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THE OPERA., Issue 7926, 6 June 1889
There was a large attendance in all parts of the theatre last night to witness the representation of ' Faust' by the Simonaen company, of whom it is only fair to say that they appeared to give general satisfaction, as the recognition of their efforts was both frequent and hearty. We confess that we think Mr Simonsen makes a mistake in undertaking works of this class, which tax the capacity of his forces beyond their legitimate strength. But in saying that we are willing to admit that they one and all do their best, and, working con amort,, achieve fairly satisfactory results, Miss Elsa May is afforded an opportunity, which she takes the fullest advantage of showing, what a conscientious and hard-working artist she is. She has an excellent conception of the character, exhibits more dramatic power than would naturally be looked for from one with such a petite figure, and it is needless to say was vocally perfect. In the garden scene she_ was particularly good, and sang ' The King of Thule ' and the jewel song with much taste and expression, while in the latter scenes, the brunt of which almost wholly fell on her, she achieved pronounced success, and fully deserved the applause that she received. Mr Shannon was the Faust, and it is no fault of his that the music of the part did not receive full justice. It is quite beyond him, but he manfully struggled with it, and acquitted himself fairly well in the concerted numbers. Miss .Seymour as Siebel looked well and sang her music nicely, while Miss Mackay's Martha would have been thoroughly satisfactory if she had made up a little less youthful. Mr Gainor's Valentine was in many respects a sterling performance. His two solos were well sung, and his powerful voico was heard to advantage more than once in the concerted music. The death scene was well managed, and he receivod a call for it. Mr England's Mephistopheles was in the same category as the Faust, but he did his best to make the opera go, and to that extent is entitled to a word of commendation. The orchestra was under tho experienced baton of Mr Simonsen, and the chorus went uniformly well. In the market scene the Mis6es Mackay and Cobb danced a pax deux, and the garden scene was an effective " set." The opera is announced for repetition this evening.
THE OPERA., Issue 7926, 6 June 1889
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