Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0210

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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No other form of stage performance is so thoroughly unnatural as the average opera. It is conceived and executed from a standpoint as purely imaginary as a fairy tale. To begin with, we have the chorus. The idea of a party of male and female individuals shouting their unanimous opinions and expressions in four-part music is essentially absurd. Then we have the chorus brought on in the queerest and most impossible situ�ations. A party of conspirators will steal upon an unsuspecting victim, singing their threats and inten�tions in tones loud enough to warn him even if he were the inmate of a deaf and dumb asylum, while the aforesaid victim announces, in a lusty tenor, that he has not the least idea of the impending calamity. In Fra Diavolo we have two or three villains about to
attack a young girl. They sing from their place of concealment; but she is temporarily deaf and does not hear them. In Lucia and Hamlet the heroines go mad and sing their most brilliant numbers under the influence of their delirium. In Lucia also, while the unhappy heroine is getting more and more hopelessly insane under the influence of her own vocal pyrotech�nics, the male chorus, clad as Scotchmen, stand around in a semi-circle and sing an acccompaniment to her crazy act, instead of sending for the doctor. In Faust, when Valentine dies, the soldiers and villagers sing him to death most inconsiderately. Margaret gets off her sick bed to sing a trio with Faust and Mephistophiles, and the chorus is very noisy while paralyzing Mephisto with the hilts of their swords in the form of a cross.
Franz Abt. T. T. Barker.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III