Bateman French Opera: La Belle Hélène

Event Information

Venue(s):
Pike's Opera House

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

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
4 May 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

09 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM
10 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM
11 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM
12 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM
13 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM
14 Nov 1868, 1:00 PM
14 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

This is its last week of the season; final performance on Saturday for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
aka Belle Helene, La; Schöne Helena, La; Schone Helena, La
Composer(s): Offenbach
Text Author: Halévy, Meilhac
Participants:  Bateman French Opera Company;  Monseiur [tenor] Decrée (role: Paris);  Monsieur [tenor] Houdin (role: Ajax I);  Lucille [vocalist] Tostée (role: Helene);  Monsieur [baritone] Duchesne (role: Agamemnon);  Monsieur [tenor] Lagriffoul (role: Calchas);  Monsieur [tenor] Leduc (role: Menelaus);  Aline [soprano] Lambelle (role: Orestes);  [tenor] Guidon (role: Ajax II);  Louis [bass] Baron (role: Achilles)

Citations

1)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 08 November 1868.
2)
Review: New York Post, 09 November 1868, [2].

“…Mr. Bateman, on the other hand, is devoting himself, at Pike’s Opera House, to the rapid production of different operas.  Opening with the ‘Grand Duchess,’ he soon followed it up with the ‘Belle Helene,’ produced in excellent style.  This opera will run during the present week, and then will give way to the ‘Barbe Bleue,’ in which Irma and Aujac will renew their success of last summer.”

3)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 09 November 1868, 7.
4)
Announcement: New-York Times, 09 November 1868, 5.

Pike’s Opera House: Mr. BATEMAN announces that the present will most positively be the last week this season of La Belle Hélène, not that the public is tired with that memorable production, or in any way wearied with the winks and flips of the imcomparable TOSTEE, but Mr. BATEMAN desires, before the production of novelities already in preparation, to revive the great success of the early part of the season, Barbe Bleue. In the latter work Mlle. IRMA and M. AUJAC will, of course, resume their original rôles. We have already referred to the sale of Pike’s Opera House to the Erie Railroad Company. The auditorium, we learn, will not be destroyed, or in any way interfered with until the termination of Mr. BATEMAN’S lease, which runs into the Spring.”

5)
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 09 November 1868.

“ . . . . At Pike’s they’ve revived la Belle-Hélène which we’ve already said a few words about. Tostée, Duchesne, Leduc and Lagriffoul were celebrated at their entry like old acquaintances. All New York has seen these four artists in their respective roles; it suffices, then, to say that they’ve rediscovered their success of last winter. Mlle Lambelé is a graceful dandy, and M. Decré has more of the seductive physique of the shepherd Paris than M. Guffroy, his predecessor, but he sings the role less well; his voice lacks flexibility and agility. As for all the other characters, we very much prefer last year’s distribution. We would have split our sides with laughter at the type created by M. Houdin if, instead of Ajax, it was about Father Lefèvre in Les deux Divorces, but, frankly, there’s still some difference between a king of Salamis, the most valiant of the Greek princes, after Achilles, and a drunken old porter. It’s a consideration for the person, even as a caricature. The new Achilles, a blond who has nothing of the hothead, loses also in being compared to M. Valter who has given such a picturesque physiognomy and demeanor to this role. . . . .”

6)
Announcement: New-York Times, 11 November 1868, 5.

“The Sale of Pike’s Opera House: We are informed, on the best of authority, that the sale of Pike’s Opera House will not in any way interfere with the original purposes of the building. The purchaser, indeed, has already intimated his intention of renewing Mr. BATEMAN’S lease, and by this time has probably done so. There are many stores, offices and apartments around the Opera House, and these the Erie Railroad Company have leased from the present owner with the intention of turning them into bureaus. This is all. Mr. BATEMAN’S performances will continue uninterrupted.”

7)
Review: New York Post, 12 November 1868.

“Mr. Bateman’s troupe are giving this week the ‘Belle Helene’ at Pike’s Opera House, Tostee nightly securing a double encore in the Mari Sage.”

8)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 12 November 1868, 8.
9)
Review: New York Sun, 13 November 1868, 2.

“The public are notified of the last two nights of this charming burlesque at Pike’s Opera House.  As the broader improprieties have been toned down, it may be recommended to all who have ears for tunes and have capacities to laugh. Few exhibitions are more unctuous for humor than this absurd satire on a touching story ever so old. Where everybody is funny, it is a hard matter to single out any special subject for encomiums.

“Upon repeated hearings of the music, the auditor will take notice of the charming trio of the leading men, Calchas, Agamemnon, and Menelaus. It begins with a pompous extract from ‘William Tell,’ introduced without any disguise, but wanders on with some of the happiest ideas that Offenbach has bestowed upon any of his operas. This trio, coming in the last act, is receiving the applause which at first was withheld.  Its excellence has been found out, and accordingly appreciated. ‘Un Mari sage’—however little its argument may be approved—is a song of which the audience appear [sic] unable to get enough.  It was tumultuously encored, and served last evening to bring about a comic understanding between audience and artists which bade fair for a while to stop the progress of the opera in the roars of laughter which infected all hands.”

10)
Announcement: New-York Times, 13 November 1868.
11)
Review: New York Clipper, 14 November 1868, 254, 3d col., middle.

“The Buffer Opera Contest between Grau and Bateman is all in favor of Grau, whose ‘Genevieve de Brabant’ has been crowding the French Theatre ever since its opening representation. Bateman, having nothing fresh to offer the people on the western slope, is compelled to rely on operas that are becoming stale, flat and unprofitable. Grau’s theatre is better located for purposes of opera than Pike’s Opera House, and the fashionable throng to Fourteenth street in consequence of that and the superior style of performances offered. A portion of Bateman’s party are in Philadelphia this week, trying to create a diversion in favor of Bateman’s grand armer.”

12)
Article: New York Clipper, 21 November 1868, 262, 3d col., top.

The suit brought against Bateman by former chorus singer, Fantine Berthillot, for alleged assault, was heard in Marine Court on the 12th;  to resume on the 16th.  She was awarded $150 and an allowance of $25 for costs, cf. New York Clipper 11/28/68, p. 270, 3d col., bottom

13)
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 November 1868, 348.

“Pike’s Opera House has been sold to the Erie R. R. Co. for the trifling sum of $850,000. If this be indeed true, the days of Opera Bouffe are numbered, as far as that locality is concerted, and Mr. Bateman will be compelled to pitch his tent elsewhere. Just now, however, he shows no intention of leaving, and ‘La Belle Helene,’ which has been brought out with great splendor, is having a fine run. As you may be aware, another of Offenbach’s operas, ‘Genevieve de Brabant,’ is in full blast at the Theatre Francais, while Italian opera is as dead as a door nail, and our ‘Academy of Music’ stands as a desolate looming monument to the folly of the stockholders. It is currently reported that Max Strakosch means to try his hand there at a short season with Mme. La Grange, Miss Kellogg, Miss McCulloch, Mrs. States, Brignoli and Antonucci, so that Irving Place will be galvanized into life for a short time.”

14)
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 November 1868, 352.
15)
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 November 1868, 348.

“Pike’s Opera House has been sold to the Erie R. R. Co. for the trifling sum of $850,000. If this be indeed true, the days of Opera Bouffe are numbered, as far as that locality is concerted, and Mr. Bateman will be compelled to pitch his tent elsewhere. Just now, however, he shows no intention of leaving, and ‘La Belle Helene,’ which has been brought out with great splendor, is having a fine run. As you may be aware, another of Offenbach’s operas, ‘Genevieve de Brabant,’ is in full blast at the Theatre Francais, while Italian opera is as dead as a door nail, and our ‘Academy of Music’ stands as a desolate looming monument to the folly of the stockholders. It is currently reported that Max Strakosch means to try his hand there at a short season with Mme. La Grange, Miss Kellogg, Miss McCulloch, Mrs. States, Brignoli and Antonucci, so that Irving Place will be galvanized into life for a short time.”