THE GERMAN OPERA.
OUR notices of the Opera-house proceedings have been brief and meagre this season ; but the fault is not with us. We have had lite- rally nothing to exercise our calling upon. Threadbare operas and third-rate singers are but slender materials for this purpose, and such only we have had. Better are now within our reach, and more are at hand. LAPORTE'S German campaign began on Thursday, at the King's Theatre, with the opera of Der Freischiitz. The German Opera was not last year, nor will it be just at present, a place of fashionable resort ; and the unfashionable are not ac- customed to pay seven shillings for an evening's entertainment at a theatre. The pit, which was crowded last year at the first representation of Der Freischiitz, had scarcely one hundred occu- pants when the curtain rose on Thursday night. M. LAPORTE, like some Chancellors of the Exchequer, will find that an increase of duty does not always secure a corresponding augmentation of revenue.
The Orchestra consisted, as far as we could see, without excep- tion of the performers at the Italian Opera; and they were under the able guidance of HUMMEL. We recognized in the Chorus many of the same faces as appeared last year, with an addition of about one third to the aggregate number. This reinforcement was unnecessary; especially as some of the recruits have not been well trained, and sung occasionally in very wretched tune. The principal singers are, except NINA SONTAG, all new to this country. Madame PIRSCHER and Herrn BINDER and B Lumis are artists of repute from the Berlin and Vienna Theatres. Madame PIRSCHER was the Agatha; and, of course, is the prima donna of the company. She is a very delightful singer. To those who have beard her rival queen of the Italian Opera, Signora BoccA- BADATI, we cannot better describe her than by saying that she is in all respects the opposite of that lady. Her voice is clear, rich, well-toned, and well-tuned. She sings, as her countrywomen in general do, steadily and correctly. No monkey tricks, no foolish display, no tinsel, no running up and down the scale, no shrieking. and squalling; but sound, good singing. The Italians will say at once that she can't sing,—meaning thereby, that she rigidly and scrupulously adheres to the text of her author, and depends for her effects solely upon the perfect development of what he has written. Her singing will wear well, we feel assured. It grew upon us during the evening, and will continue to do so by repeated hearing. She wants the passion of ScHROEDER, and her execu- tion lacks brilliancy ; but in other respects she perfectly satisfied us. NINA SONTAG is a clever and improving singer; but not equal to Miss SCHNEIDER, whose place she supplies. BINDER was the Max: and he, too, is inferior in every respect to HAIT- ZINGER. His voice wants power and brilliancy, and his style is feeble. We have never heard any singer who approached BR A.HAM in the delivery of the celebrated scene " Durch die Walder, durch die Men ;" and BINDER was at an immeasurable distance below hizn. His introduction of a wretched air of the MERCADANTE school into the part, was an instance of bad taste, for which he was justly reproved by some of the audience. Herr BLUME is far superior to any of our Caspars. His performance was full of energy, both as regards acting and singing. We suspect that he would make a first-rate Don Juan. The other performers have so little to do in this opera, that it would be unfair to venture an estimate of their powers. Koc KERT, who played the Ranger, has a powerful and well-toned bass, and sustained his part very satisfactorily.