Event Information

French Theatre

Robert August Stoepel

Price: $1.50; orchestra, $2.50; dress circle, $2; private boxes (four seats) $12; proscenium boxes, $20; family circle, $.75

Event Type:
Play With Music

Record Information


Last Updated:
13 February 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

18 Sep 1867, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Text Author: Legouvé
Participants:  Adelaide Ristori (role: Medea)
Composer(s): Bellini
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
aka Don Carlo
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Romeo and Juliette
Composer(s): Gounod
aka Vepres; I Vespri siciliani; Sicilian vespers, The
Composer(s): Verdi


Advertisement: New-York Times, 09 September 1867, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 12 September 1867.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 September 1867.
Announcement: New York Post, 14 September 1867.

“Next Wednesday evening will be the occasion of Madame Ristori’s second public appearance in America, an event that has long been looked for with pleasant anticipations by the lovers of the higher and classic drama, of which Madame Ristori is the greatest living illustrator.  She will be greeted by as many of her admirers as can get within the auditorium at the French Theatre.  When we have a Ristori, a Jefferson, and such comedy companies as those that are soon to perform at the French Theatre and at Wallack’s, it can hardly be said that the legitimate drama is not well represented in New York.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 September 1867.
Announcement: New-York Times, 17 September 1867, 5.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 18 September 1867.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 18 September 1867.
Review: New-York Times, 19 September 1867, 5.

“Mme. RISTORI appeared at the Theatre Français last evening, for the first time since her return to this country, in Medea, the character in which she made her début in America. The gaiety and beauty of the auditorium reminded one of the theatre in that brilliant season of last year when the great tragedienne and Italian drama were the absorbing sensation of the day.  The flutterings of ribbons, laces, silks; the flashing of diamonds; the soft perfume, sparkling eyes, a happy crowd, bent upon the improvement of its mind, buried deep in the perusal of illusive librettos – light, brilliancy and enthusiasm! – these were there.  As of old, Mme. RISTORI was, last evening, the all-engrossing figure of the drama. Her exuberant figure and majestic poses stood grandly forth among the usual throng of small but perfect actors, who looked pleased and happy. It is unnecessary to detail the points of the performance. The representation was but a reflection of the first given by the company on their first appearance in this City. Mme. RISTORI’S entrance was the signal for an outbreak of enthusiasm that must have been as welcome as it was entirely friendly. Floral tokens accompanied her recalls after the first and second acts, and made them odorous and rosy. Altogether, Mme. RISTORI’S return brought the pleasant assurances of continued esteem on the part of the public; and certainly gives that public assurances of a renewal of those artistic entertainments which were the shining attractions of last season. The new curtain which Mr. GRAU promised ‘turned up missing,’ as the little boys say, and the old familiar green baize in its stead was a disappointment. This was the only drawback, but it must have been a drawback to that large portion of the audience who can be imagined as jealous of any subtraction from their understandable pleasures. We do but justice: the sky has not fallen: justice is pleasant to give.    Mr. ROBERT STOEPEL reappears once more at the leader’s desk, and conducts the orchestra at the French Theatre.  It is perhaps needless to tell anybody how good the music of the entre-actes at that house becomes through his influences.”

Review: New York Herald, 19 September 1867, 7.

“The rejuvenated and redecorated Théâtre Français, on Fourteenth street, witnessed the reappearance of Madame Ristori on its stage last night. The audience was truly fashionable. Lorgnettes held by gloved and jeweled fingers, opera cloaks and elegant toilettes graced the boxes; and fair heads with their wealth of glistening tresses or preposterous chignons, bent in recognition of the Queen of Tragedy and her genius, when she appeared in the first act, leading her children by the hand from the mountains in search of her recreant husband. Ristori’s Medea has been too often described in the HERALD to need any lengthened comment here. The soft, musical, beautiful language of Italy is the most admirably suited of all tongues for the expression of human passion, and from the lips of the great tragedienne those words of fire which the maddened and deserted wife and mother might be exposed to utter, came with startling effect. It was a grand opera in recitative, and not a harsh, unmusical series of dialogue and monologue, as would be the case in any other language and with any other artist. . . .[detailed review of other performers continues] . . . The orchestra, under the direction of Robert Stoepel, performed selections from Beatrice, L’Africaine, Don Carlos, Romeo and Juliet and the Sicilian Vespers.  This department has been greatly improved since last season.  Then some of the best points of Ristori’s acting were marred by the wretched music between the acts, which was calculated to make everyone feel uncomfortable.  Now it is unexceptional.”