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ENTERTAINMENTS.

MADAME MELBA. LAST NIGHT'S CONCERT. When Madam© Melba sings as she did last night critioism is out of the question. Never has her golden voice been heard in the concert hall to better advantage. She had a large and enthusiastic audience, a fine hall to sing in, and an excellent accompanist, and, eeeniing to forget that she was not in the precincts of a theatre, she delivered her three great numbers, "Ah, fors c lvi," the "Aye Maria" from "Otello," and the "Mad Scene" from "Lucia," with a. dramatic foroe and power that electrified her hearers. If we were to make a choice we should say that her singing of the "Aye Maria" as an example of dignified restraint and fine vocalisation, perhaps surpassed the rest. But the three excerpts arc hardly comparable. "Ah, fors c lvi" was marked by its wonderful realism, and the "Mad Scene" was notable for the marvellous way in which she showed what can be ■done with the human voice. Never once was there any forcing of that wonderful organ — perfect command over breathing, coupled with the lovely quality of the voice, triumphed over every difficulty. It was the art of singing at its best. The writer has heard Madame Melba sing in many countries, and at many times, but never heard her sing better than she did last n'ght. As to encores she was more than kind. "Le Roi D'ye" (Lalo), Tosti's "GoodBye," "Conim 1 thro' the Rye" (double encore), and "Se Saran Rose" (L'Arditl), were sung as only Melba can sing such songs, to the great delight of the audience. Mr. Frederick Ranalow has a fine bass voice, which he knows how to use, but his choice of songs, which inclined to the sickly sentimental, cannot be commended. The music was quite on a par with the songs. His admirers should, much like to hear Mr. Ranalow sing really good works, because they are sure he would do justice to them. Ballads such as "I hear you calling me" (Marshall), and "Because" (Guy D'Hardelot), no matteT how well sung (and they were excellently sung), are not worthy of such an excellent artist. Mr. Ranalow was encored every time, and responded with "The dear little Irish Girl" (Lohr), "Song of a Button" (Ronald), and "If all tho Young Maidens" (Lohr). Miss Una Bourne played the piano extremely well. Of her two nieces the Liszt Rhapsodic was better than the ■Polonaise in A flat (Chopin). This lady has great powers- of execution., and at times a beautiful singing touch which was very noticeable in a charming encore piece of her own which ehe played. Mr. Lemmone's solo was a tour de iorce for the Sate, and fixquisitelv played, but as music it was not of great account. His accompanying of Madame Melba in the "Mad Scene" was such as one would expect of such an artist. One word as to encores. The artists were more than kind in the way they responded to calls for encores, but is it fair on, the artists themselves that they should be expected to sing again after every song? Especially is this the caso with Madame Melba, who even gave a double encore. Audiences should have some consideration for their favourites. It can truly be said that this was a notable concert, and will long remain in the memories of those who listened with understanding, as a treat not qftei, vouchsafed to a Wellington audience. OPERA HOUSE. "THE DAIRYMAIDS." Under conditions picturesque to make an unsophisticated city-dweller long to hie him to the country and spend the remainder of his life in the interests of the gentle art of butter-making, The Dairymaids," at the Opera HtSuse, continue to amuse large audiences. Last evening they sang, and danced, and posed, and made nierry in whole-hearted fashion, while W. S. Percy, Andrew Higginson, Reg Roberts, and C. Bantock fooled delightfully. Miss Florence i'oung's songs were sweetly sung, Miss Fanny Dango throughout acted and warbled prettily, and the remainder of the many dairymaids played well up to the principals. Mr. D. O'Connor's song in the last act was tunefully given, and well deserved the recall. As a mirthprovoker "The Dairymaids" is worth attention. ' "The Girls of Gottenberg" will replace "The Dairymaids" on Friday and Saturday— the last nights of the season. It comes with a splendid reputation. THEATRE EOYAL. "The /Broken Home," a drama of sorrow, illumined at intervals by mirth, was again presented at the Theatre Royal last night, by the Geach Dramatic Company. On Thursday and Friday evenings the company will produce "East Lynne," Mrs. Henry Wood's well-known novel, in a new dramatised version. ROYAL PICTURES. There was a large attendance at His Majesty's last evening to witness the farewell presentation of last week's programme. To-night the weekly rhange eventuates, when a new collection of films, just arrived from England, will be shown. Those include a fairy story, entitled "The Blue Legend," "The Schoolboy's Revenge," "The General's Fiancee," scenic views of Moscow and Sweden," "'Turtle Catching," and "Shark Fishing." Seats for the Royal Pictures can be booked at Abel's. The result of the Mayoral election will be thrown on the screen. FULLERS' "SINGING PICTURES."' Next Saturday night Messrs. Fuller and Sons will resume again at the Theatre Royal, at popular prices, their always attractive picture entertainment, the star attraction being the first appearance here, per the cinephone, of the celebrated Scotch comedian, Mi. Harry Lander, who will be seen on the screen and sing, per the cinephone, "She's ma Daisy" and *'l love a bassia." When these two items were presented for the first time in Christchurch, the audience took the usual course of insisting on them being repeated. Messrs. Fuller have succeeded in collecting some fine new films, all of which will be shown for the first time on Saturday. Elgar Collins's orchestra has been engaged. The box plan is now open at the Dresden. "TWO LITTLE SAILOR BOYS." A new drama, "Two Little Sailor Bnys," is to be staged at the Wellington Opera House, by the 'Meynell and Gunn Company on (Monday evening next, 3rd May. The author of tho play is Mr. Walter Howarde, who also wrote "Her Lovs Against the World," "The Midnight Wedding," and "Two Little Drummer Boys." "Two Little Sailor Boys." is said to be a fine dramatic creation, full of bright and humourous incidents, thrilling and sensational effects. The loading members of the cowpany aye Miss Lillian 'Meyers and Miss Beatrice Holloway, .Mr. Herbert J. Bentley. Mr. Stanford and »Ir. J. B. Atholwood are also in the ca6t. The plot is paid to be novel, thrilling, and convincing, and the 1 inteiett is kept at n liifjh pitch right to the finish- Tbe staging and mounting will bo special fea-

tures of the production, which will be staged under the sole direction of Mr. C. R. Stanford. The box-plan is open at the Dresden, and early door tickets may be obtained at Abel's tobacconist shop. ROLLER SKATING. Roller skating will be available for its devotees on and after Monday next, ' when the Ingestre-street Rink will open > for the season under the management of ■ Mr. F. S. Yates. The floor is being strengthened, planed, and promises to . be in better order than has been the ] case for some ( years past. -ur. Yates has imported a large quantity of skates, j which can be hired or purchased at the option of patrons. Altogether the prospeots for a successful season are : very bright, and all who visit the rink, ; whether skaters or spectators, snould be able to obtain the maximum of amusement at a minimum of expense.

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Bibliographic details

ENTERTAINMENTS., Evening Post, Volume LXXVII, Issue 99, 28 April 1909

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1,272

ENTERTAINMENTS. Evening Post, Volume LXXVII, Issue 99, 28 April 1909

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