excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 44-5 (236 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 44-5 (236 words)

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Reminiscences of the Opera

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Immediately following upon Madame Frezzolini, however, came a decided failure in the person of Madame Ronconi, for whose debut "Torquato Tasso" was produced. Unfortunately, Signor Ronconi (as rumour said, and for once, it may be affirmed, with singular correctness) was not allowed, by "Caudle" treaty, to play this great character with any other prima donna than his sposa.

The part of Leonora, in "Torquato Tasso," had been intended by me for Madame Moltini ; but on this same part Madame Ronconi had set her heart, and in this pretension the compliant husband supported her. I was compelled to yield the point, in return for concessions made on the side of Ronconi. Noble intervention was employed, nay, a dinner was given for the purpose of settling the mighty difference. The gratification of the lady's desire, however, produced the very reverse of the anticipated result. Madame Ronconi not only failed herself, but rendered her husband, who was thinking more of her than his own effects, so nervous, that he was unable to obtain, in his favourite part, that success which he might otherwise have achieved.

Accordingly, "Torquato Tasso," in spite of the undeniable greatness of the accomplished baritone in the principal part, failed to make any good impression. Other circumstances connected with the "cast," apart from the fatal drawback of this lady's exigencies, contributed to deprive the opera of every chance of becoming a favorite on the London boards.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 44-5 (236 words)


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