Pike's Opera House
Proprietor / Lessee:
14 June 2017
“The performance of ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ this afternoon brings to a close the first season of opera at Pike’s New Opera House. There were many who predicted failure for the attempt to establish the opera in a quarter so far remote from its usual abode, but their prophecies of evil have most signally failed. The fact is that what was a central location for an opera house five years ago is now well nigh the lower limit of the fashionable quarters, while the democratic Eighth avenue is central to a belt of the city largely inhabited by persons who can afford to attend the opera as a means of musical enjoyment, if not for the purpose of fashionable display.
The attractions offered by Mr. Strakosch have been sufficient to account for his success. It is true that the orchestra and choral work has not been what it should be. The organization and proper discipline of such a chorus and orchestra as New York is now entitled to demand and obtain, is the work of years of settled and continuous management. The orchestra at the Academy last season was Mr. Maretzek’s one strong point. We trust that Mr. Strakosch, now well assured of success in his coming season, will see to it that his orchestra be as much improved as possible. It is idle to expect any considerable improvement of the chorus, save that the chorus and orchestra can be made to go together a good deal more harmoniously than they have. The scenery at the new opera house, as well as the costumes, have been especially worthy of commendation. The scene painting has displayed not only good taste, but some consideration for the proprieties of time and place. The costumes are new, rich and accurate in design.
The success of the past season has been due almost entirely to the unusually strong combination of the best soprano, the best contralto, and the best tenor now in this country. There is not to-day an opera house in Europe which has three such artists as La Grange, Phillips and Brignoli, all of whom are in the enjoyment of the rich maturity of the powers. Their support has been in some respects very good. Massimiliani, who was forced, by Brignoli’s confinement, to do arduous extra duty the first three weeks of the season, has improved his reputation with our public, and has been very much liked. Orlandini has at various times developed qualities as a dramatic singer for which he had not before been given credit and has occasionally done remarkably well. Randolphi on at least one occasion made a decided impression, and would have enjoyed a considerable ovation
Had not the enthusiastic applause been ultimately cut off by the conductor. Miss McCulloch has developed finely, and has gratified her friends by a progress in vocalization not often displayed by young singers on the stage. Susini, Coletti and others whom we have not time to mention have more than sustained their reputation.
Altogether the season has been extremely satisfactory. In an artistic sense, its most important events have been the performances of ‘Il Trovatore’ and ‘Rigoletto,’ and the admirable personification of Rosina, in the ‘Barber,’ by Miss Phillips.”