to relish a new "treatment." The interesting picture of womanly devotion, womanly anxiety and suffering, even of womanly forgiveness, as painted by Jenny Lind, however touching to behold, was evidently contrary to stage tradition. Dilettanti disputed, with psychological acumen on both sides, as to the respective truthfulness of the rival impersonations of Grisi and Jenny Lind ; but the public remained comparatively unimpressed. The attempt, in face of a recognised and familiar type, was thought to have been a mistake. At all events, "Norma" could hardly be counted among Jenny Lind's unquestionable triumphs.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 190 (255 words)


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