Great Singers, Second Series eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 170 pages of information about Great Singers, Second Series.
for two hundred francs, and boxes could not be obtained.  The house was crowded to the ceiling, and the Emperor and Empress arrived some time before the hour of beginning on the night of “Les Huguenots.”  Everywhere the lorgnette was turned could be seen the faces of notabilities like Meyerbeer, Auber, Benedict, Berlioz, Alboni, Mme. Viardot, Mario, Tamburini, Vivire, Theophile Gautier, Fiorentino, and others.  The verdict was that Cruvelli was one of the greatest of Valentines, and Meyerbeer, who was morbidly sensitive over the performance of his own works, expressed his admiration of the great singer in the most enthusiastic words.

Soon after this, she appeared as Julia in Spontini’s “Vestale,” and, as a long time had elapsed since its production, there was aroused the most alert curiosity to hear Cruvelli in a great part, in which but few singers had been able to make a distinguished impression.  She acted the role with a vehement passion which aroused the deepest feeling in the Parisian mind, for it was a long time since they had heard an artist who was alike so great an actress and so brilliant a vocalist.  One writer said, “She is the only cantatrice who acts as well as sings”; said one critic, “She would have made a grand tragedienne.”  Fickle Paris had forgotten Pasta, Malibran, and even Mme. Viardot, who was then in the very flush of her splendid powers.

IV.

From Paris Mlle. Cruvelli went to London, where she sang an engagement at the Royal Italian Opera, making her opening appearance as Desdemona, in the same cast with Tamburini and Ronconi.  Her terms during the season were two hundred and fifty pounds a night.  Her other parts were Leonora ("Fidelio"), and Donna Anna ("Don Giovanni"), and the performances were estimated by the most competent judges to be on a plan of artistic excellence not surpassed, and rarely equaled, in operatic annals.  Mlle. Cruvelli revived the Parisian excitement of the previous season by her appearance at the Grand Opera, as Alice in “Robert le Diable.”  The audience was a most brilliant one, and their reception of the artist was one of the most prolonged and enthusiastic applause.  She continued to sing in Paris during the summer months and early autumn, and was the reigning goddess of the stage.  All Paris was looking forward to the production of “Les Huguenots” in October with a great flutter of expectation, when Sophie suddenly disappeared from the public view and knowledge.  The expected night of the production of “Les Huguenots” on a scale of almost unequaled magnificence arrived, and still the representative of Valentine could not be found.  Sophie had treated the public in a similar fashion more than once before, and it may be fancied that the Parisians were in a state of furious indignation.  Great surprise was felt that she should have forfeited so

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Great Singers, Second Series from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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