Banvard’s Opera House: Grand Opening

Event Information

Banvard's Opera House [JUNE 1867-]

Theodore Böttger [cond.-piano]

Price: $.50 General Admission; $.70 Balcony; $.90 Dress Circle and Parquette; $1 Orchestra chairs; $10 Private boxes: 10.00; $.20 Childen under ten: .20

Event Type:
Variety / Vaudeville

Record Information


Last Updated:
18 February 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
17 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM
18 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
18 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM
19 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
19 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM
20 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
20 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM
21 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
21 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM
22 Jun 1867, 3:00 PM
22 Jun 1867, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Entertainments in the lecture room every afternoon and evening, followed by performances at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Participants:  Fanny Stocqueler (role: France);  Ada [vocalist] Monck (role: England);  S. B. [vocalist] Duffield (role: America)
Composer(s): Böttger [cond.-piano]


Announcement: New York Clipper, 15 June 1867, 78, 2d col., middle.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 15 June 1867, 7.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 June 1867, 12.
Announcement: New York Sun, 17 June 1867, 4.
Review: New York Sun, 18 June 1867, 4.

“The new Museum erected under the management of Mr. Banvard in Broadway, near 30th street, opened for the first time last evening to a full and really interested audience.  The Museum, which is scattered over half a dozen roomy and cool galleries was examined early in the evening by the visitors, who afterwards witnessed the unrolling of Mr. Banvard’s famous panorama of the Mississippi, the national hymn sung by the whole company, led by Mr. Duffield, the stage managers, the performance of A Husband for an Hour and Jenny Lind (two pieces too quiet for these last days) a preliminary address written by the late Jonas B. Phillips and delivered by Mr. H. Phillips.  We shall take another occasion to speak at length of the New Museum, the lateness of the hour at which the inaugurating entertainments concluded, preventing any detail this morning.”

Review: New York Sun, 19 June 1867, 4.

“The new Museum is still imperfect, like Man, and may be betted in many ways.  It is entered by a narrow arched way, something like the passage that leads into Wallack’s Theatre, from Broadway.  This is insufficient when the crowd is great as it was upon the opening night.  If some of the many modes of egress which Mr. Banvard announces as in existence might be used as increases no one would quarrel with the management.  But in this, as in other things, Mr. Banvard above the eccentricity of his new Theatre.  The aim of too many managers is solely to get people into their establishments without any thought of how they will get out in cases of alarm.  Mr. B., it will be noticed, lavishes his solicitude upon the escapes.  However, a middle course which will occupy itself with both alike would be better.  The Museum portion of the building has been described already in these columns, as far as it now exists.  The buildings which front the present corridors in which the cases of stuffed birds and animals and minerals, etc. are stored, will be added to the Museum department as fast as the leases in fares expires, and this will yield to the institution several large and roomy halls.  A number of paintings and other simple works of arts and artifice, now occupy the upper floors of these buildings, and are already open for investigation.  The ventilation of the place does not appear to be all that Mr. Banvard’s fancy has pictured.  The air in the upper galleries on the opening night was close and bad.  It had the effect upon the men and boys who located themselves there of warming up their rebellious blood and making them impatient and noisy.  The atmosphere must be dense and bad in the ‘flying orchestra’ too.” [review continues]   

Announcement: New York Clipper, 22 June 1867, 86, 3d col., top.
Review: New York Clipper, 29 June 1867, 94, 2d col., top.

“The ‘flying orchestra’ arrangement appears to be a failure; for notwithstanding the musicians played their overture up there, they had to come down to the old place when the singing was done. . . . This was followed by the entire company, numbering thirty-four ladies and gentlemen, appearing in citizens’ dress and singing hymns of the four nations.  Fanny Stoequeler sang the ‘Marsellaise’ very well; Ada Monk attempted ‘God Save the Queen,’ and failed; but Mr. Duffield’s singing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was decidedly good, and received a hearty encore.  Between this singing and the first act there was about the longest wait we ever ‘assisted at’ in a theatre. . . . Fanny Stockqueler was good as Jenny [in Jenny Lind], and S. B. Duffield’s acting and singing, as the Baron, were well received.”    

Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 29 June 1867, 744.

The Banvard Museum and Theater was opened; however, the name “art institute” is not quite yet appropriate.