20 JULY 1844, Page 11


A SUDDEN hoarseness having attacked Moraxati and totally disabled him from singing on Thursday, Don Pasquale was substituted for Lee- crezia Borgia; and a numerous and tragically-disposed audience, who had come to sigh with the primo tenure, remained to laugh with Gum and LABLACHE. The exchange in the end proved not wholly unsatis- factory : there was a very determined resistance to merriment during the first act, but the grotesque LABLACHE persevered, and soon tin- masked a numerous battery of laughers in the pit, who long before the close of the opera kept up a strong fire, and the curtain descended amide* the usual demonstrations of satisfaction. " Any day may restore Mo. riani's tenor," the audience seemed to think, with much propriety ; "but no day will justify grumbling with our music when we have Lablache, Grisi' and Mario, and so pleasant an opera as Don Pasquale." The indisposition of MORIANI will not much surprise any nice ob- server of the manner in which he has played, and of the applause for which he has strained his thorax to the utmost limit. Hoarseness, loss of intonation, and even of voice itself, are the concomitants of undue physical exertion ; and a man who will utter superhuman shouts for the sake of plaudits, must expect to be sometimes dumb. MORIANI takes leave of us in good time ; for one reason among others, we believe, that he has gone the round of his parts. The " dying tenor," as they call him in Italy, must know music more effectually for his living. He has been commended for the simplicity of his style ; but his abstinence from roulade and fioritnre would have much more merit, in our opinion, if we were assured that he could command them. To his natural fine voice and ability as an actor we have already done justice ; but in the place of a first tenor at our Opera, we look for higher refinement, cul- tivation, and musicianship. Such is our revised judgment. The degree of a singer's cultivation cannot be concealed under an imposing voice, or utterly obscured by barren music. The true artist, and the quality and character of his studies, will find means to assert themselves. Thus, LABLACHE, feeling always at ease as a perfect musician, and rely ing on his power in that respect, is able to go to greater lengths as an actor than would be tolerated in an inferior. But in the midst of his buffoonery there is a certain truth to nature. What a commentary on a foolish old man's marriage is Don Pasquale! How musical, how entertaining, is LABLACHE as that antiquated and gulled bridegroom ! Whether he laughs, or cries, or blubbers, or faints, it is all to music. And Guist, the termagant wife who almost pokes out his eye with her fan, possesses the same alchemy, and invests all her comical impulses with the charm of harmony. Compared with these artists, Manic., who is but a singer, is cold; even FORNASARI shows to more advantage. The finest vocal performance the other night was the Quartet in the second act ; which was truly splendid. MARIO sang the Serenade well, though not with a strictly accurate intonation : he can scarcely yet be said to have recovered his voice.

The revival of the romantic ballet of Giselle, on les Wills, has en- abled FANNY ELSSLER to exert her unrivalled pantomimic powers. Those who have witnessed this personation of the lively village co- quette, whose passion for dancing transforms her into an unearthly sprite, doomed to dance eternally and lure men to destruction by her fascinations—a poetic adumbration of the career of a ballerine—will understand that it is possible for the mute eloquence of looks, gestures, and movements, to touch the feelings as well as to delight the eye and please the fancy. The change that comes over the merry girl who had playfully mocked her mother's fears of the Wili superstition, when her lover's deception is made known, is tragical in its effect: it is as if a blight had suddenly fallen upon her life and spirit. A brief delirium of excitement is succeeded by a stupor, in which her limbs move like those of an automaton. When she rises from her tomb a Wili-fiend, sent to ensnare her lover with baleful wiles, the mixture of malice in her tenderness and the involuntary impulse that compels her to pursue him are expressed in every action : her whole being seems changed ; yet the mortal yearnings are visible in the demoniac pur- pose. This is the triumph of choregraphic art ; in which the feet of the dancer are scarcely less significant of meaning than the face. Per- sonal gifts and graces are united with the refinements of a difficult art to produce an effect upon the mind as well as the senses. FANNY ELSSLER'S Girdle is as complete and vivid a conception as was the Sonnambula of MALIBRAN or the Tancredi of PASTA ; and it is such consummate artists who teach us that singing and dancing are alike media fdr conveying poetical ideas to the mind.