excerpt from 'A View of Society and Manners in Italy. Volume 2' pp. 74-75 (325 words)

excerpt from 'A View of Society and Manners in Italy. Volume 2' pp. 74-75 (325 words)

part of

A View of Society and Manners in Italy. Volume 2

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

74-75

74-76

type

text excerpt

encoded value

Masking and horse-races are confined to the last eight days; but there are theatrical entertainments, of various kinds, during the whole six weeks of the Carnival. The Serious Opera is most frequented by people of fashion, who generally take boxes for the whole season. The opera with which this theatre opened, was received with the highest applause, though the music only was new. The Italians do not think it always necessary to compose new words for what is called a new opera; they often satisfy themselves with new music to the affecting dramas of Metastasio. The audience here seem to lend a more profound and continued attention to the music, than at Venice. This is probably owing to the entertainment being a greater rarity in the one city than in the other ; for I could perceive that the people of fashion, who came every night, began, after the opera had been repeated several nights, to abate in their attention, to receive visitors in their boxes, and to listen only when some favourite airs were singing: whereas the audience in the pit uniformly preserve the most perfect silence, which is only interrupted by gentle murmurs of pleasure from a few individuals, or an universal burst of applause from the whole assembly. I never saw such genuine marks of satisfaction displayed by any assembly, on any occasion whatever. The sensibility of some of the audience gave me an idea of the power of sounds, which the dullness of my own auditory nerves could never have conveyed to my mind. At certain airs, silent enjoyment was expressed in every countenance; at others, the hands were clasped together, the eyes half shut, and the breath drawn in with a prolonged sigh, as if the soul were expiring in a torrent of delight. One young woman, in the pit, called out, "O Dio, dove sono; " che piaccr via caccia I'alma?" [O God, where am I! what pleasure ravishes my soul].

 

Masking and horse-races are confined to the last eight days; but there are theatrical entertainments, of various kinds, during the whole six weeks of the Carnival. The Serious Opera is most frequented by people of fashion, who generally take boxes for the whole season. The opera with which this theatre opened, was received with the highest applause, though the music only was new. The Italians do not think it always necessary to compose new words for what is called a new opera; they often satisfy themselves with new music to the affecting dramas of Metastasio. The audience here seem to lend a more profound and continued attention to the music, than at Venice. This is probably owing to the entertainment being a greater rarity in the one city than in the other ; for I could perceive that the people of fashion, who came every night, began, after the opera had been repeated several nights, to abate in their attention, to receive visitors in their boxes, and to listen only when some favourite airs were singing: whereas the audience in the pit uniformly preserve the most perfect silence, which is only interrupted by gentle murmurs of pleasure from a few individuals, or an universal burst of applause from the whole assembly. I never saw such genuine marks of satisfaction displayed by any assembly, on any occasion whatever. The sensibility of some of the audience gave me an idea of the power of sounds, which the dullness of my own auditory nerves could never have conveyed to my mind. At certain airs, silent enjoyment was expressed in every countenance; at others, the hands were clasped together, the eyes half shut, and the breath drawn in with a prolonged sigh, as if the soul were expiring in a torrent of delight. One young woman, in the pit, called out, "O Dio, dove sono; " che piaccr via caccia I'alma?" [O God, where am I! what pleasure ravishes my soul].

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excerpt from 'A View of Society and Manners in Italy. Volume 2' pp. 74-75 (325 words)

excerpt from 'A View of Society and Manners in Italy. Volume 2' pp. 74-76 (325 words)

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1509098345581

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