"THE HEALING OF NAAMAN"
The saored historical o»utata " Faith Trlamp'aaur, or the liea'lng of N^oimn " w?b giv> n In tho Oddfellows' Hall last event g. 'I he aorapndtton 1b not of striking orlgina i y— lndeed some of the numbara are atrongly suggestive of well known a'ra. • Still aom9 of the solon have a dramatlo po*er, and the choruses are as a rale effective .
The representation last night was somewhat uneven: Iran (th < Habrew prophet) wf-0 represented by Mr Flower, who though aoarcely in hta best voice, sustained the oharaoter with due appreciation of its Importance. The ''Storm" scena " A cloud is on tho mountain's brow," in the first part, and iho jealonß Interruption of Naainan'a song of thanksgiving by tho Syrlhn priest (a oharaoter also asoumed by Mr Fl wt) tn the aeooud part were very finely given. The p»t of Na%m»n, vrhl^ was taken by Mr Millar, la not altogether an enviable one, the majority of his ouoibara consisting of somewhat bald recitative, very trying to a singer who has not the odvaotngo of long experhnoe. Mr Millar, however, surmounted the difliculiiefl very creditably, giving a con* Boioptious rendering of the part, and the aoDg " Hail Plain of Damascus," and the song of thanksgiving, "Slow sing to Jehovah " were given with considerable effect. Mrs Flower sustained the character of the Wife of Naaman at a diaadvauta^ej the part being written for a soprano while her voice is contralto. An effort In attacking the higher notea oould not fail to be observable,but the Imperaonation eras atlll acceptable. The air "Te Gods hear joty appeal," and the rcoltatiye " Listen O Naaman " were among the most auooßßßfal of the pleoas allotted to Mrs Flower 'a pirt. Mrs Gamble as the Hebrew Maid gave an excellent Inter pretation of the part ; tho air " O Harp of my Fathers," whioh recurs In the seoood part, the ballad "In a Vala " and the song (( The Silver San of Night " were very sweetly and expressively sung. Miss Steal was over-weighted In the oharaoter • the Qaeen of Syria. She possesses a voloa of good compass and purity, bat her method is as yet too untutored to give dua effect to a character of suoh dignity. Mlbb Steel wsb mott successful In the river song "Abana the Light of Damascus;" whioh was loudly applauded. The concerted numbers were as a rale well rendered, tho quintette " O Thou Whose G'ory fills the Skies" bolus eapeclally effeotive* The chorea was uneven. The ohorua of Syrian prloata " Hall to the Conqueror" and some others went very flat; but "God Is our Refuge and Strength" with Iran, "The Lord relgnetb," and " The Oharlot ! The Obarlot 1 " were given In better style and with good effect. An orchestra consisting of vlollnß (Mr Fleming, leader), second violin, flute and cornet, with piano (Miss Kldd) and organ (Mlbb Murray) gave very great assistance to the effective rendering of the cantata. Though, as already premised, the production was not perfeot It was one which re fleoted much oredit upon those who took part In It, most of whom are members of the oholr of the Wesleyan Obotob. Mr Gamble, who conduoted the performance, has every ceaaon to be gratified at the reault of his efforlß to secure a worthy Interpretation of this cantata.
An appropriate interpolation (though it had the ; ffeot of challenging a comparison of Haydn's mueio with that of Root) was made following Naaman's song of Thanksgiving, "In Native Worth" with Us preoadmp recitative, being beautifully song by Mr Flower. Handel's ' Hallelujth" chorus waa suDg at the oonolusion of the cantata, before which, however, the Kev Mr Battle, pustor of the Church briefly thanked Mr Gamble and all who had taken part in the performance, as well as the public for their large attendance, And announced that the cantata would be repeated, probably on Monday, Aoguat 26 th.
The stage decorations are worthy of special notioe. The front of the proscenium was wreathed with evergreenn Bnl flowers, and the Btage was dreeaed with palms, treeferna, and other plants ia a most effeotlve and appropriate manner, The lady principals and chorus each carried fans ornamented with ferns or foHage, acd the whole appearacca of the Blago »nd 'ts cooupatits was very charmirg.
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"THE HEALING OF NAAMAN", Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2200, 15 August 1889
"THE HEALING OF NAAMAN" Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2200, 15 August 1889
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