Bateman French Opera: La Grande Duchess de Gérolstein

Event Information

Pike's Opera House

Proprietor / Lessee:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman

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

Price: $1 for matinee

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
1 February 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

26 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
27 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
28 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
29 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
30 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM
31 Oct 1868, 1:00 PM
31 Oct 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Halévy, Meilhac
Participants:  Bateman French Opera Company;  Lucille [vocalist] Tostée (role: Duchess);  Monsieur [baritone] Duchesne (role: General Boum);  Monsieur [tenor] Lagriffoul (role: Baron Puck);  Monsieur [tenor] Leduc (role: Prince Paul);  Aline [soprano] Lambelle (role: Wanda);  [tenor] Aujac (role: Fritz);  [tenor] Guidon (role: Nepomuc);  Louis [bass] Baron (role: Baron Grog)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 25 October 1868, 9.
Review: New York Herald, 26 October 1868, 7.

“This is the last week of Grand Duchess Tostée at Pike’s. Her receptions at the magnificent Opera House have thus far been largely attended by the youth, beauty and fashion of the metropolis, and it is more than probable that the favorite Duchess will be greeted with large audiences during the continuance of her reign. This evening will mark the four hundred and twelfth representation of this opera by Mr. Bateman’s troupe in this country, which is rather flattering, when compared with other operas of a similar nature, and when it is remembered that the work in question is in a foreign tongue and not understood by one in every six who have assisted at its performance. On Saturday the last ‘Grand Duchess’ matinee will be given, and on Monday next ‘La Belle Helène’ will be produced, with Tostée in the leading rôle, supported by a strong cast. This favorite opera will be appropriately mounted and costumed, and will, unquestionably, be rendered in excellent style by the favorite artists of Mr. Bateman’s company.”

Announcement: New York Sun, 26 October 1868, 2.

“Everybody is agreed that the representation of it [the Grande Duchesse] as given by Mr. Bateman’s troupe is as nearly perfect as can be.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 October 1868, 7.
Review: New-York Times, 26 October 1868, 5.

“There was a fashionable and brilliant audience at Mr. Bateman’s matinee on Saturday, and another one in the evening. On both occasions ‘La Grande Duchesse’ was given. The work was never in better running trim. It throws out sparks from sheer quickness. Mlle. Tostee sings and acts with inimitable skill and humor, and she is, of course, thoroughly well supported by the excellent company.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 29 October 1868, 10.
Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 29 October 1868, 9.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 30 October 1868, 8.

Announces final two performances of the opera before the change in program.

Review: New York Herald, 31 October 1868, 7.

“The closing levees of her whimsical and amative Highness, the Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, lack not numerous audiences. She has thousands of admirers, who yet flock to do homage at her court in Pike’s Opera House, where she continues to receive them under the auspices of Director Bateman. Never were audience and actors on better terms with each other than last night. Tostee was received with the inevitable round of applause when she first came on the stage. Boum, Fritz and Puck have so improved on the funny business in their parts that those who saw the piece a year ago will be more than reconciled to the present cast. Tostée was called to the curtain at the end of the first act. Lambele was a loving and trusting Wanda. The ‘Dites Lui’ was encored, but her Highness refused a repetition. The cancan had to be given three times before the audience would permit the curtain to stay down at the end of the second act. Puck and Paul were so eccentric and funny that one performance of their ridiculous by-play was not sufficient. The piece has been altered to exclude every objectionable feature. The desire to please pervades the whole opera. The utmost study is evident in the acting and business. Despite the foreign tongue plot and dialogue are easily comprehended from the point with which everything is done or given. Like good wine the opera has improved with age. It is more pleasing now than it was even in the palmy days of its first triumph. The present company make it a running fire of mirth-provoking drollery and sparkling, exquisite music. To-day it will be given in matinée. To-night Tostée will bow her congé as La Grand Duchess, to reappear on Monday evening as La Belle Hélène.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 31 October 1868, 4.

Notes matinee price is $1.

Review: New York Herald, 01 November 1868, 7.

“The final entertainment which the Grand Duchess extended to her friends last evening exceeded in joviality all the previous ones we have attended. So well received was her Highness that we are certain that the whole of the invited guests must have been using the sabre de mon pere when, after Fritz’s second battle, it was turned into a corkscrew. The applause was more than enthusiastic, and four times was the favorite Tostee forced to appear upon the stage at the end of the second act before the audience were satisfied with that little importation from Paris, the cancan. The General, the Baron and the Prince cut loose from the routine of the play and gave a few extra touches to their grotesque movements, adding much to the general contentment. Wanda really looked and acted as if she would like to marry Fritz, while the maids of honor sang of love as if not averse to the theme. We bid adieu to the ‘Grand Duchess’ with much sentiment. Mr. Bateman, in his royal burlesque, has given us a better appreciation of our republicanism. Whenever he chooses again to entertain us with Mlle. Tostée and her court, we are certain that Pike’s palace will be well filled at the reception.”

Review: New-York Times, 02 November 1868, 5.

“‘La Grand Duchesse,’ after two hearty campaigns on Saturday—one at the matinée and the other in the evening—retired into private life, from which it is understood she will not withdraw during the season. Mr. Bateman, under these circumstances, falls back upon another beautiful but fickle favorite. The story of Helen and Paris will now aggravate the community. Mr. Bateman, it must be remembered, has a new Paris, resembling in this respect the Emperor Napoleon, and procured at a like reckless cost. Mr. Decre is the gentleman in question.  Some months ago he was in trouble about his wife Eurydice, who, despite the fact that he played the fiddle like an angel, chose to gallivant with Pluto. Mr. Decre’s performance of the part of Orpheus was memorable. It possessed the merit of being unobtrusive, yet carefully studied. We have no doubt he will make a good Paris. The rest of the distribution is excellent, and ‘La Belle Hélène,’ translated to Pike’s Opera House, will, we fancy, be as successful as ever. New scenery and costumes have been provided for the occasion.”