Bateman French Opera: Barbe-bleue

Event Information

Niblo's Garden

Proprietor / Lessee:
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Manager / Director:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 April 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

14 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
15 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
16 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
17 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
18 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
19 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Halévy, Meilhac
Participants:  Jarrett and Palmer Ballet Troupe;  Bateman French Opera Company;  [tenor] Aujac (role: Barbe Bleu);  Irma Marié (role: Boulette)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 September 1868.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 13 September 1868, 8.
Review: New York Herald, 14 September 1868, 4.

“That felicitous, continual loving scamp, ‘Barbe Bleue,’ has reached the ninth week of his illicit but successful career at Niblo’s Garden. The unblushing effrontery with which this audacious, ‘much wedded’ and rollicking villain meets his various resurrected wives is ‘too much for good nature’ and generally brings down the house instead of the direful vengeance of his angry and abused spouses upon his devoted head. The audiences now are larger and more enthusiastic than during the first weeks of the gushing opera, a sure sign that opéra bouffe in general and ‘Barbe Bleue’ in particular is understood and enjoyed by the New York public. As a proof that the music and the libretto of the piece are both fully understood and enjoyed by those who witness the representations as given at Niblo’s we need only mention that every point in the piece is applauded and that nearly every solo and duet is nightly encored. ‘Barbe Bleue’ will continue to hold possession of the boards at this establishment until October.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 September 1868, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 14 September 1868, 8.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 15 September 1868, 6.
Announcement: New York Post, 17 September 1868, 4.
Review: New York Post, 18 September 1868, 2.

“The attendance at Niblo’s Garden last night was immense, and the audience was more largely composed of New Yorkers than on any previous occasion since ‘Barbe Blue’ began to run. Irma and Aujac were in splendid voice and acted with their usual spirit.”

Review: New York Sun, 18 September 1868, 1.

“The charming opera of ‘Blue Beard’ is, of course, the great attraction here, and since the clerk of the weather has shut off the intolerable heat, the great public is availing itself of the opportunity to enjoy this sparkling piece of fun. Irma is more Irma than ever, and the blue beard of Anjac wags defiance to the vanishing heated term. By and by the whole company, to the regret of Broadway folks, will flit to other quarters.”

Review: New York Clipper, 19 September 1868, 190.

“How pleasant it is to know that Niblo’s Garden will soon return to the legitimate drama, while the present questionable style of entertainment will be transferred to the west side, to take its chances with the French and Grecian residents of the Eighth and other like avenues. It was just two years ago last Saturday, since Niblo’s dropped the legitimate, and opened with the leg drama of the Black Crook, which, after a brilliant run, was succeeded by the White Fawn, which was a comparative failure, while it in turn was succeeded by an entertainment which was no improvement upon the immoral tone of those pieces. The bouffe opera, when first presented at this house, surprised even those who had been tamed down by the immoralities of the leg drama, for one of the leading bouffe-ers, forgetful that she was no in the ‘classic precincts’ of moral Paris, gave exhibitions in the presence of a New York audience which were promptly hissed down, and this admonition compelled the actress to tone down her style, and keep within the bounds of decency. But there is to be a change in the things that were; the bouffe opera is to finish at Niblo’s on or about October 8—not a bit too soon—and the house will then be closed for a couple of days in order to cleanse and purify it, so that when the regular season commences on October 12th the new managers, Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer, may start under better auspices with an American tragedian as their opening attraction, for on that occasion Edwin Forest will enter upon an engagement, supported by Madame Ponisi, a most excellent actress and others of note. Mr. F. will play for about six weeks, when Boucicault’s ‘last,’ After Dark, will be produced. Let us rejoice at the coming changes, when the naked drama and French double-entendres will give place to Shakespeare and the legitimate.”