Frances Lady Shelley (1787-1873) was een Britse hertogin, die bekend is geworden door haar gelukkige huwelijk en haar dagboek.
Tuesday, 20. Lord Jersey and others came to take
leave ; every one is going out of town. Went again
to the Opera to hear the new singer, Fiorentini, in
Norma. She is very handsome, and her arms are
quite beautiful. She promises to be first-rate, having
much that is excellent, and faults which if she is not
spoilt she will correct. Sontag again a failure in the last act of Sonnambula. She is worn out with the
fatigue of the Season ; and looks ugly and vulgar in
those parts. In the Tempesta, earlier in the year,
Sontag was admirable, but nothing will ever equal the
rush of song in Jenny Lind, who is so well named
" The Nightingale." Sontag reaches perfection in
certain parts which suit her; but those parts are few,
and she is more successful in concerts. The Hay-market Opera fails completely, especially in the mise
en scene, dresses, orchestra, etc. The house looks
dirty, and is neglected. The orchestra at Covent
Garden under Costa is perfect; and nothing that I
ever saw, or heard, equalled The Prophete, as sung by
Mario, and Viardot. I met her at the House of Lords.
She says that singing does not fatigue her voice. Off
the stage she is hideous ; her face is like a mask.