Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/226

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214

��SAINT-GEORGES.

��' Zanetta,' and ' Les Diamants de la Couronne,' with Scribe ; Grisar's * Lady Melvil,' ' Le Caril- lonneur de Bruges,' and 'Les Amours du Diable' ; Clapisson's ' La Fanchonnette ' ; and HaleVy's L'Eclair,' 'Les Mousquetaires de la Reine,' 'Le Val d'Andorre,' 'La Fe aux Roses,' 'Le Juif errant,' ' Le Nabab,' and ' Jaguarita 1'Indienne.'

From this list it will appear that Saint-Georges was the most prolific, as he was the ablest, of all French contemporary librettists after Scribe. No one has yet appeared competent to supply the place of either of these clever writers. [G-.C.]

SAINT HUBERT Y, ANTOINETTE C^OILE, an eminent French operatic actress, whose real surname was Clavel, was born at Toul, about 1 756. Her father, who had previously served in the army, became stage manager to a French opera company at Mannheim, and afterwards at Warsaw, where she studied for four years with Lemoyne, conductor of the orchestra. Her first public appearance was in an opera of his ' Le Bouquet de Colette.' She then went to Berlin, and is said to have been married there to a certain Chevalier de Croisy, of whom, however, nothing is heard in her subsequent history. For three years she sang at Strassburg, as Mile. Clavel, and thence went to Paris, and made her debut at the Academic as 'un ddmon, un plaisir' in the first performance of Gluck's 'Armide' (Sept. 23, 1777). For a considerable time she only played in subordinate parts. Her appearance was not striking ; she was fair, thin, and below middle height, with a face expressive, but not beautiful. Her voice was produced badly and with effort, her stage action was spasmodic and exaggerated, and she had a strong German accent. But Gluck found in this ill-trained actress some qualities he may have vainly sought for in more finished singers. She appeared one morning at rehear.sal in an old black gown in the last stage of patched decrepitude. * Here comes Madame la Ressource,' remarked some gay rival (alluding to the character of that name in 'Le Joueur').

  • Well said,' answered Gluck ; * that woman will

some day be the resource of the opera.' Perhaps she heard the words we may be sure she heard of them. She laboured to improve herself, and on the retirement of two leading singers suc- ceeded to their parts. Her first great success was as Angelique in Piccinni's ' Roland,' and was followed by others in Floquet's ' Le Seigneur Bienfaisant,' Gossec's 'The'see' (March I, 1782), and Edelmann's 'Ariane' (Sept. 24, 1782), all tragic rdles ; while as Rosette in Gretry's ' L'Em- barras des Richesses' (Nov. 26, 1782), she showed all the versatility and vivacity necessary for comedy. As Armide (in Sacchini's ' Renaud '), in ' Didon,' Chimene,' Les Danaides,' 'Al- ceste,' and 'Phedre,' she had a succession of triumphs. ' Didon,' Piccinni's masterpiece, made no impression till she undertook the title rdle, and the composer declared that, without her, his opera was 'without Dido.' On her first appearance in that part (Jan. 16, 1784) she

i How she obtained this name is not known.

��ST. JAMES'S HALL CONCERT ROOMS.

was crowned upon the stage. She was never a perfect vocalist ; ' less violent and extravagant in her singing than the generality of French singers, but still with too much of the national style,' says Lord Mount-Edgecumbe, who admits however that she was an excellent musician. But her power lay in her extreme sensibility. In truth and force of expression she was un- equalled ; her declamation was impassioned, her by-play ' terrible,' her silence ' eloquent.'

In 1785 she made a journey to Marseilles, which resembled a royal progress. The excite- ment she created amounted to frenzy, and when she left Provence she carried away more than a hundred crowns, many of them of great value.

But on her return to Paris she found new rivals to dispute her sway. She failed, too, as Clytemnestra, a part altogether unsuited to her. It ended four years later by her marrying the Comte d'Entraigues, of strong royalist sympathies, in which she participated warmly. In 1790 he had emigrated to Lausanne, and there their marriage took place, at the end of that year. It was only acknowledged, however, in 1797, after the Count, imprisoned at Milan by Bonaparte, had been released by his wife, who found means of enabling him to escape, and of preserving his portfolio, full of political papers. For this ser- vice she was rewarded by Louis XVIII. with the Order of St. Michel and, it seems, by her hus- band with the recognition of their marriage.

The Count afterwards entered the Russian diplomatic service, and was employed on secret missions. The peace of Tilsit changed his tactics. He possessed himself in some manner of a copy of the secret articles of the Treaty, and hastened with them to England to communicate them to the government. For this he is said to have re- ceived a pension. He established himself, with his wife, at Barnes, near Richmond, where, July 2 2, 1812, they were assassinated by their servant, who stabbed them as they we're getting into- their carriage, and blew out his own brains afterwards. This man had been bribed by emis- saries of Fouche's, sent to watch the proceedings of the Count d'Entraigues, and had allowed them to take copies of correspondence with the Foreign Office, entrusted to his care by his master. He had reason to think that his treachery was being discovered, and fear of the consequences probably prompted him to the dreadful deed. [F.A. M.J

SAINT JAMES'S HALL CONCERT ROOMS were erected, at the cost of a company with limited liability, from designs by Owen Jones. Messrs. Lucas were the builders.

The project was taken up by two of the music-publishing firms, Messrs. Beale & Chappell of Regent Street, and Chappell & Co. of New Bond Street ; and the company was formed mainly by them, and among their friends. Messrs. T. F. Beale and W. Chappell became the tenants of the Crown for the land, holding it in trust for the Company. The capital was fixed at 40,000, because the original estimate for the new building was 23,000, and the re- mainder was supposed to be an ample sum for

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