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enough for the place is its worst fault. I have never been in it that it was not crowded to suffo. cation. At this time Bellini's opera, I Capelletti, is the rage at Dresden, or rather Madame Schrö. der Devrient's impersonation of the Romeo, has completely turned all heads and melted all hearts —that are fusible. The Capelletti is only the last of the thousand and one versions of Romeo and Juliet; and Devrient is not generally heard to the greatest advantage in the modern Italian music; but her conception of the part of Romeo is new and belongs to herself; like a woman of feeling and genius she has put her stamp upon it: it is quite distinct from the same character as represented by Pasta and Malibran—character perhaps I should not say, for in the lyrical drama there is properly no room for any such gradual development of individual sentiments and motives; a powerful and graceful sketch, of which the outline is filled up by music, is all that the artist is required to give; and within this boundary a more beautiful delineation of youthful fervid passion I never beheld: if Devrient must yield to Pasta in grandeur, and to Malibran in versatility of power and liquid flexibility of voice,
she yields to neither in pathos, to neither in delicious modulation, to neither in passion, power, and originality, though in her, in a still greater degree, the talent of the artist is modified by individual temperament. Like other gifted women, who are blessed or cursed with a most excitable nervous system, Devrient is a good deal under the influence of moods of feeling and temper, and in the performance of her favourite parts, (as this of Romeo, the Armida, and Emmeline in the Sweitzer Familie,) is subject to inequalities, which are not caprices, but arise from an exuberance of soul and power, and only render her performance more interesting. Every night that I have seen her since my arrival here, even in parts which are unworthy of her, as in the “Eagle's Nest,"* has increased my estimate of her talents; and last night when I saw her for the third time in the Romeo, she certainly surpassed herself. The duet with Juliet, (Madlle. Schneider,) at the end of the first act, threw the whole audience into a tumult of admiration; they invariably encore this touching and impassioned scene, which is a positive cruelty, besides being a piece of stupidity; for though it may be as well sung the second time, it must suffer in effect from the repetition; after the senses and imagination have been wound up to the most thrilling excitement by tones of melting affection and despair, and Romeo and Juliet have been finally torn asunder by a flinty-hearted stick of a father, with a black cloak and a bass voice-selon les regles-it is ridiculous to see them come back from opposite sides of the stage, bow to the audience, and then, throwing themselves into each other's arms, pour out the same passionate strains of love and sor
* An opera by Franz Gläzer of Berlin. The snbject, which is the well-known story of the mother who delivers her infant when carried away by the eagle, or rather vulture of the Alps, might make a good melodrama, but is not fit for an opera--and the music is trainante and monotonous.
As to Devrient's acting in the last scene, I think even Pasta's Romeo would have seemed colourless beside hers; and this arises perhaps from the character of the music, from the very different style in which Zingarelli and Bellini have treated their last scene. The former has made Romeo tender and plaintive, and Pasta accordingly subdued her conception to this tone; but Bellini has thrown into the same scene more
animation, and more various effect.* Devrient, thus enabled to colour more highly, has gone beyond the composer. There was a flush of poetry and passion, a heart-breaking struggle of love and life against an overwhelming destiny, which thrilled me. Never did I hear any one sing so completely from her own soul as this astonishing creature. In certain tones and passages her voice issued from the depths of her bosom as if steeped in tears; and her countenance, when she hears Juliet sigh from the tomb, was such a sudden and divine gleam of expression as I have never seen on any face but Fanny Kemble's. I was not surprised to learn that Madame Devrient is generally ill after her performance, and unable to sing in this part more than once or twice a week.
Tieck is the literary Colossus of Dresden; per
* Zingarelli composed bis Romeo e Giulietta in 1797 : Bellini produced the Capelletti at Venice in 1832, for our silver-voiced Caradori and the contr’alto Giudita Grisi, sister of that accomplished singer, Giulietta Grisi. Thirty-five years are an age in the history of music. Of the two operas, Bellini's is the most effective; though it does not contain a single air which can be placed in comparison with the « Ombra Adorata” in Zingarelli's opera.
haps I should say of Germany. There are those who dispute his infallibility as a critic; there are those who will not walk under the banners of his philosophy; but since the death of Goëthe, I believe Ludwig Tieck holds undisputed the first rank as a critic and writer. His house in the Altmarkt, (the tall red house at the south-east corner,) henceforth consecrated by that power which can
hallow in the core of human hearts even the ruin of a wall,”* is the resort of all the enlightened strangers who flock to Dresden: even those who know nothing of Tieck but his name, deem an introduction to him as indispensable as a visit to the Madonna del Sisto. To the English, he is particularly interesting: his knowledge of our language and literature, and especially of our older writers, is profound. Endued with an imagination which luxuriates in the world of marvels, which "dwells delightedly midst fays and talismans," and embraces in its range of power what is highest, deepest, most subtle, most practical — gifted with a creative spirit, for ever moving and working within the illimitable universe of fancy, Tieck is yet one of
* Lord Byron