Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/236

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224
MASNADIERI.
MARYLEBONE GARDENS.

Gazette, Jan 11, 1691–2. Count de Tallard, the French ambassador, gave a splendid entertainment before leaving England to the Marquis of Nonnanby (afterwards Duke of Buckinghamshire) and other persons of note 'at the great Bowling Green at Marylebone,' in June, 1699. About that time the house became noted as a gaming house much frequented by persons of rank; Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire, was a constant attendant, and, as Quin told Pennant, gave every spring a dinner to the chief frequenters of the place, at which his parting toast was 'May as many of us as remain unhanged next spring meet here again.' It was he who was alluded to in Lady Mary Wortley Montague's oft-quoted line, 'Some dukes at Marybone bowl time away.' Gay, in his ' Beggar's Opera,' 1727, makes Marylebone one of Macheath's haunts, and mentions the 'deep play' there. Prior to 1737 admission to the gardens was gratuitous, but in that year Daniel Gough, the proprietor, charged 1s. each for admission, giving in return a ticket which was taken back in payment for refreshments to that amount. In 1738 Gough erected an orchestra and engaged a band of music 'from the opera and both theatres,' which performed from 6 to 10 o'clock, during which time they played 18 pieces. In August 'two Grand or Double Bassoons, made by Mr. Stanesby, junior, the greatness of whose sound surpass that of any other bass instrument whatsoever; never performed with before,' were introduced. In 1740 an organ was erected by Bridge. In 1746 robberies had become so frequent and the robbers so daring that the proprietor was compelled to have a guard of soldiers to protect the visitors from and to town. In 1747 Miss Falkner appeared as principal singer (a post she retained for some years), and the admission to the concert was raised to 2s. In 1748 an addition was made to the number of lamps, and Defesch was engaged as first violin, and about the same time fireworks were introduced. In 1751 John Trusler became proprietor; 'Master (Michael) Arne' appeared as a singer, balls and masquerades were occasionally given, the doors were opened at 7, the fireworks were discharged at 11, and 'a guard was appointed to be in the house and gardens, and to oblige all persons misbehaving to quit the place.' In 1752 the price of admission was reduced to 6d., although the expense was said to be £8 per night moie than the preceding year. In 1753 the bowling green was added to the garden, and the fireworks were on a larger scale than before. In 1758 the first burletta performed in the gardens was given; it was an adaptation by Trusler jun. and the elder Storace of Pergolesi's 'La Serva Padrona,' and for years was a great favourite. The gardens were opened in the morning for breakfasting, and Miss Trusler made cakes which long enjoyed a great vogue. In 1762 the gardens were opened in the morning gratis and an organ performance given from 5 to 8 o'clock. In 1763 the place passed into the hands of Thomas (familiarly called Tommy) Lowe, the popular tenor singer, the admission was raised to 1s. and Miss Catley was among the singers engaged. In the next year the opening of the gardens on Sunday evenings for tea drinking was prohibited; and in October a morning performance, under the name of a rehearsal, was given, when a collection was made in aid of the sufferers by destructive fires at Montreal, Canada, and Honiton, Devonshire. Lowe's management continued until 1768, when he retired, having met with heavy losses. In 1769 Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Arnold became proprietor, and engaged Mrs. Pinto (formerly Miss Brent), Master Brown, and others as vocalists, Pinto as leader, Hook as organist and music director, and Dr. Arne to compose an ode. In 1770 Barthelemon became leader, and Mrs. Barthelemon, Bannister and Reinhold were among the singers. A burletta by Barthelemon, called 'The Noble Pedlar,' was very successful. In 1771 Miss Harper (afterwards Mrs. John Bannister) appeared, Miss Catley reappeared, and several new burlettas were produced. In 1772 Torrè, an eminent Italian pyrotechnist, was engaged, and the fireworks became a more prominent feature in the entertainments, to the great alarm of the neighbouring inhabitants, who applied to the magistrates to prohibit their exhibition, fearing danger to their houses from them. Torrè however continued to exhibit during that and the next two seasons. But the gardens were losing their popularity: in 1775 there appear to have been no entertainments of the usual kind, but occasional performances of Baddeley's entertainment, 'The Modern Magic Lantern,' deliveries of George Saville Carey's 'Lecture upon Mimicry,' or exhibitions of fireworks by a Signor Caillot. In 1776 entertainments of a similar description were given, amongst which was a representation of the Boulevards of Paris. The gardens closed on Sept. 23, and were not afterwards regularly opened. In or about 1778 the site was let to builders, and is now occupied by Beaumont Street, Devonshire Street, and part of Devonshire Place. The tavern, with a piece of ground at the back, used as a skittle alley, continued to exist in nearly its pristine state until 1855, when it was taken down, and rebuilt on its own site and that of an adjoining house, and on the ground behind it was erected the Marylebone Music Hall.

[ W. H. H. ]

MASANIELLO. The name in England of Auber's opera, La Muette de Portici. Produced in English as 'Masaniello, or the Dumb Girl of Portici,' at Drury Lane, May 4, 1829; in Italian (in 3 acts) at Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, March 15, 1849.

[ G. ]

MASNADIERI, I—i.e. The Brigands—an opera in 4 acts; libretto by Maffei, from Schiller's 'Robbers,' music by Verdi. Produced at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, July 22, 1847, Verdi conducting and Jenny Lind acting. An experiment had been made by Mercadante eleven years before on a libretto adapted from the Huguenots [App. p.712 "Die Räuber"], under the title of 'I Briganti,' produced at the Italiens, Paris, March 22, 1836.

[ G. ]