Punch,  47 (1864), 38–39.

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Amusement, Music, Disease, Mental Illness, Cultural Geography, Gender

    Begins by noting the representation of somnambulism and insanity on the 'operatic stage', alluding to 'Amina' who 'walks in her sleep', and 'Lucia' who 'goes mad'—references to protagonists of Vincenzo Bellini's opera La Somnambula, and Gaetano Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor respectively. Proceeds to describe other operas in which the heroine dies of consumption (a possible reference to Giuseppe F F Verdi's La Traviata), or is 'smitten by a sun-stroke, and dies after seeing visions, which she vocally describes'. Suggests that ague might be the next subject for 'operatic treatment', drawing attention to the fact that the 'French vibrato style of singing' would be appropriate since it 'fosters quite an agueish vibration of the voice'. Complains that there is enough sickness in the world to make it a suitable subject for an opera, and wishes that the operatic character who falls victim to sunstroke would take the precaution of using a parasol. (38)

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