Bateman French Opera: Barbe-bleue

Event Information

Venue(s):
Niblo's Garden

Manager / Director:
William Wheatley
Henry C. Jarrett
Henry Palmer

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
17 October 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

31 Aug 1868, 8:00 PM
01 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
02 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
03 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
04 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM
05 Sep 1868, 1:00 PM
05 Sep 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Benefit of William Wheatley on 08/31/68, who will retire as manager. (Jarrett and Palmer will take his stead.)

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Halévy, Meilhac
Participants:  Jarrett and Palmer Ballet Troupe;  Bateman French Opera Company;  Irma Marié (role: Boulotte);  [tenor] Aujac (role: Barbe Bleue);  [baritone] Tholée (role: Popolani);  L. [bass, manager] Benedick (role: Count Oscar)

Citations

1)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 01 August 1868, 134.

Wheatley's farewell.

2)
Announcement: New-York Times, 02 August 1868, 5.

“Bateman treated his entire company of Bouffe artistes to an excursion to Long Branch last Sunday. He chartered a steamboat. They started after the performance on Saturday night, and returned Monday morning, after an elevated enjoyment.

[Paragraphs about other companies and theaters.]

The proceeds of Mr. Wheatley’s farewell performance on the stage, to take place on the 31st inst., are to be divided between the Dramatic Fund Society of New-York and the Actors’ Friendship Club of Philadelphia.”

3)
Announcement: New York Herald, 23 August 1868, 4.

“Manager William Wheatley, of Niblo’s, takes a benefit at that theatre on the 31st inst., upon which occasion he bids final adieu to the stage. The regular dramatic season at this establishment will be inaugurated with considerable éclat on or about the 1st of October.”

4)
Review: New York Post, 29 August 1868.

“‘Barbe Bleue’ is in the full tide of a success which astonishes even Mr. Bateman.” Bateman plans to tour (leaving today) Montreal, other Canadian towns, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati with artists not needed in “Barbe Bleue.” Both companies will reunite on 7 Oct. for a new season at Pike’s Opera House.

5)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 30 August 1868.

Wheatley announces this is the last month of his management. Jarrett and Palmer will succeed him at Niblo’s.

6)
Announcement: New York Sun, 31 August 1868, 2.

Wheatley retires from management after this evening’s performance, to be succeeded by Jarrett and Palmer. Bateman’s touring toupe will be reunited with the troupe remaining here for a season of opera bouffe at Pike’s in October.

7)
Announcement: New-York Times, 31 August 1868, 4.

“Mr. Wheatley’s connection with Niblo’s Garden as lessee and manager, ceases with to-nigh’ts performance. Although the dramatic farewell, previously announced, is not to take place, Mr. Wheatley will not permit the reins of government to pass to other hands without some remark. After the second act of ‘Barbe Bleu’ this evening, he will deliver a valedictory address to the audience.”

8)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 31 August 1868, 7.
9)
Review: New York Herald, 01 September 1868, 3.

“That steadily growing favorite with the public, Barbe Bleue, was most brilliantly represented last evening. But, the feature of the evening was not the brilliant music, the spirited acting, and splendid dancing, but the retirement of Mr. William Wheatley, not only from the management of the theatre, but from the stage. At the end of the first act he was loudly called for, and in response made his appearance in front of the drop curtain. He was most enthusiastically cheered and in acknowledgment made the following brief speech: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen—I appear before you this evening to say farewell after a lifetime developed to your service as actor and manager. During that long period it has been my earnest aim and endeavor to do my duty to all with whom I have had business relations. That my efforts have been crowned with success is evidenced in the reward of a generous public, which enables me to withdraw from my toils and responsibilities, and in the very many affectionate expressions of regret at my retirement received from the members of my profession. In taking a final leave of the stage the satisfaction is naturally mingled with sorrow, for my connection with it has been truly a labor of love, and I look back upon my seven years at Niblo’s with feelings of pride and pleasure. In the very height of its prosperity and renown I resign the management to my energetic and enterprising successors, Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer, wishing them a bright and brilliant future of success, which I am confident they will achieve. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I must pronounce that last sad word “that must be and hath been,” that “sound which makes us linger,” to one and all respectfully, farewell.’

As the last word fell from his lips a shout of cheers such as never before has been heard within the walls of this theatre rent the air from parquet to dome. In the course of Mr. Wheatley’s speech an unreconstructed individual in the upper gallery tried to indulge in an opposition speech, but the style of his oratory was not considered very chaste or elegant and he was cut short in his oratorical attempt by a policeman.”

10)
Review: New York Post, 01 September 1868, 2.

“The attractions at Niblo’s Garden last night were largely enhanced by the announcement that Mr. William Wheatley, long known both as an actor and manager, was to bid a final farewell to the stage. At the close of the first act Mr. Wheatley’s name was loudly called for, and at length he appeared and made a speech, thanking the public for its long-continued favor, and desiring a continuance of it for his ‘energetic and enterprising successors,’ Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer. The speech was very enthusiastically received.”

11)
Review: New-York Times, 01 September 1868, 4.

Quotes Wheatley’s farewell speech; no mention of music.

12)
Review: New York Post, 02 September 1868, 2.

“‘Barbe Bleue’ holds its own bravely. One reason—perhaps the main reason—for so continued a success at this time of the year is the fact that Mr. Bateman never allows his artists to fall below a high standard of excellence. One always feels sure that no part of the performance will be suffered to lag or deteriorate.”

13)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 02 September 1868, 2.
14)
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 03 September 1868, 6.
15)
Review: New-York Times, 04 September 1868, 4.

“The performances now are perfect [after removing thirty-two artists for a traveling troupe]. M. Aujac, with his immense vitality and beautiful voice, carries off all the male honors. After the inanimate muts we have been accustomed to, it is really a treat to find a tenor who does not think it absolutely essential to act like a stick. He is a lesson to his profession in this way—touching the right point, and not exceeding it, as poor strident Mazzoleni used to do. Imagine that excessive artist venturing to appear before a Parisian audience under the impression that he could swagger the good folk into the belief that he was an actor! Still, he was harshly treated by the Frenchmen; for, after all, he was a good artist, albeit given to exaggeration. Mlle. Irma, who is too pretty to scold, had a slight tendency at first in this direction; but she has conquered it bravely, and now acts the part of Boulotte with a charming, stolid recklessness that is most delightfully provoking. In a vocal point of view, the music could not be intrusted to a clearer or more telling voice. Mlle. Irma's technical skill is by no means inconsiderable. She sings thoroughly well, and with the ease of an accomplished artiste, as she is. The entire work is most excellently cast, and to this fact we ascribe the success it has enjoyed—a success which the cool weather and the return of New-Yorkers to the City will greatly enhance. Mlle. Irma, by the way, met with an accident on Wednesday night, which nearly proved serious. The curtain descended somewhat more rapidly than usual, and struck the lively little lady on the shoulder. Fortunately, no serious mischief was done, she appeared last night to be as well as ever.”

16)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 05 September 1868, 174.

Barber Bleue is still on the bills at Niblo’s Garden.  A few immaterial changes have been made in the cast since our last. Manager Wheatley’s management of this establishment ceases this evening. Aug. 31, the reins of government are passing into the hands of Messrs. Palmer and Jarrett.”

17)
Review: New York Post, 05 September 1868, 2.

Brief: “‘Barbe Bleue’ has drawn full houses all the week, and the audiences will increase as the visitors to the watering places begin to return.”

18)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 05 September 1868, 2.
19)
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 05 September 1868, 8.
20)
Review: New York Post, 07 September 1868, 2.

“The first ‘Barbe Blue’ matinée was given on Saturday, and was so successful that we may hope for repetitions of the same. On Saturday night the house was crowded as in the old ‘Black Crook’ times, and the audience had more of a New York character than any that we have heretofore seen. M. Aujac was in superb voice, and needed to be to respond to the numerous encores he received.”

21)
Review: New-York Times, 07 September 1868, 4.

“There was a good attendance at Niblo’s on Saturday afternoon, when Barbe Bleue was played for the first time as a matinee. The regular patrons of opera are rapidly returning to the city, and it is no rudeness to say that there is a perceptible difference in the appearance of the audiences. New-Yorkers do dress a little gayer than their country cousins. Out of the season the attendance of ladies is scant and uncertain. The parquette is apt to look terrifically black, or, when this is not the case, to present a heterogeneous mass of strange garments, admirable for comfort, no doubt, but peculiar in their cut and color. On Saturday, the proportion of the sexes was about even, showing that there are yet many strangers left in our midst. In a week or two more the ladies will take entire possession of the theatres on matinée occasions, and the gentlemen will be banished to the lobbies. Mr. Bateman has clearly another public to satisfy when the springs and the mountains give up their treasures. If we may judge of the success of Barbe Bleue by the effect it has produced on transient visitors, there need be no hesitation in predicting that it will outrun Mr. Bateman's term at Niblo’s. Perhaps another public may be awaiting him on the West-side when he opens at Mr. Pike's beautiful Opera House.

The performance on Saturday was as spirited as usual, and provoked the usual number of encores. Mlle. Irma did not appear to suffer from the effects of her recent accident, but was as droll and mischievous as ever. Only think of it! The curtain fell on—we blush to write the words, but it is a fact—it fell on—yes, absolutely had the impudence to descend on her nose. The fault was, of course, with the curtain, for it is nonsense to suppose that such a nose could, by any possibility, be in the way. Had a mosquito committed the impertinence of alighting on it, the audience would have pronounced it an outrage, but for a great big gawkey curtain to do so is villainous. Seriously, it is a wonder that Mlle. Irma was not badly hurt. An apology was made for her on Friday night, but she hardly needed it, for she sang as well as ever. There are certain artists to whom an injury to the nose would be equivalent to a loss of voice, but Mlle. Irma is not of the number. Barbe Bleue will, of course, be played every evening during the present week. Mr. Bateman's other troupe is in Canada. All accounts concur in saying that a complete success has been achieved. How could it be otherwise with Mlle. Tostee as the prima donna?"

22)
Review: New York Clipper, 12 September 1868, 182.

“On Monday evening, Aug. 31st, William Wheatley retired from the management of Niblo’s Garden. At the termination of the second act of the opera, in response to unanimous call, Mr. Wheatley appeared and made the following speech—'Ladies and Gentlemen—I appear before you this evening to say farewell after a lifetime devoted to your service as an actor and manager. During that long period it has been my earnest aim and endeavor to do my duty to all with whom I have had business relations. That my efforts have been crowned with success is evidenced in the reward of a generous public, which enables me to withdraw from my toils and responsibilities, and in the very many affectionate expressions of regret at my retirement received from the members of my profession. In taking a final leave of the stage the satisfaction is naturally mingled with sorrow, for my connection with it has truly been a labor of love, and I look back upon my seven years at Niblo’s with feelings of pride and pleasure. In the very height of its prosperity and renown I resign the management to my energetic and enterprising successors, Messrs. Jarrett and Palmer, wishing them a bright and brilliant future of success, which I am confident they will achieve. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I must pronounce that last sad word "that must be and hath been," that "sound which makes us linger," to one and all, respectfully, farewell.'”