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The May Festival

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The following inf ormation respectirig the festival will doubtless be of great interest to the readers of the Argus. It was not thought desirable to give the ' Tannhauser ' ' inasrmich as it was absoïntely impossible to secure a tenor who ■could do justice to the principal part. The opera season in London this year, contrary to the usual custom, is to be opened with a series of performances of Germán opera, and, as a consequence, the greatest artists in ,that special field are not available. And the same difficulty aróse in regard to the performance of "Aida. " For this reason it was thought advisable not to attempt the performance of either of these works this year but to defer it ■nntil another seasou. Of all the works available "Sanason and Delilah," Saint Saens, appeared to be the proper -choice. It must be borne in mind that in nearly every instance where the "Samson and Delilah" has been performed one season it has been repeated the next. It may be accepted as an axiom that a work which is not worth giving twice shonld not be given at all. No one can hope to get all that there is in a great work at its flrst hearing and, as is almost invariably the case with a great work, the second performance proves even more iuspiring than the first. The enthusiaem with which the Manoni Requiem was received last year was dne largely to the fact that itwas somewhat familiar. The choral work to be performed the first evening of the festival will be the "Germán Réquiem" by Johanues Erahms, one of the trnly inspired ■works of this centnry. Of special interest will be the performance on Frilav evening of the last work of Verdi, f,he "Stabat Mater," written this last _year. This is a most snperb composilion for ehorus and orchestra and its performance will be one of the flrst in this country. When the entire program is presentad, it will be seen that in many ways the festival of 1899 will present a tronger combination of works and ■artists than any of tho former festivals. Among the orchestral selections are many standard works w hich have never been performed in Ann Arbor, and several absolute novelties, while the majority of the soloists are also new to our andience. Foremost among the soloists must be named Sembrich, -who is, all things considered, the greatest exponent of true vocal art now living. The enttiusiasm with which she faas been received wherever she has been heard this year in America is so well known to our readers that the mere statement of the engagement of fhis distinguished artist is sufficient. Sembrich is so well kuown as an operatic artist and vocalist that few people are aware of her accomplishmentsas amusician in other directions. She is quite a remarkable pianist and :a most excellent violinist and her greatness as a singer rests not alone opon her vocal mastery bnt upon a solid basis of musicianly attainment. She will be heard at the Friday evening concert in a broad range of elections, inclnding not only some of the great arias in which she stands presminent, but also in Germán sougs. At the Worcester Festival, among the many singers advertised was Miss Sara Anderson, an unkuown soprano who. althouah entirely unheralded, -won the great artistic triumpn or uie festival. Her performances sinoe that time have justifled the enthusiastic -commendation of those critics who at ihat time pronounced her the coming soprano of America. Miss Anderson will sing the soprano solos in the "Requiem," and will also be heard at the Symphony concert. In addition to the naines which have already been given to the public in formal announcements, are several others whose ñames are reserved until a complete announcement of the details of the festival eau be made, which will probably be in the course of a week ■or ten days. All the uegotiations have not been entirely completed and it has been thought best to reserve infortnation respecting the others until arrangements are made in order that there may not be so unfortunate a misunflerstanding as happened last year regardiug Campanari. As announced, the sale of reserved seats will begin Saturday morning, Feb. 4, at 9 o'clock, at Frieze Memorial hall, under the conditions which have been advertised. Owing to the fact that many festival associations have withdrawn from the field this year, and the oomplication respecting the operatic artists, already mentioned, it was extremely difficul' t-o make eatisfactory arrangements for I the festival, but we are confident, that, taken as a whole, the festival of 1899 ruay be cousidered equal.if not superior to any of its predecessors. It rnay not be known that there are but few festivals in tbe country which in the last few years have been self-supporting. Ann Arbor has been one of thetn, but the problem of presenting such programs and such artists as we are obliged to on account of the wonderful development of musical taste in the community is becoming very difficult and nothing bnt rho most cordial and absolute support of the community eau make such festivals possible.