Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/984

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SAEBOU.

967

Garden Opera, during the Pyne- Harrison management, and achieyed his first great success in the part of Rhineberg in Vincent Wallace's oi>era of " Lurline/' in March, 1860. He created so fayourable an im- pression in this character that he took rank as one of the most effec- tive barytones of the day. His career, especially since he attached himself exclusively to the Italian operatic stage, on the boards of which he has distinguished himself in most of the great capitals of Europe, has been very successful. His voice is as remarkable for its quality as for the extent of its register, in the upper part of which it partakes of a pure tenore rohusto, while in the lower portion it dis- plays the rich qualities of the basso profondo. In Gounod's opera of •' Faust," Mr. Santley performed in the same season the parts of Valen- tin and Mephistopheles, with trium- phant success.

SARDOU, VicTOBiEN, the cele- brated French dramatist, is son of M. L^andre Sardou, a professor at Paris, and the compiler of several publications. He was born in Paris Sept. 7, 1831. At first he studied medicine, but he was obliged, in consequence of the embarrassments of his family, to give private lessons in history, philosophy, and mathe- matics. He also made attempts in literature, writing articles for seve- ral reviews, for the minor journals, and for the " Dictionnaire de la Conversation." Hip first comedy, "La Taveme des Etudiants," was brought out at the Od^on April 1, 1854, and proved a complete failure. In the year 1857 M. Sardou was in a state of abject poverty and extreme distress. He was living in a garret, and was prostrated by an attock of typhoid fever; but a neighbour, Mdlle. de Br^court, nursed Mm with tender care during his illness, from which he slowly recovered. He mar- ried this young woman in the fol- lowing year, and by her he was in- troduced to Mademoiselle D^jazet,

who had just established the theatre which was named after her. M. Sardou, undeterred by his former failure, now turned his attention again to dramatic composition, and quickly built up for himself a bril- liant reputation. Nine years later he was in possession of a handsome fortune and a European renown, when a gloom was temporarily cast over his career by the death of his devoted wife (1867). M. Sardou*s earlier pieces were performed at the Thedtre Dcjazet, viz. : — " Les pre- mieres Armes de Figaro," Sept. 27, 1859 ; " Monsieur Garat,'* April 30, 1860 ; and " Les Pres-Saint-Gervais," April 2 A, 1862. " Monsieur Garat " was one of the most prolonged suc- cesses of the little theatre, and " Les Pres-Saint-Gervais," trans- formed into an opera-bouffe, was afterwards brought ant at the Thedtre des Varietes, and also, in an English version, at the Criterion Theatre, London. M. Sardou has since produced a large number of dramatic pieces in rapid succession. Several of his contemporaries have not hesitated to accuse him of pla- giarism, and to assert that he com- poses rapidly because he is not at all scrupulous as to the sources from which he borrows his ideas. Subjoined is a list of his other works, with the dates of their first representation : — " Les Gens ner- veux" (Palais Boyal, Nov. 4, 1859) ; " Les Pattes de Mouche " (Gymnase, May 15, I860); "Les Femmes Fortes" (Vaudeville, Dec. 31, I860) ; " L'ficureuil," under the pseudonym of Carle (Vaudeville, Feb. 9, 1861) ; " Piccolino " (Gymnafle, July 18, 1861) ; " Nos Intimes," one of his most briUiaiit successes (Vaudeville, Nov. 16, 1861); "La Papillonne" (Th^dtre-Fran9ai8, April 11, 1862), a piece which was unfavourably re- ceived; "La Perle noire" (Gym- nase, April 12, 1862); "Les Gan- aches " (same theatre, Oct. 29, 1862) ; " Batailles d' Amour," a comic opera in three acts, written in conjunction with M. Daclin (Op^ra-Comique,