Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/246

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.



��stave, and reach upwards to the same F as the rest of the family. In the former case the scale is of 19 notes, in the latter of 18, or of 31 or 30 semitones in all. The fingering adopted is the same for all, being that somewhat erroneously named after Boehm. [See FLUTE ; CLARINET.]

The Saxophone, though inferior in compass, quality, and power of articulation to the clarinet, and bassethorn, and especially to the bassoon, has great value in military combinations. It repro- duces on a magnified scale something of the violoncello quality, and gives great sustaining power to the full chorus of brass instruments, by introducing a mass of harmonic overtones very wanting in Sax's other contrivance. In the orchestra, except to replace the bass clarinet, it is all but unknown. [W.H.S.]

SAYNETE. A Spanish term for a little comic intermezzo for the theatre. Littr con- nects the word with sain or sain-doux, fat ; in which case it answers to the vulgar English ex- pression a bit of fat,' meaning something extra enjoyable. [G.]

SCALA, LA. The proprietors of the Ducal Theatre of Milan, which was burnt in 1776, obtained, by a decree of July 15, 1776, from the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, leave to build a new opera-house on the site of the church of S. Maria della Scala. The celebrated architect, Piermarini of Foligno, made the de- signs, and it was inaugurated Aug. 3, 1778. The building was not only the grandest theatre then existing in Europe, but the most artis- tically beautiful and complete. Levati and Reina painted the ceiling, the boxes, and the great hall, or ridotto; and the curtain, repre- senting Parnassus, was the work of Riccardi. The cost of the whole amounted to one million lire (40,000), an enormous sum for that time. Until 1857 the principal entrance of La Scala was from a bye-street, but since that date it opens on to a large and beautiful piazza, or square.

The interior of the house is in the horseshoe form, with five tiers of boxes and a gallery above them, all in white, relieved by gilded ornaments. The lowest three tiers have each 36 boxes, and a royal box above the entrance to the stalls. The fourth and fifth tiers have each 39 boxes, and there are four on each side of the proscenium, making a total of 194 boxes, be- sides the large royal box and the gallery, each box having a private room at its back for the convenience of its occupants.

The length of the whole building is 330 ft., and its width 122 ft. The height from the floor to the ceiling is 65 ft. The stage, with the proscenium, is 145 ft. long and 54 wide between the columns of the proscenium, but is 98 ft. wide further behind. The ridotto, a large hall for promenading between the acts, is 82 ft. long and 30 ft. wide. The house holds 620 stalls, and in place of a pit there is standing- room for 600 persons. The boxes can accommo- date 1900 spectators, and the gallery 500 more; so that the total capacity of the house for opera- tic representations is 3,600. But the same


theatre, when changed into a ball-room, can contain more than 7000 persons. This immense institution permanently employs 922 persons on its staff, distributed in the following way: Artist-singers, 20; orchestra, 100; band, 28; choristers, no; 'comparse,' 120; ballet, 140; dressmakers and tailors, 150; doctors, 6; ser- vants, 36, etc.

The gentlemen who provided the funds for the building of La Scala enjoy the use of its boxes at a nominal rental whenever the theatre is open, each box having its owner. In all other respects the theatre has been the property of the town of Milan since 1872. The municipality grants to its lessee an annual sum of 9,800, and the owners of the boxes pay 2,920 ; and thus La Scala enjoys an endowment of 12,720 a year. The theatre is controlled by a Com- mission elected by the Common Council of Milan and the owners of its boxes.

Annexed to the theatre is a celebrated dancing school, with 60 pupils, where the most famous ballet-dancers have been trained, and a singing school for about 50 choristers. Two charitable institutions I Filarmonici, founded by Mar- chesi in 1 783, and the Teatrale, by Modrone in 1829 are also dependent for their income upoa the greatest theatre of Italy.

The theatre has undergone no fundamental change since its erection, except occasional ne- cessary restorations, the latest of which took place in 1878, when it was regilt throughout, statutes erected to Rossini and Donizetti, etc.

If La Scala boasts of being the largest and most beautiful theatre of Italy, it has also the honour of having produced on its stage the largest number of new and successful operas and of great singers. We shall only mention here the most successful operas and ballets which, being written expressly for that stage, were first performed there ; remembering that as the theatre has been open every year for 103 years, many other operas were given with varying success.


�Title of Work.



�Europa ricunosciuta



�11 Vecchio geloso



�I due supposti Contl



�Ifigenia in Aulide



�Le Morte di Cesare



�Pirro, Be di Epiro


� �11 Mercato di Monfregoso



�La Seccbia rapita






�Giulietta e Borneo



�Baccanali di Boma



�Adelasia ed Abramo



�11 rivale di se stesso



�La vedova stravagante


� �La Pietra del Paragone



�Aureliano in Palmira


� �11 Turco in Italia



�La Gazza ladra



�Margherita d'Anjou



�Elisa e Claudio



�La Vestale



�61 i Arab! nelle Gallie


� �11 Pirata



�La Straniera



�Chiara di Bosemberg






�Lucrezia Borgia


� �Un Awentura di Scaramuccia



�Gemma di Vergy



�11 Giurameute



�11 Bravo


�� �