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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, July 9, 1892

ARNOLDSON sings MOZART pure and simple


[Illustration: Cherubino takes the Chair at a small Meeting. A De Risky situation.]

Sir AUGUSTUS calm, impassible. Crisis. If no one turned up, he would act the part himself, and, it being Wagnerian music, the orchestra would play what of the part had to be played. At that moment lounged in Monsieur VAN DYCK, just to see how things were going on without him. "I'm a little hoarse to-night," quoth VAN DYCK, pleasantly. "Nonsense!" cries Sir DRURIOLANUS, cheerily, "a '_Van_' can never be a little hoarse." Much merriment. "DYCK, my boy," continues Sir D., "you've come in the very nick of time--quite a Devil's Dyke, you are,"--the accomplished vocalist was in ecstasies at his Manager's joke,--"and you shall distinguish yourself to-night as _Lohengrin_!" Oh, what a surprise! No sooner said than done. Armour for one ordered immediately. ISAAC of York Street goes to work, and--presto!--VAN DYCK is "ready in case." "Now," asks DRURIOLANUS, "what are we waiting for?"

"Please, Sir, Madame MELBA isn't here!"

"MELBA not here to play _Elsa_!" exclaims Sir DRURIOLANUS, immediately adding, with that wit which is always, like the British Tar, 'Ready, aye ready!'--"then we must get somebody Else Sir!" and scarcely had the words escaped his lips, than Madame NORDICA, who happened to be passing by, sang out in an extempore recitative, "_Me voici!_" "_Bravissima!_" cried Sir DRURIOLANUS. "Saved! Saved!" General dance of joy.

So the Curtain was rung up, and the Opera, with Madame NORDICA (_vice_ MELBA) as _Elsa_, and VAN DYCK (_vice_ Little JOHNNIE THE RISKY) as _Lohengrin_, made a big success. House crowded. All's well that ends as well as this.

[Illustration: Sir Druriolanus, M.P.(ressario) for Covent Garden.]

_Tuesday with Mozart._--What a good starting idea for a Comic Opera would be the notion of making those two types of knaves, _Leporello_ and _Figaro_, meet as counter-plotters. Monsieur MAUREL suggests a step in this direction, when one night he impersonates the gay Spanish Don, and on another he appears as the roguish Italian barber, no longer an intriguing bachelor but a jealous bridegroom. Merry Melodious MOZART! Old-fashioned he may be, like not a few of the best melodies and the best stories. Elegant Countess is Madame EMMA EAMES. Can she possibly ever have been _Rosina_, _Dr. Bartolo's_ tricky ward! What a change matrimony makes in some folks! Old _Dr. Bartolo_ bears not much resemblance to the other _Dr. Bartolo_, and _Don Basilio_, a kind of Ecclesiastical lawyer, is quite a rollicking wag as compared with the _Basilio_ of the Barber of Seville. Nothing could be better than the _Susanna_ of Mlle. TELEKI, or sweeter than the duet, heartily encored, between her and the _Countess_. EDOUARD DE RESZKE is a magnificent representative of the gloomily-jealous Count, who, having once been the gayest of the gay, still retains something of his old sly-boots character in private. He is always going wrong, and always being in the wrong when found out: a Count quite at a discount, for whom there will perhaps be no rest until he is "par." with a family. Needless to say, the part was well acted and sung by Brother NED, whom a gentleman near me, who "knew all about it," mistook for his brother JOHN, and criticised accordingly. As _Cherubino_, Mlle. SIGRID ARNOLDSON is a delightfully boyish scapegrace, giving us just that _soupcon_ of natural awkwardness which a spoilt sunny Southern lad of sixteen, brought up in such mixed society as is represented by _Count Almaviva's_ household, would occasionally show when more than usually "spoony." Mlle. ARNOLDSON sings MOZART pure and simple, without interpolating cadenzas, roulades, nourishes, or exercises of musical fireworks, and the audience rewarded her artistically simple rendering of "_Voi che sapete_" with an _encore_, which was as hearty as it was well-deserved. Capital House. Parliamentary musicians conspicuous by their absence. Ex-M.P.'s represented in a body by Sir H-NRY EDW-RDS the evergreen.


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