Madame Fiorentini repeated the part of Norma on Tuesday, with
more effect than on her first appearance. Being evidently more at ease, her performance had less of the constraint and nervousness of a debutante. She seemed anxious to succeed where before she had comparatively failed, and brought out with more sustained force and energy the stern and
• terrible features of the character ; though we are inclined to think that the soft and sweet cast of her youthful beauty disqualifies her at present (a happy disqualification after all) from being a perfect representative of • the Druid priestess. Her voice, not often equalled in quality, is able to meet with ease the utmost demands of passionate expression. Her musi- cal readings are generally marked with intelligence and propriety; though now and then, as is the case with most singers, the evident sense of a vocal phrase is sacrificed to display. A long-sustained and finely- swelled high note is often a great beauty ; and being, right or wrong, a never-failing claptrap, is a temptation difficult to resist. But if Madame Fiorentini will reflect for a moment, she will find that her holding for nearly half a minute the note on the word " Io !" in the last scene is a complete swab-soon& Norma has declared that a priestess has broken her vows. "Who is the guilty one ? " demands the venerable high priest ; and she answers, " I !" Let the actress consider the feelings with which
• the highminded woman, crushed with shame and despair, would natu- rally gasp out such a confession, and she will utter the terrible mono- syllable in a very different manner. Were the word an expression of triumph or lofty confidence—as in the famous " Io ! " of Medea—such a delivery of it would be appropriate ; but in the case of Norma nothing can be less so : besides, there is nothing in the composer's score to suggest or justify it. Want of sufficient attention to these things, on the musical • stage, often spoils the dramatic truth and effect of the finest singing. Her Majesty's Theatre closes tonight, with an entertainment of monster dimensions, and likely to encroach upon tomorrow morning. Among other things, the new prima donna is to sing Agatha's scena from the Freischntz, and a Spanish ballad in national costume. It is understood that Mr. Lumley has engaged her for three years ; a wise foresight. It has also been announced that Lablache has renewed his engagement for three years ; and that Sontag returns to us next season.