WITH what a sinking of the heart does the householder of moderate means regard the armchair whose springs have finally burst into open view; the table whose shaky leg has become definitely unsafe ; the sofa whose upholstery has finally passed from being vaguely shabby to being unfit to be seen. Such repairs run away with a good deal more money than they seem to be worth, for they are an unsatisfactory and ungrateful form of expense. But the skilful can save a great deal of money by knowing how to do the job themselves, and in her talk this morning Mrs. Menzies will give some practical advice on how to set about tasks of this economical and not uninteresting kind.
Played by THE BRITISH NATIONAL OPERA
Conducted by EUGENE GOOSSENS , Senr.
Relayed from the Prince of Wales Theatre,
THIS favourite Opera of Saint-Saens was broadcast to all the B.B.C. listeners last November, and is no doubt too fresh in their memories to need more than a brief reminder of the way in which the Old Testament story is set forth in it. It is interesting, in view of its worldwide popularity, to recall that it was refused by the authorities of the Paris Opera, and produced by Liszt, who spent so much of his enthusiasm on other people's behalf, at Weimar. Not till some years after that (1877) did the Paris Theatres welcome Saint-Saens as a composer for the stage, but though a whole series of operas followed one another from his industrious pen, none has ever achieved anything like the worldwide fame of this.
There is a short Prelude before the curtain rises, and. we hear the Israelites bemoaning their oppression. The first scene is a square in Gaza in front of the temple of Dagon, with Samson and the Israelites at prayer. The scene includes the conflict with Abimelech and the Philistine soldiery and Samson's slaying of the oppressor. The Hebrews rejoice and there follows a dance of Philistine maidens, among them, Delilah. In spite of the warnings of an aged Hebrew, Samson falls completely under her spell.
The second act tells of her overcoming of Samson, learning his secret, and robbing him at once of his hair and his wondtrful strength. A great storm is vividly set forth in the music.
. The third act has two sienes, the first in Samson's prison, with a chorus of the other Hebrew captives, and the second, Samson's overthrowing of the Temple on the heads of the Philistines.
THE motorist speeds through the country-side ; the pedestrian crawls through.
Between these extremes comes the cyclist progressing peacefully at a pace sufficient to avoid boredom, but not enough to lose the full savour of the landscape. Mr. Fitzwater Wray , the well-known writer on cycling, and author of ' The Kuklos Papers,' will this evening dilate on the joys of touring on bicycles, and give some practical advice as to how best they may be obtained.
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