The critics are of one mind in declaring that last night's performance of ' Maritana' was in every respect superior to that of the previous evening. The audience recognised the improvement from the very first, and cordial," though not indiscriminate, applause was bestowed throughout the entertainment. Miss Elsa May was heartily encored for her charming singing of' Scenes that are brightest'—a compliment, by the way, that should not have been persisted in, seeing that the vocalist was evidently wearied with that and previous efforts in a particularly heavy part; Mr Walshe was compelled to repeat ' Let me like a soldier fall,' which he sang with a vigor reminding one of the best Don Cresara we have had here; and Mr Gainor's exceptionally good interpretation of Don Josh's music reached its climax in his singing of 'Now my courage,' which tho audience insisted on hearing again. Nor must we omit referring to Mr England's work as the King. This gentleman scored an unequivocal success in 'Hear me, gentle Maritana,' and maintained his part in the famous duet in the third act—that with Don Jose—in a manner that was creditable even by comparison with the performance of any of his predecessors in Dunedin. The chorus, too, worked well, and of this hard-worked contingent of the company it may be said to their credit that they have taken a praiseworthy departure in comporting themselves when on the stage as though they were really concerned in the action of the opera, instead of being placed there merely t9 giggle among themselves and make eyes at the audience. The orchestra's playing was rather uneven, but the audience were very much pleased with the solo work assigned to the leading violin, the cornet, and the clarionet. On tho whole, last night's performance, if not pretentious, was such as to show that the company, when at its best, is capable of giving a pleasing interpretation of such a work a3 ' Maritana,' and in saying this we designedly leave it to be inferred that in our opinion the players will not be overtaxed during the remainder of the season. We were pleased to notice that there was a large audience in all parts of the house.
' Madame Angot' is to be produced this evening. It is an opera with which Mr Simonsen has a close acquaintance, and it may be therefore taken for granted that his company will be well prepared for the work.
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THE OPERA., Evening Star, Issue 7914, 23 May 1889
THE OPERA. Evening Star, Issue 7914, 23 May 1889
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