1 JANUARY 1831, Page 20


AT the commencement of a new year, we feel disposed to take a cursory glance at our Musical prospects and projects. There is not much to excite any extraordinary expectation—no new PASTA or MALIBRAN to burst upon us, no new ROSSINI to dazzle or Hum- MEL to delight Us; and we seem disposed, at present, to remain in a state of unusual inertness. Drury Lane started with three mu- sical directors,—Bistiop, Cowls, and LEE; but all the note of preparation which such an arrangement proclaimed, has ended in a remodelling of the orchestra, and an effective performance of introductory and act music. Opera, at this house, seems fairly laid asleep. BRAHAM and PATON are wandering about the country,—the former singing at a miserable, tenth-rate perform- ance of Sacred Music at Bath ; the latter we know not where VESTRIS is about to sustain the novel character of Manager of the Olympic! Miss INVERARITY'S success at Covent Garden will compel the managers of that theatre to bestir themselves. With- out any previous puffing, she has excited, an extraordinary degree of public attention, and her next character will be looked for with no inconsiderable interest. We had hoped it would have been Reiza ; but, we understand, there are doubts as to the capabilities of the present vocal strength of the company to supply a Sir Huon or a Fatima. In old times, Mandane or. Rosetta would have been among the first, if not the very first characters of a young prima donna ; but we question whether the contrast between ROSSINI and ARNE would not now be too strong. Per- haps Susanna would be the best part, under all circumstances, for her. Unless we are much mistaken, she is worthy to attack MO- ZART. One thing is certain, that opera must be a principal feature at Covent Garden during the remainder of the season; and we confidently anticipate something excellent under its present mu- sical director.

Of the King's Theatre nothing -has transpired, except the engage- ment of RusiNt, a tenor of considerable reputation. PASTA and MALIBRAN are spoken of as each likely to appear for a part of the season; the manager laying his account with empty benches for the remainder.

We spoke of the Philharmonic last week, and this is the bright- est spot in the musical horizon. We anticipate a season of acti-. tivity and of good music—a return to the good times of its youth. It is understood that the Oratorios at Drury Lane will be under • Burtch:0s management : a judicious arrangement on the part of the manager, and one of promise for the public. Whether any will be given at Covent Garden, is yet undetermined. The Committee of the Royal Academy of Music intend giving Sacred Concerts on the Fridays during Lent, at the Hanover Square Rooms. If they engage competent performers, and select their music judiciously, their scheme may succeed ; but if they mean to enter the lists with the occupants of the same room on the Wednesday nights, and merely string together a few common- places of HANDEL,—if the public are to be indulged with "Angels ever bright, and fair" by Miss CHILDE, and" 0 had I Jubal's lyre" by Miss BROMLEY,—they will assuredly fail. There is a wide and ample field in which they may range at large, fet- tered by no absurd rules or musty precedents. The sacred music of HAYDN, MOZART, BEETHOVEN, HUMMEL, CHERUBIM, and SPOHR, is almost unknown and unheard in the metropolis. To this bright constellation their view should be directed. The poor Ancient Concert, it is announced, from authority, will go on " as usual." We do not doubt it. With an Archbishop and a few Peers for Directors, how should it go on otherwise ? We exposed the forlorn decrepitude, the miserable jobbing, and the utter worthlessness of this once admirable Concert, last year, and predicted its speedy extinction. It has obtained a reprieve : the clemency of King WILLIAM has been invoked, and he has good-naturedly given it a " space for repentance." The Royal name will fill the list of subscribers, the Royal presence will cause the deserted benches to be reoccupied; and the same effect would follow were similar patronage to be extended to MICHAEL BOAI or Punch ; but the thing itself will remain the same, or rather go on from bad to worse. The conductor will be Mr. GREATOREX ; the principal singers—Miss STEPHENS, Miss JOHNSON, Mrs. KNYVETT, Messrs. KNYVETT, VAUGHAN, BELLAMY, PHILLIPS, and SALE; the persons who are to make the musical selections and arrangements—the Archbishop of YORK, the Duke of CUM- BERLAND, and Lord DARNLEY.

Such appear to be our musical prospects for the coming season. They are not very exhilarating; and it is pretty clear, that if the public attention is to be excited, it must be by combined exertion, directed to some important object. No individual will, this year, absorb all the interest and all the conversation. There will be lei- sure to do something for the art, if the opportunity is properly im- proved. But, probably, this is rather to be desired than expected.