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Review of the 100th Performance from The Times
Tuesday, May 26, 1891.
 
THE ROYAL ENGLISH OPERA

The 100th consecutive performance of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Ivanhoe was celebrated last night by a performance of more than usual brilliancy. The house was crowded in every part by an enthusiastic audience, which greeted the composer with loud cheers as he took his seat at the conductor’s desk. At the end of every act the principal singers were called before the curtain, and at the close of the performance Sir Arthur Sullivan and Mr. Carte were complimented in a similar manner. Both, however, paid no attention to the loud calls for a speech which proceeded from the pit and the gallery.

The merits of Ivanhoe have been so fully discussed on previous occasions that nothing further remains to be said on the subject. The mere fact that an English grand opera has attained a “run” of 100 nights is enough to prove to the most fastidious critics that the many excellent features of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s work far outbalance its few shortcomings, and both he and Mr. Julian Sturgis are to be congratulated upon having achieved a success which has, so far as can be ascertained, been won by no other composer and librettist. No small share of the favour with which Ivanhoe has been received by the public is owing to the admirable manner in which the work has been performed, and the applause which last night greeted Miss Macintyre, Mr. Oudin, Miss Palliser, Mr. Norman Salmond, and Mr. O’Mara – the latter of whom took the part of Ivanhoe in the absence through illness of Mr. Ben Davies – was never better deserved nor more ungrudgingly bestowed.

The “run” which Ivanhoe has enjoyed has had the effect of making the whole work play with perfect smoothness, while the representatives of all the characters have been able to mature their conceptions and to secure an ensemble which reflects the greatest credit upon all who take part in it.


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