Benjamin Lumley - 22 May, 1848

from Reminiscences of the Opera, pages 223-4:

On the repetition of the opera of "Linda," on the Monday following, a public notice appeared, placarded in all parts of the house, stating that at a late hour Mr. Sims Reeves had refused to sing the part of Carlo, and that Signor Gardoni had undertaken, "at a very brief notice," to supply his place. The change was not greatly to be regretted, for the popularity of Gardoni aided him, and he sang his best. On the morrow, there appeared in all the principal daily prints a long letter from Mr. Sims Beeves, protesting against the interpretation given to his refusal, and asserting that he had only accepted an engagement at Her Majesty's Theatre on the express stipulation that he should be cast for the part of Edgardo in the "Lucia," and other principal tenor parts; and that finding he was not to sing in a forthcoming representation of the first named opera, he considered his contract annulled, and himself at liberty to withdraw. To this communication a firm denial was given in another letter from Mr. Balfe, the conductor, in which that gentleman affirmed that no such stipulation had ever been made — an affirmation he was able to maintain, inasmuch as he himself had signed the contract made with Mr. Reeves; and that moreover the coveted part could not have been promised to him, it having been in the possession of Signor Gardoni six weeks before the engagement of the English vocalist.

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Benjamin Lumley, Reminiscences of the Opera (London, 1864), p. 223-4. accessed: 2 March, 2024


Benjamin Lumley
Opera manager, Solicitor

Listening to

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Linda di Chamouni
written by Gaetano Donizetti
performed by Eugenia Tadolini, Italo Gardoni

Experience Information

Date/Time 22 May, 1848
Medium live
Listening Environment in the company of others, indoors, in public

Originally submitted by sp327 on Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:43:15 +0100
Approved on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:33:30 +0100