excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 65-6 (269 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 65-6 (269 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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The programme of the first night, in spite of the listlessness with which the opera of "Adelia" was received, continued, with some slight variations in the ballet department, until the debut of Fornasari on the 25th of March. It is a very difficult task to enter upon the subject of this once admired basso. His first appearance in Donizetti's "Belisario" was justly hailed with rapture. Day after day the critical notices of the press teemed with eulogiums of the strongest kind. The unanimity of the critics was wonderful. Nothing was to be seen but the most abundant praise of his "admirable voice," his perfect execution," his "great dramatic genius," his "wonderfully handsome person." No such debut had been witnessed, they all assured the world, in the memory of man; and points in acting were noted as traits of noble genius, of which the artist himself was ignorant. "Words of sufficient superlative import could scarcely be found to proclaim his triumph. He was "the great success of a successful season." So spoke the almost unanimous voice of the press, and I am bound to admit that the success of Fornasari in "Belisario," and some other parts, was unquestionably great. His looks, stature, costume, and "make up," rendered him the beau ideal of the victorious Roman General in the first act. No painter could have represented a personage more admirably calculated to satisfy the imagination and secure the sympathies of the spectator. As soon as he appeared the audience seemed struck as by an electric shock, and a genuine burst of applause, speedily warming into enthusiasm, recognised and welcomed the artist.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 65-6 (269 words)


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