Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
12 August 2013
“The short series of performances announced by Manager Grau as a farewell season before his departure for Boston passed off with immense success. Each night the Academy of Music was crowded by the most fashionable audiences, while Saturday’s matinee was certainly the greatest success in that way that New York ever witnessed. There were crowds of ladies standing back of the rows of seats which were all occupied by ladies. At the conclusion of the performance this female army issued forth to enjoy the warm sun, and Broadway was swept by an avalanche of crinoline. Such an array of pretty toilets and fresh sparkling faces was seldom seen in our favorite promenade. The good people of Boston will, we feel sure, find it quite impossible to rival the triumphant operatic week we have just gone through…
The matinee of Saturday was, as we stated above, a great success. Two acts of ‘Norma’ were given, after which the French comic opera ‘Les Noces de Jeanette’ was sung. Signora Lorini and Morensi have appeared here before in ‘Norma,’ but we are sure the numerous audience will bear us out in the assertion that on this occasion they sang with unusual success. The ‘Casta Diva’ of Lorini was admirably rendered, while throughout the performance the pure, fresh contralto of Morensi was heard with pleasure. The voice is powerful, there is no visible effort, no fear is entertained that the artist will fail in giving each note, and hence the enjoyment of the audience is complete. Signor Maccaferri, as Polione, sang with power and without any superabundance of action. He was certainly a most effective Polione.
‘Les Noces de Jeanette,’ sung by Mlle. Cordier and M. Dubreuil, passed off pleasantly enough, but had the disadvantage of coming immediately after the grand and melodious opera of which we have just spoken. With the airs of ‘Norma’ still ringing in our ears, ‘Les Noces’ was not as successful a performance as it would otherwise have been. Mlle. Cordier sang the music of her role with great spirit. M. Dubreuil, as Jean, acted and sang the part most commendably.”
“The matinée on Saturday brought Mr. Grau’s season to a very successful termination. It was crowded to the greatest capacity of the house, and with the three previous performances must have netted a very handsome profit to the impresario.”
"The flutter caused by the almost monstrous pairing of Barnum's two dwarfs isn't, by any means, the only manifestation of the American people's facility for enthusiasm and for its penchant to try to forget the adversity of the times. The short opera season that marked last week is another example, scarcely less striking, although less abnormal. The four farewell performances given by M. Grau produced four of the handsomest receipts ever in the memory of the Academy of Music, and he did the same for the performance given Tuesday in Brooklyn. Martha, the Vepres Siciliennes, Don Juan, and Norma [and les Noces de Jeannette] found the public more eager than in the most prosperous days of yore. It is accurate to say that all these operas were mounted and rendered in such a manner as to justify the attention of the crowd. Except for the disadvantages inseparable from having such diverse productions organized in such a short space of time--inconveniences to which one must begin to become accustomed--the three evenings and the matinee were satisfying on all points. One applauded Brignoli, reappearing with his voice fresher than ever, though not having recovered all its power; Amodio coming without warning to the role of Don Juan which he had neither ever sung nor even seen played by others; Susini, with his acting so simple and so intelligent; Mlle Kellogg, with her singing so correct in its coldness; Mme Lorini, always the excellent singer; Mlle Morensi, of whom the present already holds so much, in awaiting the promises of the future; finally, Mlle Cordier, who transported us to France for an hour, in acting les Noces de Jeannette with the charm that she brings to all her roles. If, at moments, the critics felt themselves tempted to find fault here and there, they were disarmed by the thought that it's a question of syaing goodbye for a long time to these artists who, on the whole, gave us the best ensemble company this winter that we've had in these past years."