Les Huguenots (Die Hugenotten): Die Opern der Welt (German Edition)
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First Edition. Full leather with gilt title on spine. Complete volume 3. Index to volume third and Subcribers' Names at rear of text. Rubbed spine ends with slight loss. Some age toned pages. Text interior is tight and intact. USiana; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; pages. Titeln, lithogr. Komponisten u. Noten, Goldschnitt, reich blind- u. Mit Text in deutscher u. First German edition of the piano score in a splendid binding for Aline v. Soemmering, Samuel Thomas von, Anatom und Physiologe Brief mit U. M[ainz], Oktober [wohl ]..
Mit eh. Adresse Faltbrief.. An seine Frau Margarethe Elisabeth, geb. Grunelius, in Frankfurt a. Ich kann dir nicht sagen wie mir das Herz vor Freude zu pochen anfing, als ich die Stelle deines Briefs vom kleinen Lieben Bibia las, u. Hofentlich ist er doch recht artig. Gut ist er denn er ist ja von Dir. Vielleicht gehe ich nach Aschaffenb[urg] um zu negotiiren. Wie siehts aber mit Frankfurt aus? Anatomie ist doch beschwerlicher als Praxis [ A History of Inventions and Discoveries.
Translated from the German by William Johnston. London: J. Bell - Three volumes. First English translation. Contemporary full speckled calf, spines with gilt rules, gilt lettered red title labels and dark green oval number labels, the later armorial bookplate of the Cobbold family of Ipswich to the front pastedowns of volumes II and III, all three volumes with an inscription stating that the books were purchased in Sotheby's in A most attractive set. Johann Beckmann taught and wrote widely on the subjects of natural history and science, he was famously attributed with the coining of the term "technology".
This is his most notable work, an almost encyclopaedic collection of articles on various trades, natural products and inventions covering an extensive list of subjects to include everything from the "chemical names of metals" to tulips. The first English translation appeared before Beckmann had completed the fourth and final volume, the first English edition of which appeared 17 years later.
Gillet For Messers. Very impressively finished - a superb set.
Scans on request. Engraved title vignettes to both. Juillerat , , 22,7 x 36,2. Text body is clean, and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Binding is sound. Printed by Henry Ranlet for the author, full leather over wooden boards, pages. Quantity Available: 1. Inventory No: De l'araneologie ou sur la decouverte du rapport constant entre l'apparition ou la disparition, le tribunal ou le repos le plus ou le moins d'etendue des toiles et des fils d'attaches des Araignees, des differentes especes et les variations atmospheriques du beau temps et de la pluie, du sec a l'humide mais principalement du chaud au froid et de la gelee a glace au veritable degel.
Paris, J. Not in Hagen, not in Horn-Schenkling.. Reflections on education, manners, and literature. In a series of essays. London: G. Robinson, First edition. Contemporary calf, morocco label at spine. Ink ownership at front pastedown. Text is clean despite occasional, light soiling in margins and faint dampstaining at the bottom edge of the last few leaves. The binding is solid but quite worn looking; it is scuffed all over and rubbed at joints, with corners bumped, upper joint starting, and shallow loss at crown. Nonetheless, it is a very good copy overall. As the title indicates, this volume is a collection of essays, written in a discursive and conversational tone, covering a variety of topics: "Awakening the Mind," "Early Taste for Reading," "Riches and Poverty," "Difference in Opinion," etc.
Finot printed by. Indri Niger. Light scattered foxing, faint toning to edges; otherwise very good condition. An exquisitely detailed image of a lemur. This was Audebert's first individually issued publication, and he lavished attention on the plates which were printed with a color printing method he apparently devised, incorporating stipple engraving. Peter Dance notes in "The Art of Natural History" that "zoological art in France [had at this time] an overall uniformity and distinction that was not equalled elsewhere. Le Loris Grele. Loris Gracilis. Le Galeopitheque roux. Galeopithecus Rufus.
An exquisitely detailed image of a flying lemur.
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Modern blue cloth, red leather vertical spine label. Small perforation through half-title with no loss, some minor scattered foxing, otherwise a fine copy. Wherein the difference between the sincere Christian and the most refined hypocrite, the nature and characters. Johnston, for R. Professionally and period-sympathetically rebacked with a matching leather spine. Gilt-blocked titles and bands to spine.
Very impressively finished. Scattered foxing to title page and prelims. Slight dulling and dust-toning elsewhere as with age. Previous owner's signature to title page. Remains particularly well-preserved overall. Further scans, images etc. Subjects: Congregational Church -- Sermons.
Ten virgins parable -- Sermons. Sermons, American -- Early works to Added title page for vol. Complete with the Rare Original soft green gilt leather slip case, pink lined good condition but with one edge of the soft leather split. Contemporary name and date of to the free endpaper. Sources of conflict in the 21st century : regional futures and U. The gate of worlds. An Alternate History adventure From Turkish dominated Europe, across the high seas to the land.
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Spatial planning systems in western Europe : an overview. This book provides an overview of the systems in Western Europe, how they have. Resonant themes : literature, history, and the arts in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe : essays in honor of Victor Brombert. Resonant themes : literature, history, and the arts in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe.
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NATO looks south : new challenges and new strategies in the Mediterranean. Texte und Indices. Compliance Control; Chapter 5. But the romanticist syndrome, imported from Europe by Mori Ogai. Liber Amicorum Klaus Schurig : zum At the same time, the singers could take advantage of this competition to increase their fees. The rivalry could function only with difficulty. For clarity, and in line with sources from the time, I refer to both men by their middle names. Hardwicke, This was partly a personal dispute between Costa and Lumley. Lumley had to go to great lengths every season to secure new singers; even if he had spent money only on engagements that were comparable with the renown of the Covent Garden singers, the project would have been impossible to finance.
Lumley attributed the lack of success of I masnadieri to what he saw as the insufficient potential in the work for Jenny Lind to become the focus of the performance. See Lumley, Reminiscences, p. Still, ballets continued to be performed within opera performances in the s. Unsurprisingly, because of the amounts owed to Lord Ward, Lumley once again found himself in financial difficulty, without sufficient means even to pay the monthly rent. In the meantime, Gye was able to borrow money to rebuild the Royal Italian Opera, and reopened it in The reason for the year-long closure lay above all in the disagreements between Lumley and Lord Ward over the management of the theatre.
See Lumley, The Earl of Dudley. Moreover, the repertoire performed in both houses alike was relatively predictably limited to the works of Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Meyerbeer — principally because of a lack of other compositions suitable for London tastes. The piece consists of a fictional dispute between Mapleson and Gye about which of them has the better singers at his disposal.
Gye proved far more efficient than Mapleson at borrowing money; Mapleson found himself close to bankruptcy at the end of almost every season. By contrast with the opera houses of continental Europe, London opera managers could not rely on state subsidies: they had to acquire the necessary funds privately. This should really be reformed. If the Operahouse once loses its aristocratic character, its occupation is gone.
Indeed, in the long term, the critical attitude evident in both quotations towards the appearance of spectators in the pit would surely have changed the status quo. Furthermore, the pit did not necessarily have negative connotations. In order to see the ballet, the protagonist makes her way to the pit for a better view of the stage, although her hopes are disappointed: I had scarcely seated myself, however, when the short gentleman rose, and who should take his place but Sir Thomas Titan, who is seven feet high, and wide in proportion.
I shifted my seat of course, and unfortunately found myself next to Mr. Scentish, who indulges in perfume to a degree that obliged me to retreat to the further corner of the pit. The object of mockery here is not the presence of lower-class operagoers, but the numerous social engagements that came with a visit to the opera. Those social engagements and conversations increase the difficulty of following the action on stage. In fact, no such separations existed in the nineteenth century. Im erstern kostet ein Platz eine halbe Guinee und ist jeder gehalten in full dress, in Ballanzug, die Damen ohne Hut, Mantel u.
Auf der obersten Galerie, dem letzten Platze, kostet das Billet immer noch zwei Thaler. In the pit, one had to be well-dressed, and there were strict controls on this upon entry to the theatre — suggesting that if members of lower social groups did frequent the theatre, they would at most have watched from the gallery and not from the pit.
But it would also be false to suggest that audiences were so focused on singers as to be entirely ignorant of operas as works. Any disregard of this regulation will be inevitably attended by the exclusion of the party, no matter what his rank. Some years ago, it was necessary for gentlemen to have three-corner hats, but that regulation has been departed from, and gentlemen wearing hats of the usual shape are now admitted. It was customary a short time since for ladies and gentlemen to go on levee and drawing-room days to the Opera in full court-dress.
The display of fashion, when the house is full, is still imposing; on those occasions it was magnificent in the extreme. It was absolutely dazzling to behold. This makes clear that going to the opera would have been beyond the reach of average Londoners. In , single tickets cost 10s. Allen, , pp. The polemical tone of the description simply arises from resentment at the refused entry on grounds of impressive but incorrect clothing. The opera house was a space where various political, social and ethnic groups publicly demonstrated their interests.
Moments of ostensibly spontaneous, collective emotional overflow, and seemingly purely aesthetic concerns, could thus acquire a powerful political dimension. But he does not discuss the events that immediately preceded the riot. See London Magazine 2 , p. Caradori was playing the Sultana in this production. See New Monthly Magazine 3 , p. Thus we were entertained with a performance substantially similar to that of Hamlet, without the Prince of Denmark.
See Fenner, Opera in London, pp. Tamburini attended and performed there along with Grisi, Rubini and the conductor Costa. But since my return to town I have had translated to me, by my friends, several extracts from the papers, stating that my not being engaged arose from my having demanded higher and most extravagant terms. Therefore, however loth to interfere, I feel it a duty I owe to the public and myself to make known that I never demanded any increase of emolument. Having in November last written to Mr. Laporte to beg he would not leave me in uncertainty as to whether he would engage me, I received in answer the following note; since then I have never heard from Mr.
Rivington, , pp. It is important to bear in mind that even for an internationally renowned singer such as Tamburini, engagements in London were an extremely lucrative prospect, and one he did not want to pass up. Rather, this criticism represents the views of external observers, for whom the behaviour of the aristocracy in relation to a single singer was incomprehensible.
It would be inappropriate, and an over-interpretation of the facts, to read such writings as suggesting that the audience was made up of people from all social classes. An important aspect here is the increasingly widespread practice of selling private box tickets through booksellers from the mid s onwards: when subscribers were unable to attend, or had spare tickets in their box, these would be resold as pit tickets a box ticket also granted access to the pit. The problems with this system were that these additional ticket sales made the pit overcrowded, and that privately resold tickets did not bring in any income for the opera house.
Such evenings were thus highly attractive for the audience. In both cases, the singers were to be the star attraction for the audience. Clearly, both houses had the same tactics in their advertisements: big names, like those of Lind, Grisi, Lablache, Tamburini and Alboni served as enticements — although the less well- known ensemble members were also mentioned.
In this context it is clear that in the two opera houses were competing for the same audience, and that this group consisted for the most part of members of the social elites. Mitchell, , pp. Only when Frederick Gye took over the management in were there some changes to the repertoire, above all in the form of performances of works by Meyerbeer. Hence Lumley decided to introduce more affordable evenings at the opera, alongside the usual subscription. Equally, it is clear that it would have been impossible to realise this plan without an ensemble of internationally renowned singers.
Vor acht Tagen trat eine Versammlung in seinem Interesse zusammen: mehr als hundert Personen aus der vornehmsten Welt, z. Leinster, der Marquis von Clanricarde, Baron Brunow u. In fact, in view of the political situation in London at the time, there was a significant need for the aristocracy to reinforce their status. Since , the aristocracy had been engaged in a bitter struggle against the Anti Corn Law League, led by Richard Cobden.
The latter group had campaigned for the repeal of the Corn Laws that had been introduced in to protect grain prices; their repeal was an important step in the direction of free trade. Members of the English aristocracy, who often owned large estates, saw these efforts as a threat to their economic foundations and therefore to their social status. Interestingly, this predominantly economic issue came to be seen as a conflict for status between the aristocrats and the people. Subsequent page numbers refer to this published version.
Cash, , pp. For elite landowners this meant a reduction of their income basis. In order to conceal this new economic weakness from public view, we can conjecture that institutions such as the Italian opera continued to provide a space for the social representation of the elites, who saw 68 themselves faced with increased social pressure beyond this protected space. The importance of Covent Garden to the Anti Corn Law League is above all significant to the establishment of an Italian opera season there in Inevitably, the Anti Corn Law League meetings in what was then called the Theatre Royal Covent Garden brought about an association of the theatre with the liberal ideas that Cobden and his allies represented.
The possible implications for the establishment of an Italian opera house will be discussed later in this chapter. The term cannot be considered synonymous with the titled nobility, because there were various ways of acquiring a title in nineteenth-century England, besides inheriting one. Dies Institut, das fabelhafte Summen verschlingt, steht mit der Nation nicht in dem leisesten inneren Zusammenhang. August schliesst, in Scene gingen. Nevertheless, it seems that the opening of the Royal Italian Opera Covent Garden was not left entirely unaffected by the political situation discussed above, in which the Theatre Royal Covent Garden had been the site of free trade rallies before its conversion into an opera house.
Further differentiation between the audiences of the two opera houses may therefore be necessary. She specifies the relevance of the slightly lower ticket prices at the Royal Italian Opera — notwithstanding the fact that they remained out of reach of normal Londoners. The aforementioned price difference between the two opera houses is thus of limited significance for the identification of audience demographics.
On the one hand, ticket prices at both houses always remained high, making the differences between the two relatively marginal. We cannot necessarily infer a difference between the two audiences from the differences in ticket price. It is clear that there was a great affinity among nineteenth-century London audiences for Italy, and above all for Italian opera. Audiences attended largely for reasons of fashion, rather than because of the music: For every one knows that there are special circumstances surrounding Italian opera which take it out of the category of all like undertakings.
It is not the love of music alone that supports Italian opera; it is fashion that pays the larger share of its cost; and its motive is every day gathering fresh force with increasing luxury and wealth of the age. London: Hurst and Blackett, , vol. Indirectly, they were still able to determine which works were performed. The engagement of new artists happened almost exclusively via Paris, and it was standard practice that singers who had been engaged in London would bring with them from Paris works that had already been produced there; thus the available singers, and not the London opera managers, determined the programmes.
The operas of Verdi only gradually gained popularity in London from the s onwards, and the works of Donizetti, Rossini and Bellini already had a firm place in the programmes of the London opera houses. Italian adaptations of the operas of Meyerbeer or Auber were also slow to find a footing in London programming choices, but did establish themselves later. I consider London performance practices in more detail in Chapter 6.
Mario findet, dass der Johann im Propheten ihm unbequem wird, und singt ihn nicht mehr; die Grisi macht es ebenso mit der Fides, u. Bei diesen wird klar, wer denn der eigentliche Herr in England ist; es ist, bis jetzt, die — Presse. Er ist, mit einem Worte, Mode geworden. But her evidence for this possible change is sparse. Precisely because a majority of the audience did not understand Italian — as Hanslick complained in the s — it was necessary to follow the libretto.
In a darkened auditorium this would have been impossible, and the opera being performed would have been incomprehensible. These, she says, clearly indicate a work-oriented mode of reception and suggest that opera was no longer understood to be centred on one-off events.
In fact, it is more plausible to draw the opposite conclusion. The audience apparently knew so little about the operas that they needed an introduction in order to recognised the reputed highlights at all. Paris, , p. In this light, it seems unlikely that London opera audiences shifted in their mode of reception during the nineteenth century from a purely event-centred aesthetic to a more serious, work-oriented attitude. Through the precarious financial situation of the London opera industry, precisely this audience group acquired great bargaining power, which affected all aspects of the industry, but especially the engagement of singers.
Star singers were an absolute necessity and the crux of the system. A passage in the Ouverture tending much to conciliate the audience, and obliterate the former unfavourable impressions, and this feeling was strengthened by the air of Arsaces, which is full of beauty and sweetness. The next piece that called forth applause was the Duet between Semiramide and Arsaces, besides which an air of Assur, and a terzetto were received with tumultous applause. The Opera obtained an enthusiastic success at Vienna, where it is continually performed, and it is a popular piece on the principal stages of Italy, and throughout Europe.
Rossini was called for at the end of the Second Act, and came forward with a humble obeisance to receive his token of reconciliation.
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Critics speak highly of the movement with chorus, that forms the Finale of the First Act. Northcott ]. It is therefore essential to consider the available sources in light of as much contextual detail as possible, in order to avoid misinterpreting them. English trade relations with northern Italy in the cotton industry dated back centuries; in the nineteenth century the northern Italian ports became increasingly busy trading centres, which intensified the economic relations between the two countries.
On the basis of what was initially an economic relationship with two relatively equal parties, a brisk tourist industry developed: Italy attracted wealthy English visitors because of its natural beauty and rich culture. Over the centuries, this desire fostered a practice of international importation of opera; supported by the technological developments of the nineteenth century, this practice shaped English operatic life fundamentally.
Italian opera thus acquired a high level of prestige in the English capital: one did not go to the opera to hear a particular work, but rather to be part of an exclusive group, or to see and hear this or that famous singer. Star singers from the continent committed themselves to the Italian opera first, and only later if at all performed at the English opera too. Hence Italian opera in London became a hugely lucrative undertaking for many singers. Freilich, ihr Kontrakt verpflichtet sie, jede ihr zukommende Rolle bei Thlr. Der Direktor kann klagbar gemacht werden, und es leidet kein Bedenken, dass er nach Verlauf eines Jahres den Prozess gewonnen haben wird.
They not only determined the fees and details of their engagement, but also had considerable influence on repertoire programming. If the prima donna be prevented singing, a change of opera takes place as it is supposed an English audience would not be satisfied to listen to a deputy of the leading artiste they had paid to hear. In Italy, where the same opera is given several times in succession, the comprimaria is a necessity. Horses, and dogs, and cats, and singing birds, were named after her; and little children, in the simplicity of their hearts, gave the popular title to the creatures that were dearest to them in the world.
The bass Luigi Lablache, who was extremely popular in London, was available immortalised in hand-painted porcelain as Figaro, Dulcamara or Falstaff, alongside Jenny Lind and Giuditta Pasta. In elite social circles, it was a mark of good taste to organise private concerts involving the stars of the Italian opera stages, or to take singing lessons with a renowned star. Particularly the Italian singers, most of whom spoke only 8 See also Chapter 2.
They freely assist each other, and each and all help to push one another forward in the world. They have not only known how to conquer for themselves a high place in English society, where they are well received, but they know what means to adopt to maintain their place there. Many singers also used their role in English society to help other musicians gain a foothold as music teachers — which could be a highly lucrative profession once a teacher was well-established. The tenor Mario never managed to learn English, although he lived in England for many years.
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Even learning songs in English was only possible for him with the help of an interpreter. Although in many cases an audience would have only a rudimentary knowledge of Italian, prevailing opinion dictated that sung Italian must not be marred by any kind of foreign accent, least of all an English one. The music critic Henry Fothergill Chorley expressed the matter in a nutshell as follows: Indeed, whatever be his, or her, endowments, it must be always an ill chance for a home artist to sing in a foreign language on the stage in England. We are curiously bad linguists ourselves […] but, before the curtain, we cannot endure bad language in those who amuse us.
The exception to this inability of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to secure international debuts was its brief engagement of Maria Malibran in the early s see Chapter 2. Although individual voices loudly lamented the lack of Italian singers, this did not stop the excitement over non-Italian singers. Indeed, the trick of the profession consists not in being a professor, but being an Italian. For many members of the English aristocracy, taking singing lessons with an Italian teacher brought important prestige. The most prominent example of this trend was Queen Victoria herself, who for many years took lessons with the renowned bass Luigi Lablache.
This situation, he argued, greatly endangered the expressive content of the music. He further criticised the widespread teaching of English singers by Italian teachers: To judge from the practice of [ He considered this effect to be all the stronger because singers performing in a foreign language were unable to reach the same intensity of expression of which they would be capable in their native language.
A more national orientation of the opera industry seemed to Macfarren the logical solution. English singers should appear only in English operas and other works in English, such as oratorios, and leave Italian opera to the Italians to whom it belonged: The vocation of English singers is, in the highest rank, to sing oratorios, which are always in English, and, in the successive lower grades, to sing translated foreign or original compositions. The study of Italian songs does nothing whatever to fit them for this vocation by enabling them to pronounce the words, or to interpret the music of these works, from the grandest to the lightest, from the oratorio to the ballad.
Nobody whatever wants to hear Italian songs from the lips of English singers, or cares for them in any respect but as vehicles for the exhibition of foreign celebrities who are engaged from year to year at our opera houses. He considered the translation of operas into English to be legitimate; he seems unconcerned by the possibility that a translation might effect the kind of distortion of an opera that he initially criticises so sharply. Here it is also worth bearing in mind that his compositions were mostly performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Also significant is his involvement in the widespread practice of adapting operas for the English stage. Nevertheless, it is interesting that negative opinions of English singers in Italian operas prevailed in both musically trained and less knowledgeable groups. Although the two groups had different motives, their end goal was the same. Despite this universally negative attitude, individual engagements of English singers in Italian opera houses did occur.
In order to examine this development more fully, and relatedly to investigate the possibility of a national musical identity, in the following section I examine closely the careers of four singers: Catherine Hayes, Rita Favanti, Louisa Pyne and Sims Reeves although Hayes hailed from Limerick, in Ireland, these singers have in common that their first language was English. Catherine Hayes, born in in Limerick, set out on the usual training path for singers: singing lessons with an Italian teacher, in her case Antonio Sapio.
Studying with him was more or less essential for anyone aiming at a singing career. The list of his prominent students included, for example, Jenny Lind and Christine Nilsson. Her debut at La Scala in Milan, also in , was followed by many more successes internationally; she began to establish herself on the continent as a prima donna. Singers needed to have prior success in Paris and Milan — these two stages were particularly carefully scrutinised by London opera managers, who travelled there on recruitment visits on a regular basis.
Against expectations — given her origins and the prevailing prejudices of London audiences — there were no complaints of a non-Italian accent or any other weaknesses in her singing; quite the opposite. In this, as well as in the last scene, Miss Hayes gave evidence of a great deal of dramatic feeling, and a thorough familiarity with stage effect. Nothing could be warmer or more unanimous than her reception by the audience, who applauded her enthusiastically, and recalled her before the foot-lights after every act.
We had not, as yet, descended to the level at which one so irregularly cultivated as she proved herself to be, could appear a finished artist. We can therefore 29 See, for example, Lumley, Reminiscences, p. The location of her debut — the Royal Italian Opera — may have played a role here. By contrast, the Royal Italian Opera committed itself to what was at least ostensibly a work-based approach: the works performed, rather than the singers, were supposed to be the centre of attention.
She did not perform at the latter theatre until a year later, when she and the English tenor Sims Reeves appeared together in Lucia di Lammermoor on 2 April Hayes sang Lucia and Reeves Edgardo — that is, the two leading roles were played by anglophone singers. Lumley described the performance as a success, although without the effusive enthusiasm that characterises many descriptions of this type in his memoirs.
Sims Reeves playing Edgardo. This was a highly interesting performance. Miss Catherine Hayes was received with the utmost favour. Sims Reeves awakened all the old enthusiasm which has so often been conferred on his best part. On the contrary, Favanti was born Rita Edwards, and probably took the Italian-sounding name for professional reasons. But does it make the sung the sweeter, or would Rubini lose his voice, if a fortune were left to him on condition of his taking the name of SMITH? For fashion! Had the lady above mentioned married an Italian gentleman, we should not have been surprised to see her announced as Mdme.
Favanti, just as Emma Howson was called Mdme. Albertazzi; but to see Mademoiselle Favanti in the place of Miss Edwards, formerly, we believe of our Royal Academy rather puzzles and perplexes us. After this initial step, Lumley announced that he had managed to engaged this very same rising star for La Cenerentola in his own theatre. Henry Chorley vividly described the intensity of the marketing campaign: The comedy began with a series of exciting and mysterious paragraphs, put forth in the morning papers. She was heralded [ The expense of his campaign indicates the problematic situation in which Lumley found himself, and the possible negative consequences of which he was surely aware.
The engagement of an English singer, particularly under a false name, involved a certain amount of risk, which was only increased by the effort to cover up her origins in the media. He had to consider the eventuality that audiences would not show up in huge numbers; in order to exclude this possibility and to make sure the debut — a singular event, after all — achieved its full financial potential, he launched the aforementioned media campaign.
In one respect a marked improvement has certainly taken place; the production of the voice is no longer attended with the same disagreeable effect, as in In point of execution something has also been gained in precision; but her imperfect intonation has not yet been remedied. Favanti ranges from the highest to the lowest of the soprano and contralto registers, and in quality it is infinitely more sympathetic.
The music of the concerted pieces she sacrifices entirely; [ The tenor Sims Reeves — was one of the most prominent English singers of the nineteenth century. Occasional male stars did exist, such as the tenors Rubini and Mario or the bass Lablache, but did not command the same status that a prima donna did.
When, as they frequently do, [they] commit suicide on the stage, they die, if not in silence, at least in solitude. Most important were the figure of the prima donna, her big aria and her specific performance of it. This was the difficult situation in which Reeves found himself. Because of this training, it was not long before he had his debut at La Scala in Milan, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor.
That is, an opera that had contributed to the successful debut of an English tenor in Milan could help to sell that singer to London audiences. This proved to be an important consideration: The new tenor, Mr. Sims Reeves, achieved, and most deservedly achieved, the most unequivocal success we have witnessed on the English stage for a quarter of a century. It is Italian in character[,] in timbre; and there is the Italian feeling in his style.
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This ideal, as is evident from the review in the Musical World, was nevertheless considered an irrefutable criterion of quality even for opera in English in this case — and even if perceptions of the ideal were in fact far removed from the Italian reality. Scarcely less noteworthy was the first appearance of the well-known English tenor, Mr. Sims Reeves, in the part of Carlo [ It was in those days a rare event for an English singer to venture upon the boards of the Anglo-Italian stage; and the force of fashion and prejudice made the venture one of unusual difficulty.
But with his advantages of Italian training and style, Mr. Sims Reeves was entitled to be fairly considered as an Italian singer. Reeves complained that before entering into the engagement, he had been promised not only the part of Carlo, but also that of Edgardo in Lucia, among others. Because the management did not keep this promise, Reeves declined to reappear in Linda.
Had Gardoni been placed in a similar situation by the management, there probably would have been uproar from audience members, causing considerable difficulties for the management. In the case of an English singer who in any case faced significant prejudice, the risk for the management was lower. This was a particularly important role: as Reeves described in his memoirs, the opera was one of the most popular in England and was performed very frequently, both in the original Italian and adapted into English.
In the English version, according to Phipson, the aria took on an entirely different character that was not intended by the composer. He concentrated instead on opera in English by English composers, and on oratorio, becoming one of the best-known oratorio and concert singers in England. From its outset, the career of Louisa Pyne, born in London in , contrasted strikingly with those of her female colleagues Catherine Hayes and Rita Favanti, as well as with that of Sims Reeves.
Pyne studied not with an Italian singing teacher, as one might expect, but with George Smart.
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Nevertheless, she began to enjoy remarkable success in concerts in London in the s, together with her sister Susan. There, later the same year, she appeared at the Princess Theatre in an English adaptation of Don Giovanni, and in works by Macfarren. One might assume that she narrowed her chances of an international career from the start, by not following the industry norm of studying with an Italian teacher. But a closer examination of her background suggests other possibilities. Pyne was born into a family of English singers.
Her father George Pyne was a countertenor and a doctor, and her uncle James Kendrick Pyne was a successful concert tenor. In this light, it seems plausible that the family deliberately decided against an Italian musical education. An English singer had vastly better chances of success in concerts and English opera than in Italian opera. Moreover, concerts were in fact an extremely lucrative way of earning money, which was reflected in the career paths of many English singers who therefore favoured the concert room over the opera house.
She resembles her, however, in the graceful delicacy of her action, and also in the surprising elegance of her vocalization. The comparison also makes clear, however, that the Italian opera and its singers continued to function as an uncontested gold standard and aesthetic ideal. See ibid. The fact that 67 Chorley, Musical Recollections, vol. See Athenaeum , p. Trewendt, , p. As can be seen from these varied examples, English singers found themselves in a very difficult situation, which culminated in a search for their identity as singers.
Each of the singers sketched here tackled this problem in their own way. Rita Favanti attempted to improve her career chances on the Italian opera stage in London by concealing her English origins; this attempt failed, however, partly because of her inadequate musical skill. The fact that she changed her name, however, shows that she wanted to construct an identity as an Italian singer, which involved giving up her English origins.
Catherine Hayes was less extreme than Favanti in her pursuit of a career as an Italian singer. Like Hayes, he did not reach the status of an unqualified success in Italian opera in English, despite seeing himself as an Italian singer and marketing himself as such. By contrast, Louisa Pyne focused her efforts primarily on a soprano career in English opera, probably aware of the inevitable difficulties she would have faced in Italian opera.
We can see, then, that broadly speaking there were two possible career trajectories for English singers. The first possibility was to pursue an Italian career against all the odds, holding out hope of international fame, and above all of high fees and prestige. This option, however, required thorough Italian singing training, and a career in Italy and France. The second possibility was to disregard Italian opera and establish a secure career on the less prestigious English opera stages.
Exorbitant fees and widespread recognition in society on the level offered by Italian opera were not necessarily part of this career path. Rules and guidelines were therefore crucial, both in order to regulate day-to-day business and for the legal protection of managers and singers.