25 MAY 1850, Page 10

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Madame Frezzolini, who has appeared this week at Her Majesty's Theatre, is not only a great actress-singer, but her genius has a pecu- liarity which distinguishes her—it is entirely and essentially tragic. It is impossible to see and hear Frezzolini, even in a single part, without feeling that comedy would be as much out of the question with her as with a Siddons or a RacheL Her classically-formed head. and Grecian features would serve as a model for a bust of Melpomene, and the very tones of her voice seem made for the expression of tragic sentiment and feeling.

Lucrezia Borgia is a part in which Grisi had hitherto been deemed un- approachable. She is so no longer. Frezzolini gives a different reading ; less terrible, but more lofty and more pathetic. Grisi is the Borgia as she is painted, but we believe untruly, by many writers—an adulteress, a poisoner, a fury in whom every deadly passion rages, controlled only by the yearnings of maternal affection. Frezzolini is the princess of a royal house, lofty and queenlike, the slave of passions engendered by power and indulgence, but with a nobleness of nature which with better nurture might have borne better fruit. Grisi inspires chiefly awe and terror ; it is only in the final scene that we sympathize with the mother's agonies, so powerfully expressed. Frezzolini's Lucrezia engages a certain sym- pathy all along, from the better feelings which shine through the dark- ness of her crimes. Both are great tragic efforts, and each reading is consistent with itself; but Frezzolini's is the more pleasing, and also the more finished and artistic.

As a singer, Frezzolini is of the highest class. Her voice is not of great volume, but it is remarkably clear and flexible, and in the highest part of the scale, unrivalled in brilliancy and beauty. She reaches C or D with- out effort, with great strength of tone, perfect sweetness, and the intona- tion of a fine instrument. Her style and execution are those of a most accomplished musician; her embellishments, which she uses moderately, are musician-like and tasteful ; her expression is always truthful, and foreible without exaggeration. Another novelty in the strong cast of this opera was Ida Bertrand's pleasing performance of Orsini ; which had no fault but that of being rather too feminine and deficient in gayety. La Tempeata, Scribe's operatic version of Shakspere's Tempest, with Ilidevy's music, is almost immediately forthcoming. From a little pam- phlet put forth under managerial auspices to gratify the curiosity of the habitués, we learn something of the French dramatist's design and of its execution. Finding that Shakspere's play is essentially musical—that the enchanted isle is full of " sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not "—he wishes to develop this feature of the play by giving it a regular musical form, adhering as much as possible to the spirit of the original. He introduces incidents not in the play, but suggested, by it. He supposes the witch Sycorax to be alive, and makes us hear her voice from the heart of the rock in which she is imprisoned, calling on her monster-son to relieve her from her bondage, and instigating him to crimes ; and on their joint machinations hangs the plot of the piece. Ariel will appear under the form of Carlotta Grisi; but the move- ments of the spirit of the air will be accompanied by unearthly and invisible music. Shakspere's principal incidents are thrown into the usual musical forms ; Miranda being personated by Sontag, Prospero by Coletti, and Caliban by Lablache ; and the unholy alliance of the mon- ster with Trinculo and his companions furnishes comic scenes in the spirit of the original. How Halevy has performed his part of the task—more difficult in England than anywhere else—remains to be seen ; but his acknowledged reputation gives reasonable prospect of success.