St. James's Parish Church, Belfast
Hymn, Spirit divine, attend our prayer
(I. C. H., 460)
Confession, Lord's Prayer and Versicles Psalm cxlv
New Testament Lesson Magnificat (Chant) Creed and Collects
Anthem, 0 Holy Ghost, into our minds (Macfarren)
Hymn, Come, ever-blessed Spirit, come (I. C. H., 231)
Address by the Rev. J. C. BUTLER
Hymn, When God of old came down from heaven (I. C. H., 171)
Conductor, E. GODFREY BROWN
JOYCE NEWTON (contralto)
CYRIL SMITH (pianoforte)
'SEMIRAMIDE' was the last opera Rossini wrote for Italian audiences, and for an odd reason. He wrote Semiramide with far greater care than was his habit and the reception probably in consequence was very cold ; Rossini thereupon wiped his hands of Italian audiences and resolved to establish himself elsewhere. Opportunely, he received an invitation to go to London and to write a new opera tor the King's Theatre for which he was to get £240 (he had already had £200 for Semiramide, almost a maximum payment in those days).
Rossini had a splendid time in London ; he stayed there during the winter and spring of 1823 and 1824; King George made a great fuss of him; he was nobly received everywhere ; he gave several concerts and although the manager of the opera went bankrupt and was unable to pay for the new opera, Rossini left London with £7,000 in his pocket.
From London he went to Paris, accepted the post of Musical Director at the Theatre Italien, produced Semiramide, amongst other operas, with a success rightly due to it, and settled down in Paris for the rest of his life.
WAGNER wrote very few songs, but this is one of five which he composed for voice and orchestra. Actually, it is a study for the love song from Tristan and Isolda, and by those who know Tristan it will be (instantly recognised.
THE FIRST ACT of Meyerbeer's opera on the subject of the massacre of the Huguenots is a banquet, in the midst of which a message is brought from the Queen, Marguerite of Valois, to Raoul, one of the Huguenot nobles. Her page sings, in a charming little air, that he has been sent by a great lady to !cad Raoul to her presence. The Cavatina has always been popular and must have been heard by many who know no more of the opera than this one number. It used to be a soprano air, but the great Alboni made so big a success with it here in London that Meyerbeer transposed the piece for a lower voice, and it has ever since been sung by a mezzo-soprano or contralto.
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