Great Singers, Second Series eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 170 pages of information about Great Singers, Second Series.
which she inaugurated her second London season on May 3, 1859, with the performance of Lucrezia BorgiaMlle. Titiens sang successively in the characters which she had interpreted during her previous visit to London, adding to them the magnificent role of Norma, whose breadth and grandeur of passion made it peculiarly favorable for the display of her genius.  Near the close of the season she appeared in Verdi’s “Vepres Siciliennes,” in which, we are told, “she sang magnificently and acted with extraordinary passion and vigor.  At the close of the fourth act, when Helen and Procida are led to the scaffold, the conflicting emotions that agitate the bosom of the heroine were pictured with wonderful truth and intensity by Mlle. Titiens.”  From London the singer made a tour of the provinces, where she repeated the remarkable successes of the capital.  At the various musical festivals, she created an almost unprecedented reputation in oratorio.  The largeness and dignity of her musical style, the perfection of a voice which responded to every intention of the singer, her splendor of declamation, stamped her as par excellence the best interpreter of this class of music whom England had heard in the more recent years of her generation.  Her fame increased every year, with the development of her genius and artistic knowledge, and it may be asserted that no singer, with the exception of Grisi, ever held such a place for a long period of years in the estimate of the English public.

III.

During the season of 1860 she added fresh laurels to those which she had already attained, and sang several new parts, among which maybe mentioned Flotow’s pretty ballad opera of “Martha” and Rossini’s “Semiramide.”  Her performance in the latter work created an almost indescribable sensation, so great was her singing, so strong and picturesque the dramatic effects which she produced.  One of the sensations of the season was Titiens’s rendering of “Casta Diva,” in “Norma.”  Though many great vocalists had thrilled the public by their rendering of this celebrated aria, no one had ever yet given it the power so to excite the enthusiasm of the public.  Mlle. Titiens performed also in the opera of “Oberon” for the first time, with great success.  But the piece de resistance of the season was Rossini’s great tragic opera.  “In Titiens’s Semiramide,” said a critic of the time, “her intellectuality shines most, from its contrasting with the part she impersonates—­a part which in no wise assists her; but, as in a picture, shadow renders a light more striking.  In the splendid aria, ’Bel Raggio,’ the solfeggi and fioriture that she lavishes on the audience were executed with such marvelous tone and precision that she electrified the house.  The grand duet with Alboni, ‘Giorno d’orrore,’ was exquisitely and nobly impressive from their dramatic interpretation of the scene.”

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