excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 119-20 (295 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 119-20 (295 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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The enchanting monotony of tlie customary operatic repertoire, in which "La Gazza Ladra," with Grisi, "Linda di Chamouni," with Castellan, "Lucrezia Borgia" and "Otello," with Mario, succeeded the old favourites already cited, was broken at last on the 24th of June, by the appearance of Barroilhet and Madame Rossi Caccia in "Roberto Devereux," Both came before the English public with a very high reputation, and consequently were worthy and legitimate engagements for a director of Her Majesty's Theatre, anxious to lay all available talent of note before his subscribers and his public. Neither, however, achieved any notable success, or made any very durable impression. M. Barroilhet was the favourite and admired baritone of the Academie of Paris. On the boards of the Parisian grand opera his reputation was immense. As the king in "La Favorita," and the mad monarch in Halevy's opera of "Charles VI”, he had been proclaimed without an equal.

He came to London, however, with power somewhat impaired by time and exertion, still more by recent severe illness. Moreover, the role of "Nottingham" (though originally composed for him) was less favourable to his style than the parts in which he obtained repute in Paris. He appeared in two operas only, and then returned to France to recruit his failing health.

The lady above-named, who had "led the business" both at the Opera Comique and at the Grand Opera, of Paris, and who afterwards achieved successes on different continental theatres (especially at Lisbon, where she was the favourite prima donna of the day), scarcely succeeded in maintaining the position she had previously acquired when she came before the somewhat spoiled, and always fastidious, audience of Her Majesty's Theatre. She obtained, it is true, a share of approbation; but it was only moderate.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 119-20 (295 words)


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