THE Royal visit to the Italian Opera, on Thursday, was quite an event of the season as well as of the week : this being the first occasion of Queen VICTORIA honouring "her Majesty's Theatre" by coming in state. The preparations for the reception of the Queen and Prince were of the most complete and sumptuous description. Six boxes were appropriated to the Royal party ; the Queen's box, having a pro- jecting balcony and canopy of crimson and purple velvet fringed with gold and silver, formed the centre of a superb facade, the pilasters and cornices carved and gilt ; the whole surmounted by an imperial crown, and lighted by a massive chandelier. The hangings of the interior were of pale blue silk ; the staircase and ante-rooms were also fitted up in the most costly and elegant style ; and a profusion of fresh flowers diffused fragrance through the suite of rooms. At half-past seven, the Yeomen took their stations beneath the Royal box, of which they seemed the living pillars ; and shortly after the Queen and her Consort entered the house. The coup-d'wil at this moment was very animating; the whole of the immense area became suddenly alive with peo- ple ; the occupants of the boxes advancing to the front, the pit and galleries rising en masse ; and the stage being covered with the performers and others up to the back, where the corps de ballet were grouped. All eyes were of course directed to the Queen ; who acknowledged the warm but not vociferous welcome of the house by repeated curtesies : and the national anthem was sung in better style than usual ; PERSIANI giving the first and GRISI the last verse•in.sqlo, the principal vocalists singing the middle verse in harmony. 11 Bar- biere was the opera ; and the acting of this sprightly musical comedy was almost equal to the singing : this gave to the whole performance an air of gayety and ease that was perfectly delightful ; the most finished vocalization appeared to be a spontaneous result of the situation of the moment. Between the acts, FANNY ELSSLER and CEnrro danced a pas de deux, in which each vied with the other in her own peculiar style ; FANNY &SOLER executing fioriture with her feet in triple time upon the points of her toes, and CERITO bounding above the stage like a sylph caught in a whirlwind. The balletof Ondine followed ; in which CEarro, as the heroine, had the field to herself; though GUY STEPHAN, the mortal rival of the Naiad, came in for a due share of the applause. The curtain fell shortly after midnight ; and the national anthem being again sung, the Queen and Prince took their departure, amid very enthusiastic,
cheering. The house was not so fully attended as had been expected ; there were several boxes and stalls vacant on the same side as the Royal box, and even the pit was not densely crowded. Neither did the au- dience include the most brilliant assemblage of rank and fashion ; many of the subscribers having declined to retain their boxes and stalls, on account of the very large sums asked for them on this occasion. The throng of people on the side opposite the Royal box, and the compara- tive vacancy of the other, gave one the idea of a huge vessel with its living freight pitched by the waves to the lee-side.
A new ballet is said to be in preparation for FANNY ELMER. late as it is in the season. She is the only premiere danseuse who has not bad the opportunity of " creating " a new part this season ; and her fine pan- tomimic powers, no less than her great popularity, demand such a tribute to her merits. But there is no time to lose ; for not even FANNY ELM:ILEA would prevail against the approach of grouse-shooting !