7 APRIL 1832, Page 15


THE opera of Olivo e Pasquale, which we briefly noticed last Sa- turday night, was repeated on Tuesday. The libretto states it to be the composition of DONIZETTI ; and if " composition " mean the appropriation of the hackneyed motivos of another writer, with few and unimportant changes—if it be intended to designate mere compilation, then, and only then, is the term correctly used. Of original thought it contains not a particle, but is, from first to last, a mere slavish copy of ROSSINI. Mr. MASON has now produced a serious and a comic opera of the modern Italian school, and we are bound to believe that they are the best he could find. We are told that these compositions are popular at Naples : we have no doubt of the fact—they are fresh evidences of that alien and de- graded state of the Italian opera, of' which the indications are too abundant. The manager may be censured for his selections, but, with his present singers, he has no alternative. With the excep- tion of Madame DE MERIC, the extent of their musical know- ledge is the power of singing this kind of trash. Musicians they are not, but machines, that have acquired a sort of knack which, more or less, every Italian possesses, of executing certain phrases and passages. With such means, the performance of a classical opera is out of the question. Such singers as PIOZZI, ARNAUD, G. GALL!, MARIANI, and CASTELLI (the singers of the present opera), are in their place as the hangers-on of fashionable private concerts, but it is a mere joke to place them on the stage as efficient supporters of an opera. The poor creatures do their best ; but it is manifest that such exhibitions as that we have now to notice, would, if persevered in, "swamp" the King's Theatre.