« ForrigeFortsett »
rising harmonist of great merit ; but,
ENGLISHI OPERA. notwithstanding this advantage, the Vintagers was performed but four On the 26th of June, under a lie nights.
cence granted by the Lord ChamberOn the 7th of September, a little lain, Mr Arnold opened for the suminterlude in one act, called the Day mer the large theatre at the Lyceum after the Wedding, was acted for the in the Strand, for the representation first time at this theatre. It is taken of English operas, by which are unfrom a French comedy, entitled La derstood every sort of opera performFemme Coleré, and was first produ- ed at the regular theatres, without be. ced by Mrs Charles Kemble for hering reduced to the necessity, as is benefit. The git of it is to shew how otherwise the case, of throwing the lovers in their courtship deceive each dialogue into recitative. Since the other, and discover their mistake on- Drury-Lane company had quitted ly when the knot is tied, and it is too their house, on the 10th of June, Mr late. Lady Freelove, (Mrs Gibbs) Arnold had greatly improved the inwho was all honey before the wed- terior of the theatre, by re-painting ding, is converted by the ceremony the box.fronts, by widening the aveinto pure gall. Freelove, (Mr Jones) nues, and by turning the panorama her husband, seeing this temper, of Saint Petersburgh, which used to which he had not before suspected, be exhibited at the Lyceum, picture pretends to be ten times more irrita- and all, into a saloon, illuminated by ble, by which feint, like Petruchio, a brilliant chandelier, and covered by he works the cure of his Katherine. a balloon awning. The theatre openThe scene was well acted on both ed with a new comic opera, written parts.
by the manager, called Up all Night, On the 15th of September, the or the Smugglers' Cave, and Mr theatre closed as usual, Mr Young D’Egville's old ballet of Love in a performing the office of returning to Tub. The following dramatis perthe public the thanks of the proprie. sone will give an idea of the strength tors, for a season, the profits of which of the company, since the opera was were about 30001.
so contrived as to bring them all into play:
We consider this opera, squared, as sisted of Mr D'Egville, master, and it necessarily was, to the capacities of his six female pupils, Monsieur Bourthe company, cut according to Mr din, Mademoiselle Lupino, and Mas. Arnold's cloth, decidedly the best ter Noble. production of this author's pen. The The opera of the Russian Imposaction goes on smoothly, and the
in- tor is ascribed to the pen of Mr Henry terest is supported throughout. The Siddons. The plot of the piece is serious songs are tolerably written; founded upon an historical fact which and Mr Dowton's comic one is the took place in the reign of Catherine production of Mr James Smith. The II. ; and we believe the drama to be. dialogue is not altogether destitute immediately taken from a little French of humour ; and if it does not possess piece, called Le Faux Alexis. The any very great beauties, is at least opera was not without interest; and free from glaring faults. The music was got up in excellent Russian cosof the piece is the production of Mr tume; but the music, which was by M. P. King; and, though seldom Mr Addison, was decidedly inferior original, is always correct, and some. to all former compositions of the times very pleasing. The vocal English opera. The Russian Impos. strength of the company was not tor met with a good deal of success, mean; and considerable interest was but by no means an equal run with given to the English Opera by the Up all Night. introduction to London of Mr Phi. On the 7th of August, the Duenlipps, from Dublin, a singer of very na was got up for the sake of remellifluous voice and scientific taste, storing, to a London audience, Mr who made himself popular, by the Quick, the original Isaac Mendoza. grace with which he sung a beauti. Upwards of sixty years of age, his ful rondo in the piece, called " Sighi powers must necessarily be impaired; not for love." His cadences, how- and, though he occasionally elicited ever, are too servilely copied from sparks of former genius, we do not Mr Braham. Mr Philipps is an actor consider his return to the stage a of more spirit than most singers ; and prudent step for his reputation. seems to plume himself not a little Judging of Mr Quick's Isaac Menupon the accomplishment. Mr Horn doza, as if it had been the performis a singer of less pretensions ; but he ance of a novice, we should have call. is a good musician, and is never heard cd it a dry unamusing piece of acting. with displeasure. The opera met Mr Philipps' Carlos and Mrs Moun. with a success, which induced the tain's Clara were excellent performmanager not to interrupt its nightly ances. Mr Philipps gave our farun till the 22d of July, when a new vourite old airs with a chasteness and opera, entitled the Russian Impostor, sweetness peculiar to himself, and we or the Siege of Smolensko, was pro- were glad to see him of the opinion, duced. But the ballet of Love in a that good music “is, when unaTub had been first, on the 5th of dorned, adorned the most." July, exchanged for Mr Dibdin se- On the 28th of August, Mr Theo. nior's burletta of Poor Vulcan, and, dore Hook produced a hasty opera, on the 20th, for a ballet, called the called Safe and Sound, of which the Nabob, or the Indian Lovers. The story is founded on the severe edict corps de ballet of this company con. of Frederick the Second against duel
lists in his army. The ground-work gested characters. The music of the of the piece was bad, and the edifice opera was composed by the author's still worse. The dialogue consisted father, and bore the marks of almost almost wholly of old jokes ; and the as little pains and study as the words. entire production bore the appear- On the 20th of September, the ance of shameful neglect. To say theatre closed for the season, thanks nothing of himself, Nr Hook does being returned by Mr Raymond, the not do justice to the actors, when he stage manager. sets before them such crude, undi
We know not how far we shall be signed by the patentees, Lord Mel. held justifiable, in making the metro. ville and the Duke of Buccleuch :polis of Scotland an exception from
Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron. our general rule, which excludes from
Right Hon. Lord Advocate. critical notice any theatres save those Right Hon. Lord Provost of Edinof London. But, independently of burgh. its claims upon us in other respects,
Right Hon. Robert Dundas, of Mel. we trust it will be admitted, that
ville. the city so proudly distinguished by
Sir P. Murray, of Auchtertyre, Bart. its eminence in philosophy, science,
Sir John Hay, of Haystown, Bart.
Mr Solicitor General, poetry, and criticism, may impart to
Dean of Faculty. its theatre a consequence of charac- Gilbert Innes, Esq. ter not unworthy of notice in a work David Hume, Esq. like this, and raising it above all the Walter Scott, Esq. provincial establishments, to an intel. William Erskine, Esq. lectual rivalry even with the theatres Henry Mackenzie, Esq. of the sister metropolis.
Some disputes and difficulties haIn the present year, 1809, the ving arisen with the proprietors of term of the old patent expired, and the theatre hitherto used, respecting with it, the management of the family the terms of rent or purchase, Mr of the late Mr Jackson and Mr Rock. Siddons was under the necessity of The situation of manager was offer- engaging the extensive rooms erected ed to public competition, upon a lease by Mr Corri for his musical performof five years ; and, among various ances, for the purpose of converting offers, the proposals of Mr Henry them into a temporary theatre, until Siddons were at length accepted as a new one could be built, of a magni. the most eligible, by the following tude and character better suited to gentlemen, to whom the patent is as- the population and taste of this city. *
This at least was the intention when the arrangements between Messrs Sid. dons and Corri were first entered upon; but since then, we believe the design has been abandoned, as Mr Siddons has very lately concluded terms of purchase with VOL. II. PART II.
To the new manager the people consequently, from the mansion to the of Edinburgh felt themselves entitled mousetrap, all is Gothic. The Gothic to look, with justifiable expectation is so picturesque, so beautiful, and so of being gratified by an improve- sublime !-So it is,-in proper situament in the selection and style of tions, and upon proper occasions ; their public entertainments. The but fashion, though originally the great fame of his mother, to whose offspring of taste, is also the most sublime talents we have ever paid the dangerous corrupter of it; it is an tribute of enthusiastic admiration, unnatural child, and is eternally enwas a passport to our good opinion; deavouring to destroy the existence and the report of his own professional and usurp the throne of the parent to reputation, together with his known whom it owes its birth. True taste, literary habits, confirmed that warm founded on a correct knowledge of and respectful welcome with which human associations, seizes and applies we gladly received the son of Mrs such circumstances only as harmoSiddons.
nize with, and increase the expression Mr Nasmyth, an artist of consider- of, genuine character ; fashion exalts able celebrity as a landscape painter, some single excellence to a capricious had been chosen as architect, to de- reputation, and, disregarding nature sign and superintend the alterations and propriety, extends it to all subwithin the walls of Corri's rooms ; .jects upon
all occasions. Taste stuand, from his taste and talents, the dies original intention, and improves utmost elegance and propriety were characteristic capabilities. Fashion cxpected. The work was carried on mingles heterogeneous expressions, with unusual rapidity, and on Tues- unites anomalies, and combines disday, the 14th of November, 1809, cordancies.—Upon these principles the new theatre was opened to the pub. we condemn the artist who erects a lic with the performance of Tobin's Gothic theatre; who, when constructcomedy of « The Honey-Moon," "ing a place where the mind wishes to and the farce of “ Fortune's Frolic.” unbend from the serious pursuits and
The first aspect of the house oc- important duties of life, compels us, casioned universal disappointment. by the style of his building, continuThe whole decorations were Gothic, ally to recall the solemn feelings conand strongly partook of the dark and nected with the gloom of monastic sombre hue, which that style never piles, and the melancholy reflections fails to communicate, and is indeed inspired by the monuments of antiintended to communicate. For this quity. To carry on the absurdity
obvious reason, we must decidedly of effect, the scene painter had cho. object to that style of architecture in sen, or had been directed to chuse, places appropriated to public amuse for the subject of the scene which is ments ; its associated character in the lowered between the acts, (which is mind being assuredly the reverse of technically called the drop scene) the entertainment and enjoyment. We ruins of Melrose Abbey, with all its are aware that fashion has given to accompaniments of saints, tombs, and the Gothic its imposing sanction, and frowning martyrs ! Mr Scott, by the the proprietors of the old building, to which he returns after it tas undergone suite able enlargements, alterations, and amendments. The term of Mr Siddons's lease has also been lengthened to the full duration of the patent, to wit, twenty-one years
celebrity which he has attached to ty with which the successful novelthat venerable pile, was probably the ties of London have been brought be. unconscious cause of this vile jumble; fore the Edinburgh audience, and but Mr Scott's abbey is in its proper for the continual succession of the place. So strongly and constantly first talents in every department of did the impropriety of these things the profession which the kingdom strike the public, that, in deference possesses. to general opinion, and in conformity At the head of the performers who with better taste, the house was re. appeared on our stage for the first painted during its first vacation, and time, must undoubtedly be placed Mr the Gothic has given place to the Gre. Terry; an actor of very comprehencian character: we still, however, sive and very eminent talents. He think fit thus to notice its original has successfully exhibited his powers deformity, and let our protest against in tragedy, comedy, pantomime, and it remain as a conscientious, though farce; and, with the exception of lo.feeble effort, against the recurrence, vers, fine gentlemen, and vocal heroes, here and elsewhere, of similaroffences. there is scarcely a class of characters
Among the company (a very re- in the range of the drama, some one spectable one) with which Mr Sid. of which he does not fill with excel. dons commenced his season, were se- lence. His figure is not striking, veral worthy of particular notice. though muscular and active ; but he
Of Mr Siddons himself we have has a powerful voice, an expressive already given an account in our last countenance, and an intellect eminentyear's Register, and hold it needlessly clear, vigorous, and discriminating. now to say more, than that a more Quick to perceive, and eminently constant observation of his perform- happy in conveying, the true meanances leads us to accede to its truth. ing of his author, Mr Terry's most
As a manager, Mr Siddons has striking characteristic is intellectual shewn himself entitled to the warmest vigour ; vigour not wasted in verbal commendation and respect of the pub- criticism or doubtful innovation, but lic. With a sufficient attention to exhibited in a luminous, consistent, that popular taste which demands and identical display of general chashew at the expense of sense, and by racter, and an unerring attention to which, in spite of the condemnation, those minute particulars, by which real or affected, that is continually the most assimilating parts are, or fulminated against it, the profits of a ought to be, discriminated. In tratheatre are best served, he has, at gedy, bis merit is equal in those the same time, furnished food in a- characters which exhibit the strong bundance for the classical critic, such workings of a powerful mind, or the as the most fastidious taste might deepest tortures of an agonized heart. approve, and the purest enjoy. Of But his grief is best when it is rehis splendid and careful revival of se- quired to be vehements the tone of veral of Shakespeare's plays, and of his feelings is ardent and impassionmany of our most sterling come- ed ; and we do not see the full effect dies, and of the production of some of his powers, unless when his grief original pieces, we willingly speak in is exasperated to frenzy, or combined terms of high praise. Our commen. with the darker shades of guilt, redations are due also to the celeri. morse, or despair. In the display of