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Four Days' Vacation

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Thinking that so great an cvent ii the musical world as the Tliird Opera Festival, held atCineinati last week, should receive dm1 pecognltlon from the Courier. we dccidod to Mud our special dramatic and musical reporters to the scène of action. So in tlie performance of their duty ns well as in t'ie midst of the great suow storm of Friday afternoon tliey departed for the " Porkopolis " of the country by way of Toledo. At this place the}1 were so i'ortiinateas to be detained longenough to witness tne great fire among the planing inills and lumber yards. The fire burned for so long a time and with such fierceness that the air haring become greatly rarified three bnlliant rays of light were seen emanating from the centre of the fire and extending to the zenith after the niano{ the Aurora Boiealis. This phenomena ia unusual and Uonlysecu aceompanying great fires. Taking a sleeper and soon becoming oblivious tothe "carking and anxious cares oflife,"we next found ourselves in the eaily morning in Cindnnati. What was our surprise upon leaving the cars,suddenly to Huil ourselves transported to the South, with its warm and bahuy atmospliere. The night before we had planned to have a sleigh ride about the city in the forenoon, but when we arrived not a bit of snow could be found even had we oflered a reward for it. Windows were open, and down at the markets flowers were growinsc in the open air. In going about with heavy overcoats and fur caps the natives looked at us and evidcntly thought we were Siberians or Kamchatkatis instead of musical and dramatic reporters In disguise. The morning was passcd in visiting the markets, and the Wharveg, and in calling apon fïieuds. THE MCSICAL FESTIVAL. Everywherc the principal subject of eonversatiou was of the Operatic representations which were being given. The great city had the musie craze in its worst, - or rather we ought to say in its best - forin. It has acqulred not alittle reputatlon as a musical centre, and by its festivals, concerts, orchestras and college-of-music recitals the people have come lo be good judges and critica of music. Through the generosity of one of its most wealthy citizens the city can glory in a most magniücent Music Hall. Ilere is the College of Music and here are given the Festivals. To give Bometliing o(' an idea of its size it - _ u. _.,„..iiQ,i t)la(. for yjjg series of operas the hall was made to hold 6,000 spectators. Thisis vvhen the temporary stage is placed almost intho middleof the hall and back of it therc are soine three hundred feet of etnpty unused space reacliing back to the great organ at the farther end. Notwithstanding the larse nurabor of seats and the price for them - $14.00 a seat for the series- every one had beeu sold, makin the total sales over $100.000. In the stfiiggle some choice seats had bronght as high a price as $80 premium. DON GIOVANNI. Saturday afternoon at the matinee the Don Giovanni of Mozart was given with Adelina Patti asZerlina, the channingand coquettish Spanish peasant girl. A matinee s usually a ladies' benefit, and many were present,- in faet three-fourths of the audience were representativos of the gentier sox, so it easily can be Imaglned that a !eíM"6P!i,ii aromad jbot d&üm$ of the city, and of far-away citles,- not even excepting Ann Arbor- was present arrayed in itg most gorgeousand elabórate apparel. Brilliant were the costumes; dazzling the diamonds and radiant the ladies. Would not such a si'ht awakeu onthusiasm even iivthe breast of a cynical reporter? The vast audience being asscmbled and seated in good time the blare of trumpeis, the overture of the orchestra and the raising of the curtain introduced us to the rapid movement of Mozurt's opera. Thls character of Zerlina is a favorito one with Patti, and her bright vivacious temperament is well suited by it. The house was not naturally one which would be enthusiastic, yet the applause was f ree and the encores were numerous. Her main umpiis were In the scènes with her booby lover, where, by altérnate pouting, coaxing, coquetting, and caressing she leads hira to cast aside his je iloiisy and to forgive her flirtations with the licentious Duke. They were indeed pretty bits of naturalism and when they were encoreü she showed her versatility and genius by reversing on the stage the relative positions of herself ind lover. In this wayshe repeated the scène, j'et she gave it a new phase by the change. In the ball-room scène the ballet was introduced not with the abandone of the Italiau dance, but with the stiitely measured minuet of the Frenen school. The figures were prettily executed. Riivelli, as Don Ottavio, by liis solos won several encores and sustained the work in an excellent manner. He is a tenor of rapidly advancing popularity. In the play which lasted over three hours there were no especially brilliant passages with the chorus nor with the orchestra, so the most memorable are those wherein Patti herself took a part. She certainly has that genius whieh is feit and acknowledged by the fact that while she is on the stage the attention of the spectators is always centered on her, whether singing or silent. The effecüve by-play and the magnetism of one well versed in the dramatic art are snrely with her. The stage is said to be the largest In the States and the scenery, which for the most part was especially painted for the Festival, was appropriate and rich. One distinguisbing feature of it was that instead of being run back as flies it is In one solic] piece and noiselessly lowered from above by machinery. This saves the awkward breBk in the centre, besidesaflbrding more roomin the "flies." Ofcoursethe nature oftheplaydid nót allow a show of the diamonds and elegant costumes of the illustrious singer, but at the evening representation the gorgeousness and splendor of the royal court of King Henry I., of Germany amply made up for the deficiency. LOHKNGRIN. After tea the immense crowds again thronged the streets about the Hall and clamored for speedy admission. It was not a Patti night, vet so many were there that large numbers were compelled to stand through all the performance. For three hours we had listened to the smooth and light passages of the classic Jlozart; now we were to have an opportunlty of comparing it with the wild, outre and wierd chords of Richard Wagner :- that music which at first was only hissed and ridiculed as the "music of the future" but which is now becoming popular enough to demand a leadiug place in the repertory of Germán theatres. Indeed the old man in his own lifetime is enjoyinj the tton of haylng hl muslo become ciaacte aud popular. That "future" has already come. ' It wlll be remembered that the opera of " Lohengrin" is a favorite one for representation ia Berlin and Bayreuth, the theatre built for him and his works. Like hls other pieces it shows the type of the new school Mot alone in its strange ruelodies but rather in. the fanciful story of the plot. It is founded on one of the quaint legends of the NJbelungenlied whicli have been sung in üerman homes from tlie times of the early Minnesaengere. In brief it shows the victory of Christianity, as represented In the Knight of the Holy Grail, "Lohengrin " over the powers of evil, as represented by Frederick and Ortrud. The latter is a sorceress typical of Northern heathenism. The opening scène revealed a wood with the Saxon and Thuringlan aruiies assembied In battle array. The costuming and Srouping were historlcally correct to portray the stirring events of the tenth century. The warriors and the court attendants formed the chorus and from the very firat note ttie attention of the people was aeized and hold almost in breathless expectancy until the close of the act. In scène two, af ter the accusation, E Isa (Albam) entered with hermaids. Clothed in white, calm and dignlfied in bearing, she was a lovely bein? radiant in her beauty and purity. Albani it Elsa, and one cannot wonder that when old Eniperor Wilhelm saw her recently in all the sweet simplicity and maidenly diguity of this role, he requested au interview and conferred upon her the highest honors of the court. Even so great a critic as Hans von Bulow has declared her to be the fiuest Elsa on the stage. Illgher and louder and fuller was the iniisic carried until it reached its climax at the close of the act. Then for several instan ts the audience could not even applaud, so deeply had it been stirred and wrought upon by the thrilling strains of harmony. Only thrice before have we been so moved and thrilled - once upon hearing Pattiiu "Semiramide" In London: once at the representation of Faust in Berlln, and agaln upon hearing the boy choir and the organ of Notre Uame in Mout real. Several times during the evening Ihe volume of sound from the large orchestra and chorus was augmented by the accompanimeut by the large orgau in the Hall. But a description of this Opera by no tneaiis woiild be complete if we dld not alludo ta the cogtuines and ornaments. There was the glitterinsf and dazzling brilliancy of the annor of "Lolienjfrln," the rich, gold enibroidered robes of the king, and the jewels of Albani. Her ornaments wereentirelydiamonds, and these sparkled everywhere, in ear drops, necklace, broocl pendant cross and in large cluster rings upon her fingers. It was a rare display and although very many ladies in the private boxes and in the andience had thousands of dollars worth of the sparkling genis on their persons, they all were pale in comp'trison with those of the diva. As to the Wa?nerian music itself it has been already remarkod for ts wierdness. Tliis may come froin its extreme force at times, suddenly followed bygreatsoftness. In the solos the tenor and soprano voices are often forced to the higheatstrain fora long period. For this reason few can sing liis music as it is written, so they naturalofjseWéíf; 'tnaí'ís, "wiiëYévêr Üiè'f h'oughfis calm and clear the raueic was so soft and low that it sympathized with it to a remarkable degree, but when passiou or doubt was to be portrayed discordant notes and uneven passages were ntroduced. This complete harmony of idea and music is wonderfully effective. For these prominent features of Wagner's style we do not hesitate to confess uur preference of it to that of Mozart. as illustrated in Don Giovanni. The last grand choral song died away upon the midnight air of Saturday night, and the vast andience dispersed itself to ts various homes which are scattered here and there from San Francisco to Boston. Representaties from all over the Union were present at tiiis festival, aud all departed well pleased in its success. THE HBTUHK. neanng at the great rains wliich hac deluged Obio, Saturday and Sunday wc delayed our departure from Cincinnat: until Jlonday noon. Although we hac seen by the dispatches in the morning pa pers that there was a freshet of unusua' volume extending over all of Ohio, we were not prepared to find whole town submerged, roads and bridges washed away, and the low lands of the Miami entirely under water. At Hamilton and DaytOD the rivershadgoue beyond their banks and had spread through the towns so that in some houses the flood carne nearly to the second story. At ïroy we saw men rowing about the streets looklng for their barns, hen-coops and cattle. The streets of Ottawa looked like the canals of Venice where not a single house was on dry and. In some places the water was over thé tracks, and some bridges badlybesetbv the rushing wateis trembled with the weight of the train. To add to the interest of the occ.isíod, at Piqua we wcre infoimed that a colusión had tak.-n place above us on our road. This necessitated a delay of some six hours, when we again startedand proceeded as far as the wreek. While being transferred to another train on the other side of the broken cars we had an opportunity of seeing and studying the results of a violent collision. Two entines had come together in a narrow "cut,"and as they had been going at the rate of about twenty-five miles an hour, the violence of the shock telescoped them into one intricate mass of broken iron and splintered wood. Both engineers and one h'reman had there met a sudden and awful death. It was truly a strange and awful scène as we stood there at midnight collected in groups about the little bon-fires, which only served to make the gloom more intense. Some were pecring about the wreek for the unfortunate killed who were burried beneath the ruin; others were trying to clear t away and others were busy in transferring the freight and baggage. In the destructlon of the cars we noticed what to us was a curious thlng. The first freight car was totally demolished, the second was entirely unharmed, while the next three cars were completely telescoped into one single car. As chance would have it the uninjured car luid on its side the familiar letters: " T. A. A. & G. T." Tally one more for Ann Arbor. Having fiually passed this obstruction we slowly picked our way over uncertain embankments and shaklng bridges out of the flooded country to Toledo, where we arrived at live. From here we were not ong in reaching home after an eventful voyage of four, days during which time we had seen a great snow-storm, a huge doitructlva flre, two moni, magnifleent operas, a wide extendins aiul unprecedented flood and an awful railroad wreek. The only thlng wautincc to make the musical reporter truly happy was au Indiiin fight or a balloon ascensión. Nuither of these happened weshall leave it to his fertile iraagination to depict