REVIEWS OF 'WRECK OF THE PINAFORE!'

"Mr Lingard hit upon the notion of continuing the plot of the original opera, and the result is that he has produced a work that is deficient in every quality that made its predecessor so popular. It is difficult to imagine how such an experiment could be successful. The idea was a most unfortunate one, and it is the more to be regretted, as Mr Luscombe Searell has provided some excellent music that deserves a much better fate than to be wedded to a work than can have from its very nature only ephemeral existences.

The music of Mr Searell is tuneful and the instrumentation showed very great skill. Faint reminiscences of well-known airs occur, but these are neither numerous nor marked enough to condemn the composer of plagiarism. Some of the ballads are especially worthy of praise and an octette which concludes the first act is an excellent burlesque on grand opera.

Those who heard the company attempt Pinafore need not be told that their musical talent was not of a very high order and consequently Mr Searell's work did not receive anything like justice.

Miss Lingard worked hard as Josephine, but the part is an ungrateful one and affords little chance for the actress.

Mr Lingard's Admiral is quite a different person to Mr Gilbert's and more suited in every way to the actor's style. His singing, as was to be expected, was not very brilliant, and some of the fun indulged in was not of a very refined order, but the audience appeared to enjoy the performance, and applauded Mr Lingard heartily.

The Dick Deadeye of Mr Westwood was amusing, and his singing of a song descriptive of Sir Joseph's sufferings from sea-sickness not without merit.

The orchestra was a strong one and did excellent service."

New Zealand Public Opinion, Sportsman and Saturday Advertiser. Saturday Dec 4th, 1880.




"It was, of course, a disavantage that the story of the 'wreck' suggested comparison with the original music and libretto. It could not have been otherwise. Mr Searell evidently desired to retain as much of the movement of the more celebrated operetta as would preserve the unity of dramatic and musical interest. But he ranged at large for musical efforts which were incorporated with considerable skill.

The overture was lively and attractive. The music consists of choruses, trios, duets and solos. These several pieces suggest the influence of several musical composers upon Mr Searell's style.

The acting was very good. As to the dramatis persone, it is not to be supposed that they would preserve the humour in the presence of a catastrophe. Here they appear much changed, but the change is in accord with the situation.

Whatever might be the opinion of the critics the audience appeared to be pleased."


New Zealand Herald. Monday Jan 3rd, 1881.


NEWS OF THE DAY: A VISIT TO MOUNT EGMONT
Mr. Cecil Tobin, of Auckland, accompanied by two students named Jennings, from Nelson, have been the first to make the ascent of Mount Egmont this season. The party left town at 8 o'clock on Monday morning, January 10, on horseback, and arrived at Coad's farm, at the foot of the ranges at 10am. Leaving the horses at the farm, they crossed the ranges, and commenced the ascent of Egmont, climbing till 8pm, when they lay down on the rocks and rolled themselves up in their blankets. At 3.30 on Tuesday morning they renewed their climbing, and at 8.30am had the satisfaction of standing on the summit of the peak. After a brief stay on the summit and the ascent of one of the pinnacles, the descent was commenced, and New Plymouth was reached at 9 o'clock the same evening.
Taranaki News. January 15th, 1881.


SPORTS NEWS OF THE DAY: CHRISTCHURCH, Saturday
At the bicycle races in Hagley Park to-day, were 2000 people. In the 10-miles race, Dalton of Christchurch, took first prize; and Morris, of Christchurch, the second. The time was 39 minutes, 2 secs. Quirk, an English champion, from whom much was expected, was handicapped out of everything. In the five-mile running match between Fagan, of Auckland, and Wallerton, of Christchurch, for £40 aside, was won by Fagan in 29 mins, 52 secs.
New Zealand Herald. Monday March 7th, 1881.


MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC NOTES:
In Berlin, street musicians are obliged to have a license.
Gounod is asking £4000 for his new oratorio, "The Redemption."
Adelina Patti's income while singing has been estimated at £1 10s per minute.
Beethoven's piano is in the market, and already several relic-hunters have offered a large price for it.
It is rumoured that an Italian Opera Company, made up in New York, will come to the colonies in April.
The Duke of Edinburgh played at the Albert Hall the violin obligato in Gounod's "Ave Maria" to Marie Roze's soprano solo.
The name of "Folly" for theatres in Paris seems to be in vogue. There is the Folies-Dramatiques, the Folies-Bergère, the Folies Saint-Martin, the Folies-Bobinos, the Folies Belleville, and the Folies Rambuteau.
Miss Emma Wangenheim has been taking the Northern Queensland people by storm in her singing and acting with the Kelly Minstrel Company in "Pinafore," "Trial by Jury," and other pieces.

New Zealand Herald. February 23rd, 1881.


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