Richings English Opera: Les Diamants de la couronne

Event Information

French Theatre

Manager / Director:
Caroline Richings

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
23 October 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 May 1868, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Diamonds of the crown, The; Krondiamanten
Composer(s): Auber
Text Author: Scribe, Saint-Georges


Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 May 1868, 7.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 15 May 1868.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 16 May 1868, 46.
Review: New York Herald, 16 May 1868, 7.

“The name of this opera is appropriate, for no more sparkling, melodious or graceful work ever emanated from the fertile brain of Auber.  Its melodies form a coronet of vocal brilliants such as are rarely congregated together in a single opera, and its choruses are varied and highly effective. Miss Richings evinced her judgment in selecting this opera for her benefit, for, independent of its own intrinsic merits, it is admirably sung by her company. A better quartet could scarcely be found than that which comprises such a trained artist and excellent actress as Miss Richings, such a charming contralto as Mrs. E. Séguin, such a capable tenor as William Castle, and such a magnificent baritone as S. C. Campbell, who well deserves the title of the American Santley. In the florid aria of the second act, ‘Love at Once I Break Thy Fetters,’ Miss Richings sang much better than we have heard her before this season; and the difficult roulades and fioriture, which seem like a shower of musical pearls, were given by her without any of those objectionable peculiarities of style and voice which sometimes mar her best efforts. Her costume as Queen in the last act was exceedingly rich, and ‘Ristorian.’ Although there is no need, in our opinion, of adding soprano, alto, tenor and baritone solos to the music of Auber from the works of any English composer, yet the exquisite manner in which Castle sang ‘Oh, Whisper What Thou Feelest’ would be a sufficient excuse for its interpolation in the opera. We must also speak in high terms of the inimitable acting of Henry Peakes in the comparatively small part of the Minister of Police. The chorus is superior to what we generally hear in any kind of opera in this city. The only objection we could find in the rendering was in the orchestra and conductor. The former was too boisterous and unevenly balanced, and the leader took unwarrantable liberties with the tempi, especially in the overture. The scene in the first act should not represent an interior, or, at least, it is not as affective [sic] as by making it a mountain scene.”