excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 269 (177 words)

excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 269 (177 words)

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Italy Volume 1

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The GREAT THEATRE of Parma was once among the wonders of Italy. It was built by the sumptuous Farnese adjoining the palace, and was capable of containing fourteen thousand persons. It has not, however, been used since the beginning of the last century, and is not even open for inspection. The little theatre, where operas were performing when we were at Parma, offered a striking contrast to this Ducal edifice. It was extremely small, mean, filthy, ill-lighted, and shaped like a double square, long and narrow. We were present at the performance of the popular piece of Paul and Virginia, with the beautiful music of Guglielmi; but there was but a scanty audience, a circumstance accounted for by the wretchedness of the performance. Here, as in almost all the Italian cities (Milan and Naples excepted), the choruses were filled up by tradesmen, who, for about ten-pence a night, after they lay by their leather aprons, assume the costume of the dramatic wardrobe. They execute the music of Rossini, Mozart, &c. coarsely indeed, and vociferously, but not inaccurately.

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excerpt from 'Italy Volume 1' pp. 269 (177 words)


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