Arion Society Masquerade and Fancy Dress Ball

Event Information

Academy of Music

Carl Anschütz
Franz Rietzel [cond.-comp.fl-vn]
J. A. [composer-cond] Schmidt

Price: $10 one gentleman and a lady; $3 extra ladies’ tickets

Event Type:
Band, Orchestral

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
5 April 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Mar 1867, 9:00 PM

Program Details

The procession included a Janissary band that was comprised of 85 musicians.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New-York Times, 14 January 1867, 4.

“Amusements…Our jovial friends of the Arion Society are already preparing for the carnival ball, which will take place toward the end of next month at the Academy of Music. The regular weekly sittings commenced on Saturday evening, at the Germania Rooms, when everyone, capped and bottled, enjoyed himself, and propounded excruciating jokes for the coming festival. There was of course a due proportion of singing, and an orchestra under the direction of Mr. Carl Anschutz contributed to the amusement.”

Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 09 February 1867, 424.
Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 09 March 1867, 488.

Announced for 03/28/67.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 March 1867.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 March 1867.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 24 March 1867.

Conductors, information on orchestras. “Three grand Orchestras (of 140 performers), under the leadership of Carl Anschutz, J. [F.] Rietzel and J. N. Schmidt.”

Announcement: New York Post, 25 March 1867.

“The Arion Ball takes place on Wednesday night, so that there will be no opera after Tuesday until Friday.”

Announcement: New York Post, 26 March 1867.
Review: New York Post, 28 March 1867.

“The new Academy of Music is rapidly making a history for itself. It has not only witnessed the debut of Madame Parepa-Rosa as an operatic singer in this country, and an operatic season brilliant and successful beyond precedent, but has been the scene of three masquerade balls which have excelled anything of the kind ever attempted in this city. If the genius of the configurations should decide today to repeat the fire of last spring, the new building would have already acquired a history as remarkable as ever was gained by any similar structure in the same time.

            The ball last night had, of course, many features of resemblance to the Liederkranz. The limits of invention in the way of new costumes seem to be easily reached. Yet there were some novelties, and so far as the general management of the ball was concerned it cannot be denied that those who had charge of the Arion made good their promise to come up to the high standard of the Liederkranz. The arrangements for the comfort and convenience of their guests were complete. Everything was done ‘decently and in order.’ The committee of arrangements seem to have neglected nothing in their preparations, and were indefatigable in their courtesy.

            As for the details it is impossible to reproduce the featuers of such an occasion. We can only say, in general terms, that those who took an active part in the festivities appeared to do so more heartily and unreservedly than on any previous similar occasion that we have witnessed. While there was little that could be condemned by the most fastidious, there was a general disposition to make the most of the opportunities offered, and a total absence of that social chilliness which was so prevalent at the opera ball last spring.

            The formal portion of the entertainment was remarkably good. The best notion of its character can be gained from the programme of the procession which we give below:

[Musical items include Ballet of Fairies and “Janissary Music Band of 85 pieces.”]

            We will simply add that the festivities were prolonged till near daylight, with a degree of order which could hardly have been expected, considering the profusion and excellence of the ‘refreshments.’ This was due partly to the efforts of the efficient committees, and partly to those of Captain Brackett and his subordinates, who did their whole duty in their usual courteous manner. It will be long remembered by those who enjoyed its festivities.”

Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 06 April 1867, 554.

“This ball was both the highlight of the year’s carnival season and its conclusion. The event is always the means of bringing Germans and Americans together. All Americans rate this ball as exceptionally appealing. Whether the reason is that the Arion Society was the founder of the Carneval ball at the opera house and thus is more known in the American circles, or whether it is the exceptional atmosphere of fun, jolliness and good hospitality that no other ball offers in that fashion, it does attract the highest society every year.”

Names of the attending aristocracy are mentioned, followed by a very detailed description of the venue decorations.