excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 73-75 (219 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 73-75 (219 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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Yet, with all her great skill and knowledge of the world, Madame Mara was induced, by the advice of some of her mistaken friends, to give a public concert at the King's Theatre, in her seventy-second year, when, in the course of nature, her powers had failed her. It was truly grievous to see such transcendent talents as she once possessed, so sunk so fallen. I used every effort in my power to prevent her committing herself, but in vain. Among other arguments to draw her from her purpose, I told her what happened to Mombelli, one of the first tenors of his day, who lost all his well-earned reputation and fame, by rashly performing the part of a lover, at the Pergola theatre, at Florence, in his seventieth year, having totally lost his voice. On the stage he was hissed ; and the following lines, lampooning his attempt, were chalked on his house-door, as well as upon the walls of the city : "All' eta di settanta, Non si AMA, ne si CANTA." 'With the great age of seventy, Singing and loving don't agree.' Would she had taken the sage counsel of the Spanish poet, Balthazar Garcia, "Learn to retire from public situations with dignity." She was an excellent, kind-hearted woman ; but, in this instance, certainly not well advised.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 73-75 (219 words)


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