Queens of Song: Being Memoirs of Some of the Most Celebrated Female Vocalists who Have Performed on the Lyric Stage from the Earliest Days of Opera to the Present Time

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Harper & Brothers, 1865 - Opera - 543 pages
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Page 39 - Oh, ponder well ! be not severe ! the audience being much affected by the innocent looks of Polly, when she came to those two lines, which exhibit at once a painful and ridiculous image, For on the rope that hangs my dear, Depends poor Polly's life.
Page 38 - Opera," his Grace's observation was, " This is a very odd thing, Gay; I am satisfied that it is either a very good thing, or a very bad thing.
Page 464 - mezzo voice' was delightful. In the night -scene where Agatha, seeing her lover coming, breathes out her joy in rapturous song, our young singer, on turning from the window at the back of the stage to the spectators again, was pale for joy; and in that pale joyousness she sang with a burst of outflowing love and life, that called forth, not the mirth, but the tears of the auditors.
Page 467 - ... whole of Copenhagen was in raptures. Jenny Lind was the first singer to whom the Danish students gave a serenade : torches blazed around the hospitable villa where the serenade was given : she expressed her thanks by again singing some Swedish songs, and I then saw her hasten into the darkest corner and weep for emotion.
Page 20 - But that of a lion is too great a character for one that never trod the stage before but upon two legs. As for the little resistance which I made, I hope it may be excused, when it is considered that the dart was thrown at me by so fair a hand.
Page 23 - The great revolutions of this nature bring to my mind the distresses of the unfortunate Camilla, who has had the ill luck to break before her voice, and to disappear at a time when her beauty was in the height of its bloom. This lady entered so thoroughly into the great characters she acted, that when she had finished her part, she could not think of retrenching her equipage, but would appear in her own lodgings with the same magnificence that she did upon the stage.
Page 39 - The person who acted Polly, till then obscure, became all at once the favourite of the town; her pictures were engraved, and sold in great numbers; her life written, books of letters and verses to her published, and pamphlets made even of her sayings and jests. Furthermore, it drove out of England, for that season, the Italian opera, which had carried all before it for ten years.
Page 467 - Such a performance was given, and returned large proceeds. When she was informed of this, and that by this means a number of poor people would be benefited for several years, her countenance beamed, and the tears filled her eyes. 'It is, however, beautiful,' she said, 'that I can sing so.
Page 110 - Some of the more irascible among the gentlemen threatened to burst open the doors ; ' a measure,' says Dr. Burney, 'which, if adopted, would probably have cost many of the more feeble and helpless their lives, as they must, in falling, have been thrown down and trampled on by the robust and impatient part of the crowd.' However, except that some went in with ' disheveled hair and torn garments,' no real mischief seems to have been done. The spectacle was gorgeous. The King, Queen, and all the royal...
Page 204 - Werter, which had been performed at one of the minor theatres of Paris, and in which the sentimentality of Goethe's tale had been unmercifully ridiculed. The poet did not get over his mortification the whole evening ; and the fair singer's credit at the court of Weimar was sadly impaired by this display of her ignorance of the illustrious Goethe and the Sorrows of Werter.

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