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MUSIC AND THE DRAMA.
The month has been signalised by a return to our normal condition of varied attractions and overflowing houses. At the Theatre Royal this has been in a marked degree the case. After a short but successful season of magic, in which Mr. Jacobs, an old favourite here, displayed his skill in legerdemain, the house reopened its doors to lyric art as catered for and promoted by Mr. Lyster. The company on this occasion are under engagement to Mr, Barry Sullivan. It is com- posed of the same artistic materials as last season, aided by an excellent orchestra under Mr. George Loder, and a fair chorus. Madame Lucy Escott and Mr. Squires of course occupy the leading positions in the company, as they do in public favour ; and Miss Georgia Hodson, Mdlle. Durand, Mr. F. Lyster, Mr. Wharton, &c, maintain their positions as of yore. The productions hitherto have con- sisted of the perennial favourites in opera tho most popular being Gounod's "Faust," which was beautifully rendered in all respect?, vocal and instrumental. Mr. Lyster promises some productions new to Australia.
At the Haymarket, Mr. W. O'Neil, the new Irish comedian, has continued and con- tinues the attraction, still maintaining his popularity, in spite of the attractions else- where. He will be succeeded by a short sea- son of Christy Minstrelsy, after which it is understood that Mr. Hoskins will secure the
talents of Miss Cleveland, now returned from New Zealand, in "Leah," and the higher walks of sensational drama.
In music we have had no fresh wandering stars this month, and the concerts have been scarce. Signor Outolo has made a couple of fresh public appearances, with decided gain to his reputation us an artist. On the first occasion, he devoted himself wholly to operatic music, playing fantasias, one by himself, on "II Trovatore;" another by Prudent, on " Lucia di Lammermoor"; and a third by Thalberg, on " La Sonnambula." The second was a morning concert, the object being to afford young people an opportunity of hearing his superb execution, as well as that of other excellent performers. The attendance com- prised fully 500 persons. The programme was very choice. The novelties were the performance of Ascher's "Neapolitan taran- tella" and Mendelssohn's "Lieder ohne worte."
Mr. George Tolhurst, a local professor and composer, produced, about a year ago, a very creditable sacred composition-an oratorio on the story of Ruth. It was recently re- peated at the Town-hall of Prahran. The oratorio was most favourably received, and its effect was improved by the large additions that have been made since its first production.
In our last summary we announced the ar- rival of Miss Edith Palmerston. This young lady has just completed a very successful en- gagement at the Polytechnic hall, and has now commenced a country tour. She has won popularity by mimetic and musical talents, and by constant novelty and variety in her personations of character. She has been suc- ceeded at the Polytechnic by the Lancashire Bell ringers, aided by the vocal talents of Miss Harriet Gordon, who has startled the public at the same time by her skill as a pianiste.
Mr. Jefferson has sailed for Callao on his way to England.