Pike's Opera House
Manager / Director:
Giuseppe Nicolao [cond.]
29 August 2018
“Pike’s Opera House—‘Ernani.’—The audience that attended Max Strakosch’s fourth opera night at this magnificent opera house last evening was both large and truly fashionable. ‘Ernani’ is probably the most popular of Verdi’s operas, although ranking after his ‘Rigoletto,’ which will be brought out Monday. The ensembles at the close of each act of ‘Ernani’ are the most beautiful and soul-stirring compositions that have ever greeted the ears of opera goers. There are many good solo gems, too well known to the public to need special mention here, scattered throughout the opera. Madame La Grange in each was particularly excellent, and was ably supported by Orlandini and Susini, the latter suffering from a severe cold. Massimiliani was the weakest in the entire cast, his voice not being either accurate or sufficiently dramatic for the rôle of Ernani. The chorus and the orchestra were satisfactory, although Mr. Nicolai might have moderated his instrumentalists without harm to the opera. Susini is the same great artiste we remember hearing in London many years ago, and if it had not been for his hoarseness, he would have exceeded all anticipation of his powers in the rôle of Silva.”
“The experiment of placing an opera house hall a mile to the westward of Broadway seems to be more successful than was generally expected. So far as the wealthy and fashionable classes of operagoers are concerned the distance is but little greater for the majority of them, and the rest can easily ride when there is sufficient attraction. A much larger class, those who love good music and can occasionally attend the opera, is brought out by the new house. In the part of the city within half a mile of the corner of Twenty-third street and Eighth avenue there are enough people of this class to make up a city of respectable size, and it is evident that they have largely availed themselves of the new facilities offered them. Last evening especially, hundreds of faces not usually seen at performances of Italian opera were noticeable by old frequenters of the Academy. How long this feature of the audiences at the new house will remain prominent depends mainly on the management of Mr. Pike or of his lease.
The opera selected for last evening was ‘Ernani,’ a work which could hardly be expected to draw well on its own merits. The burden of the performance fell on La Grange, whose Elvira was so evenly excellent as to leave no opportunity for criticism. Her support was far from being what so admirable an artist deserves. Signor Massimiliani cannot fill the place left vacant by Brignoli, and Orlandini was hardly up to his own standard. Aside from the noble vocalization and the finished acting of La Grange, the performance dragged, and it was one of her most complete triumphs of the season that she was able to sustain the interest of the large audience throughout.”