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THEATRE ROYAL
COMIC OPERA COMPANY

From The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder (Dundee, Scotland), Friday, October 28, 1881

A large audience assembled in the Theatre Royal last evening to hear Gilbert and Sullivan's celebrated modern comic opera "The Sorcerer," by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's Opera Company, which has been playing "H.M.S. Pinafore" with so much acceptance during the week.

Like all the other efforts of these two gentlemen, "The Sorcerer" is a work of superior qualities. The libretto abounds in witticisms, satirical allusions, and the most comic of rhymes, and the music to which they are wedded is always catching and appropriate, and ever replete with the most graceful of melody.

The cast last night was, on the whole, fairly satisfactory. Aline was sustained by Miss Marion Grahame with considerable display of talent, both as an actress and singer, though scarcely rising to the ideal to which we have become accustomed by others who have visited us. Miss Armytage was quite effective as the "neat and tidy widdy," looking and acting the part with equal acceptance. Alexis was only fairly sustained by Mr. Le Hay. His voice is a trifle hard, but he makes the most of it. The Sir Marmaduke of Mr. Ridsdale is very good, on the whole, but in the duet with Lady Sangazure, which affords an excellent opportunity for displaying the true actor, his delineation of the gouty aristocrat is a little stiff. Mr. Edgar Manning's Sorcerer is also a good representation in many points, but deficient in others. For instance, in the scene where he calls upon the "powers that be" — his demons and goblins, &c., he is very funny, indeed; but his gait in general is rather awkward. He has a fair voice. His patter song was well done, but those who have seen Mr. J. H. Ryley in the part would be rather disappointed, but this is after all hardly a fair test to ability. The vicar was very well portrayed by Mr. Billington, and, taking his performance all round, his was probably the most truthful representation of the evening. His action is easy and natural, and we would just mention the name of Miss Maude Durrand for her very neat portrayal of the small part of Constance.

The concerted pieces were all fairly satisfactory. But the lovely quintette was not up to the mark. Not two voices thoroughly blended. There was great want of fusion of tone, while the intonation was by no means exact. On the whole, however, the company gave a very satisfactory performance of the opera, and we doubt not that the Theatre will be crowded on the remaining nights on which it is to be repeated.


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