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ment. Think of Steffanone and an old French actress, with thin cracked voice, singing the same melody, and you begin to appreciate our notion on this subject. The thought of Steffanone brings us naturally to the Academy of Music, where Italian opera so far has not been a very thriving affair. And this too, although a great variety of good operas, most of them well mounted, have been produced. There are several reasons to be given why the gentlemen who have undertaken to entertain the public at the Academy of Music, have done so at a very considerable loss. In the first place, the house is entirely too large, and not more than two thirds of the people it is capable of containing, can, when seated, see the stage. Those who are seated and can see the stage, are so crowded together and shut in from all approach, that they can speak to no one but their next neighbor. Now, as ladies never go to the opera with the man they wish most particularly to talk to, the present opera-house has no attraction for them. Fine dressing is thrown away too, every body is so far off that whether the dress one has on cost a dollar or ten a yard, can never be satisfactorily known to all one's female friends. The consequence of all this is, that you may go night after night to Fourteenth street and not see five out of the five hundred well-dressed and well-known women who occupied their seat every night at the Astor Place. And as if all these reasons were not enough, the prices of admission were put up so ridiculously high at the beginning of the season as completely to extinguish the last flicker of desire in any to enter the uncomfortable Academy of Music. Only to think of the madness that could imagine a number of live Yankees paying two dollars a head for secured seats in the upper tier of boxes! We fancy they would be quite secure from occupants at two cents.
It would require a much more popular troupe than the present one to counteract all these disadvantages. The lyric drama of Italy must be well played. It is not enough that the music is correctly rendered. Her unrivalled dramatic power has kept Grisi firmly seated on her throne. There is not an actor nor an actress in the present company, and that, considering its numbers, is a pretty extensive want. Four prima donnas, and the cleverest of them--and she nothing more than clever as an actress-is Didiée ; three tenors, but, shade of Garrick! what sticks they are; two baritones, good jolly fellows with fine rich voices, and good singers, but surely the tragic muse will never claim them as the most illustrious of her children. This will never do for an Italian opera company in New-York. It is but justice, however, to say, that in comic opera, such as the "Barber," they are excellent. We never saw this opera better done than by the present troupe. The incredible mastery of vocal difficulties by Lagrange pleases us in the fun-loving Rosina, and Rovere is just the best Dr. Bartolo alive.
As singers, mere singers, the principal members of the troupe are excellent. Lagrange is the most astonishing vocalizer we ever heard. In rapidity, brilliancy, and precision of execution, in extraordinary compass of
voice, and in endurance, she is truly wonderful. But she has not a single sympathetic tone, and her style is forced, unnatural, and artificial. Didiée, is to us, the only really good artist in the troupe. She possesses a good contralto voice, sympathetic and rich in quality. She has learned to sing in a good school, and nature has given her what no school can, the power of genuine expression. She possesses no great force, she can not storm so grandly as Grisi, but her enchanting expression of the gentler emotions, compensates us, especially after late experiences, for her lack of capacity to Rachelize. Amodio and Morelli are both excellent artists, and have been gifted with good voices. The tenor Brignoli may make a good tenor if he ever learns that there is any other element of musical expression besides an incessant diminuendo and crescendo, employed with a regularity that very much resembles the movement of a pair of bellows in full operation. However, as he monopolizes the manly beauty of the company, perhaps he can dispense with any improvement in his style of singing. Such we consider to be a pretty fair estimate of the merits of the present troupe, and we see no reason why, even without the drawbacks which belong of necessity to the Academy in Fourteenth street, any one should dream with such material to carry on a prosperous opera season in the city of New-York.
THE following question, put by the Louisville Democrat, has a world of useful warning in it. We put it here that Democrats, ambitious of shining in a small way, as secretaries of public meetings, and so forth, may see what risk they run of burning their fingers in the flame of the torches which usually illuminate the stands. Speaking of the tricks of the Hindoos, to inveigle Democrats into their order, by making them conspicuous as officers on all public occasions, it asks very pertinently, "Did any one ever see a no-party meeting gotten up, but a Democrat was put in the chair, if one could be found in the crowd?" The Democrat might have added that they are placed in such positions from motives as disinterested as those which induced David to put Uriah "in the front of the battle."
Widow Bedott Papers.
New-York: J. C. Derby.
THERE are some people, we believe, who never laugh heartily-who would feel it undignified to do so. They should take care not to read the "Widow Bedott Papers"—especially not to read, or hear them read, aloud-which makes their humor particularly telling, and laughter provoking. We confess we think the Widow herself has a "leetle too much", of "human natur,'" and are not quite sure the world is the better for the exposure of all her weaknesses. But Mrs. Maguire's observations and experiences are not only "capital" as fun, but full of practical good sense. The witty authoress of the work, published as a volume, and not merely as articles in a magazine, only since her death, was the wife of a clergyman, and no one can doubt she drew her "donation-parties," and "sewing-societies," and "country neighbors," from life. We don't commend the book to the very grave, who are accustomed to be shocked when others are merry, and we advise the fastidious to read it only now and then, by single chapters, but even they will find in it food for thought, and hints for action, as well as matter for mirth.
THE MOST NOTABLE OF NOTABLE THINGS.
Of all the notable things on earth,
Among our "fierce Democracy!"