Review: New-York Daily Tribune
, 16 February 1863, 8.
Includes long introduction about the “Bouffes” theatres in Paris. “The ‘Bouffes’ theater is so little as to be almost a joke. You laugh, when you get inside it, at its tiny proportions. Two good muscular jumps would almost clear the stage from wing to wing, and a gentleman in the orchestra stalls might converse in a whisper with his friend in the gallery. There is, in fact, hardly room enough to swing a cat in. People do not, however, go to the ‘Bouffes’ for the purpose of swinging cats. They go to listen to the brightest and newest music, and to witness the best acting, of its order, that the French stage affords. And they are never disappointed. Absolutely never. . . .
One of Offenbach’s lightest and simplest operettes was last Saturday evening presented at the French Theater, in Niblo’s Saloon. ’La Rose de St. Fleur’ is easy and free from complication, and therefore does not overtask the musical resources of Mr. Juignet’s company. . . . [Hamburg] sang the lively little melodies with taste and considerable effect. [Juignet and Edgard] did their best, and Mr. Juignet’s best, especially, was very satisfactory. . . . Of the music of ‘La Rose,’ we have only to remark, that it is quite in Offenbach’s most sparkling vein. The melodies rise like the vapors of a delicate and fragrant wine. . . .
If a theater could be devoted, here in New York, to purposes somewhat similar to those of the Paris ‘Bouffes,’ it would not only be a pleasant surprise to the public but also a profitable one for any manager. . . .
Returning to the French Theater, we are glad to record its continuous success. An unexpected plunge of enterprise, however, in last Saturday’s matinee, resulted dubiously, precisely because it was unexpected. If it should be formally announced that matinées are to be given on regular days, the chances are greatly in favor of their being well supported. The first attempt was not sufficiently heralded.”
Review: New York Post
, 17 February 1863, 2.
“The season at the French Theatre has been successfully carried on, and a matinee was given on Saturday, by way of experiment.”
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music
, 21 February 1863, 376.
“The performances of the company of French artists at Niblo’s saloon, are seldom of a nature to claim notice in an exclusively musical correspondence, although French vaudevilles are plentifully sprinkled with what, by courtesy though hardly with truth, may be styled music – the little airs and duets, with words appropriate to the situation of the moment, set to popular melodies. But the French company sometimes takes a deeper dip into the well of music; as was the case on the evening of the 14th, when its pretty actresses bien mises, its small and facile voices, its light gaiety, and imperfect orchestra, gave the burlesque, by no means original, yet amusing music of Jacques Offenbach, in the one-act operetta of ‘La Rose de St. Fleur.’ Especially amusing were the imitations of the stereotyped Italian airs and duo forms.”
COMMENT: Good description of music in French vaudevilles.