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"D" ('Princess Ida' No. 1) Company in Brighton .
The Era (London, England), Saturday, July 5, 1884; Issue 2389.
THEATRE ROYAL. – Proprietress and Manageress, Mrs. H, Nye Chart; Acting Manager and Treasurer, Mr. Thos. J. Phillips. – Mr. W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan's charming opera Princess Ida has had a successful run during the week. Given for the first time in Brighton, its representation by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's admirably selected company had been eagerly anticipated, and each evening the house has been well filled by an enthusiastic audience. No pains had been spared in mounting the opera effectively, and a word of praise is due to Mr. Tom Philbeam for his admirable, picturesque, and appropriate scenery.
The chastely written orchestration and the melodic gems with which the graceful work abounds were warmly appreciated, and the efforts of the various members of the company received unstinted praise.
Miss Esme Lee's Princess Ida was a thoroughly artistic conception, the soprano's bright and expressive voice and refined style of vocalisation, leaving little to be desired in her impersonation of the character, while her lines — and particularly her long speech in blank verse — were given with clearness and point.
In his representation of King Gama Mr. David Fisher, jun.,1 displayed histrionic talent of no mean order, and by his clear enunciation, no less than his keen perception of the humour of his songs, secured enthusiastic encores.
Miss F. Edwards's Lady Blanche was a very effective character, and for her speeches on mock philosophy and her song "Come night must" [sic] she was warmly applauded, the song being encored.
Mr. Fred Billington was highly successful as King Hildebrand, and not only sang well, but delivered his lines with great clearness.
Mr. Courtice Pounds's sweet and sympathetic tenor voice assisted him in giving an admirable representation of Hilarion, and in the first act his ballad "Ida was a twelvemonth old" won a well deserved encore. Cyril and Florian, in the hands of Mr. Charles Rowan and Mr. F. Federici respectively, were prominent and effective characters. With Mr. Pounds the two artists secured encores for their two trios.
The martial sons of King Gama, Arac, Guron, and Scynthius, found admirable exponents in Messrs. Charles Prescott, Arthur Hendon, and Leonard Roche, the first named having to repeat his song (in Handelian form), "This cabinet, I suppose?" [sic].
The minor characters were satisfactory, while the chorus body was admirably effective. The work of the orchestra was highly commendable.
1. The Era mistakenly prints this artist's name as Walter Fisher, jun.
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