excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 81 (182 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 81 (182 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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On the 7th of April, Madame Banti took for her benefit, at the Opera, Gluck's grand serious opera of Alceste. Mr. Taylor, the then proprietor of the Opera House, and Madame Banti, made a request to Mr. Sheridan, to give me permission to act the principal part in the opera, which I had so often performed at Vienna, under the tuition of the great composer. The knowledge of my having success- fully performed it at that theatre, induced Madame Banti to ask me to act it at the Haymarket. I got permission, and the opera made so great a hit, that Mr. Taylor, with the consent of Mr. Sheridan, engaged me for twenty nights. Madame Banti's performance of Alceste was a chef-d'oeuvre; her acting sublime, her singing charming; for twenty nights the opera drew crowded houses. Banti possessed all the power of voice which she had when I heard her first at Venice her figure was much improved; and, as a serious actress, she was unrivalled. She had wonderful natural powers, but, as I have already said, no great knowledge of music.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 81 (182 words)


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