Birgfeld French Opera: Season’s Conclusion

Event Information

Grand Opera House

Proprietor / Lessee:
James, Jr. Fisk

Manager / Director:
Adolph Birgfeld

Price: $1

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
24 March 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

20 Feb 1869, Evening

Program Details

Benefit for Duchesne, Leduc, and Lagriffoul. Programme also included an unidentified grand duo, sung by Guidon and Mme. Duclos, and an unidentified fantasie brilliante, performed by Alard, cello.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Offenbach
Participants:  Lucille [vocalist] Tostée (role: Grande duchesse)
aka Prima donna of a night; Prima donna for a night
Composer(s): Offenbach
Composer(s): Offenbach
Participants:  Lucille [vocalist] Tostée (role: Hélène);  Monsieur [baritone] Duchesne (role: Agamemnon);  Monsieur [tenor] Lagriffoul (role: Calchas);  Monsieur [tenor] Leduc (role: Menelaus);  Monseiur [tenor] Decrée (role: Paris)


Announcement: New York Post, 18 February 1869.
Announcement: New-York Times, 19 February 1869, 5.
Announcement: New-York Times, 20 February 1869, 4.
Review: New York Herald, 21 February 1869, 7.

“The opera bouffe season, which was inaugurated at this establishment on the evening of the 14th of last October, under the management of Mr. Bateman, under the most flattering auspices, under the management of Mr. Adolphe Birgfeld.  In addition to its being the last night of the season, it was also made the occasion of a benefit to that clever and incomparable trio, Messrs. Duchesne, Leduc and Lagriffoul—the original General Boum, Prince Paul and Baron Puck in a ‘La Grande Duchesse.’  The house was well filled with a fashionable and enthusiastic audience, and never before did the leading artists of the troupe appear to better advantage or in more excellent spirits.  The singing and acting throughout were capital, and frequently elicited from those present the heartiest rounds of applause.  A programme of a varied nature was the feature of the evening, and comprised the second act of the ‘Grand Duchess,’ with Mlle Tostée in the title rôle; a grand duo by M. Guidon and Mlle. Duclas a fantasie brilliante upon the violoncello, by M. C. Alard; a one act opera bouffe, entitled ‘Mons. Choufleuri;’ and the whole concluding with the second act of ‘La Belle Hélène,’ with Mlle. Tostée as Hélène, M. Decre as Paris, Leduc as Menelaus, M. Duchesne as Agamemnon, and M. Lagriffoul as Calchas.  Mlle Tostee was never in better voice than upon this occasion, and was, together with the three beneficiaries, four separate [sic] times encored at the end of the second act of the ‘Grande Duchesse.’  In fact, to be brief, we might mention that throughout the entire entertainment artists and audience appeared to be in accord with each other, and that everything which was worth applauding received a fair share of recognition from those present.  The Grand Opera House will, for a time at least, know opera bouffe no more.  The entire troupe, artists and chorus, start this evening for Boston, where they will form a conjunction with the company now performing at the Boston theatre.”

Review: New-York Times, 22 February 1869, 5.

“The season of opera bouffe at the Grand Opera House came to an end on Saturday evening, when the management touched lightly upon several of its former productions and revived the old furor.  The ‘Grand Duchess’ once more became the rage, and carried the hearts of the audience by storm.  It was almost the same cast, and Tostee and Leduc and Lagriffoul and Duschesne received four recalls after their great scene.  Then there were morceaux from ‘La Belle Helene,’ a little vaudeville produced for the occasion, and a musical selection in which Mme. Duclos and M. Guidon took part.  The occasion that drew forth this remarkable feast was the benefit of Messrs. Leduc, Lagriffoul and Duschesne.  It was, of course, a success, and with kindly memories clinging about it, brings the season to a close.  Mr. Bateman commenced operations at the Grand Opera in October last, and with the material then supplied the performances have been continued to the present time.  Mr. Birgfeld, the present manager, takes the company to Boston, where the Irma-Aujac branch is already in operation.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 27 February 1869, 374, 3d col., top.