THE NEW THEATER
corollaries of this. Plays performed before thousands of spectators must be adapted to the sight and hearing.
In his Essais sur la musique, Grètry draws an interesting sketch of a new theater wherein he attempts to reconcile his minor art of graceful sentiment with the democratic aspirations of his time. He gave proof of his common-sense in indicating the necessary relations existing between architecture and the drama. These pages are well known to musicians, but it will not be amiss to bring them to the attention of literary men:
"Why does one so often hear people coming from the theater say 'What a bore!' It is not always that the play bored them, or that the actors were poor, though they are invariably blamed; it is above all because there is very rarely established any true relation between the constituent elements of the performance, stage, and plays produced on the one hand, and the means of producing them on the
- ↑ Bk. IV, Ch. IV. The volume was printed at the expense of the State, by the Committee of Public Instruction, on the suggestion of Lakanal.
from the woods and fields. The Swiss use scenery even in their outdoor productions, but the mixture of paint and natural scenery is shocking to me. I know that Maurice Pottecher agrees with the Swiss, and believes that this produces beautiful effects. Possibly some happy combination will one day be found, but with a new art of scene-painting, and real architectural structures, and a special science of outdoor optics. But up to the present, the results have been atrocious. There is nothing lovelier than the natural horizon, prairies, far-off hills, harmonizing with a wall or two towers (as in certain of the Swiss Festspiele).