Great Singers, Second Series eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about Great Singers, Second Series.

The director of opera at Frankfort-on-the-Main, having heard Mlle. Titiens at Hamburg was so pleased that he made her an offer, and in pursuance of this she appeared in Frankfort early in 1850, where she made a most brilliant and decided success.  Her reputation was now growing fast, and offers of engagement poured in on her from various European capitals.  The director of the Imperial Opera at Vienna traveled to Frankfort especially to hear her, and as her old contract with the Frankfort impressario was on the eve of expiration, and Mlle. Titiens was free to accept a new offer, she gladly availed herself of the chance to accept the opportunity of singing before one of the most brilliant and critical publics of Europe.  She made her debut at Vienna in 1856, and was received with the most flattering and cordial approbation.  She appeared in the role of Donna Anna ("Don Giovanni"), and at the close of the opera had numerous recalls.  Her success was so great that she continued to sing in Vienna for three consecutive seasons, and became the leading favorite of the public.  The operas in which she made the most vivid impression were “Norma,” “Les Huguenots,” “Lucrezia Borgia,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Fidelio,” and “Trovatore”; and her versatility was displayed in the fact that when she was called on, through the illness of another singer, to assume a comic part, she won golden opinions from the public for the sparkle and grace of her style.


The English manager, Mr. Lumley, had heard of Mlle. Titiens and the sensation she had made in Germany.  So he hastened to Vienna, and made the most lavish propositions to the young singer that she should appear in his company before the London public.  She was unable to accept his proposition, for her contract in Vienna had yet a year to run; but, after some negotiations, an arrangement was made which permitted Mlle. Titiens to sing in London for three months, with the express understanding that she should not surpass that limit.

She made her first bow before an English audience on April 13, 1858, as Valentine in Meyerbeer’s chef d’oeuvre, Giuglini singing the part of Raoul for the first time.  She did not understand Italian, but, under the guidance of a competent master, she memorized the unknown words, pronunciation and all, so perfectly that no one suspected but that she was perfectly conversant with the liquid accents of that “soft bastard Latin” of the South.  Success alone justified so dangerous an experiment.  The audience was most fashionable and critical, and the reception of the new singer was of the most assuring kind.

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