Grau French Opera Bouffe: La Vie parisienne: Beckers Benefit

Event Information

French Theatre

Proprietor / Lessee:
Jacob Grau

Manager / Director:
Jacob Grau

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
2 August 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

13 Apr 1869, Evening

Program Details

Benefit for M. Beckers. Dora Harris, the sister of Laura Harris, sang between the acts.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka How peaceful was the night; Leonora's cavatina, act 1; Ché più t’arresti?
Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Cammarano
Participants:  Dora [soprano] Harris
Composer(s): Bandegger
Participants:  Dora [soprano] Harris


Advertisement: New York Herald, 12 April 1869, 12.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 12 April 1869, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 12 April 1869.

“The admired and admirable basso of the Grau troupe, M. Beckers, announces his benefit for to-morrow (Tuesday) evening at the French Theater, when ‘La Vie Parisienne’ will be the opera. Between the acts Miss Dora Harris, the young sister of Laura Harris, will sing. M. Beckers has until recently sung in grand opera, for which his full, commanding voice and figure eminently fit him; but in the different line of Opera Bouffe, he has also met with marked success. As an actor he has a most amusing comic element, and has ‘created’ several notable parts. His Charles Martet in ‘Genevieve’ is a magnificent specimen of exaggerated pomposity. His General Boum in the ‘Grand Duchess’ is another similar delineation. In the ‘Vie Parisienne’ he is also very amusing, though he has scarcely the scope afforded in the other operas just mentioned. His benefit should be remembered by all lovers of opera bouffe, and be made an occasion for M. Beckers to cherish in grateful recollection.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 12 April 1869, 4.

“The representation, on Tuesday evening, will be for the benefit of Mr. Beckers, one of the most estimable members of the company. Miss Dora Harris will make her début here, on this occasion.”

Announcement: New York Herald, 13 April 1869, 5.

“The opèra bouffe season at the Théâtre Français, under the successful management of Mr. Grau, will be brought to a close this evening. The occasion will mark the last representation of ‘La Vie Parisienne’ in this city, for some time at last, and the 160th performance of the opera bouffe at this establishment during the present season. This last and farewell performance of the company of the Théâtre Français, previous to their departure for Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and other Western cities, will be for the benefit of Mr. Andrew Beckers, one of the most popular artists connected with the company. To-morrow evening the company from the Théâtre Français will inaugurate a brief season of opera bouffe, extending over ten nights and two matinées, at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia. All of the most popular French operas will be given, with the full strength of Mr. Grau’s excellent troupe. The ‘broad-brims’ of the Quaker City will this time be favored with opèra bouffe as they never yet have had it, and it is expected that they will enjoy it immensely, and that they will entertain a better opinion of it than heretofore.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 13 April 1869, 4.

“M.A. Beckers, the most cultured artist who, up to the present writing, has sung in opera bouffe, will beneit by the representation at the Theatre Francais this evening. ‘La Vie Parisienne’ will on that occasion be enacted for the last time, and Miss Dora Harris, sister of Miss Laura Harris, will make her first appearance in public, singing between the acts. M. Beckers hs been too conscientious in the discharge of his duties to leave any doubt as to the properity of a substantial recognition of his services.”

Review: New York Herald, 14 April 1869, 5.

“We were glad to find that this truly deserving artist had such a good house at his benefit last night. ‘La Vie Parisienne’ has been too often described in those columns to need any extended comment now, but we must say that it was never before given with such eclat and elan. Carrier made his greatest, and we might say his only hit in his triple rôle in this opera, and Beckers, the beneficiare, was immense. The other rôles were satisfactorily sung by Rose Bell, Desclausas [sic], Rizarelli, Mussay, Genot and the rest of Mr. Grau’s company. During the entre acts [sic] Miss Dora Harris, sister of Miss Laura Harris, the celebrated prima donna in Paris, sang ‘Tacea Notte’ [sic] from the ‘Trovatore,’ and the ‘Ben ridiculo waltz’ by Bandegger. She sang under serious disadvantages with piano accompaniment alone, and after the demoralizing measure of the cancan. Her voice is a soprano of immense range, reaching from low G up to F in alt. The register is equal throughout, and the tones are clear, distinct and powerful. She gives D and E in all clear from the chest; and her lower tones are contralto-like in power and sympathetic sweetness. She vocalizes with ease and phrases with the most intelligible expression and correctness. When heard under more favorable circumstances her voice will make a genuine sensation in public. There were many encores during the evening.”

Review: New York Post, 14 April 1869.

“The popular basso of Mr. Grau’s troupe had a large and unusually enthusiastic audience at his benefit last night, when ‘La Vie Parisienne’ was given with great spirit, all the leading solos and concerted pieces receiving encores. Carrier in his protean part gave special satisfaction, and M. Beckers himself received great applause. Beckers is always a careful and effective singer, and a lively and satisfactory actor; and it is to be hoped that his benefit proved a practical advantage to him.

“Between the acts of the opera Miss Dora Harris, a sister of Laura Harris, sang a selection from ‘Trovatore’ and a waltz movement. The young lady has a naturally good voice, but her appearance before an audience is as yet something so obviously premature that to critise [sic] her now would be absurd.

“The Grau Company appear this evening in ‘Genevieve,’ in Philadelphia, returning here in May. Mr. Grau’s season, just finished, included over one hundred and fifty performances. The most successful operas, pecuniarily speaking, have been ‘Genevieve de Brabant’ and ‘La Vie Parisienne.’ One of the most expensive to the management was ‘Fleu de Thé,’ which was put upon the stage in a most costly manner, but failed to attract the public.”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 17 April 1869, 14.

“Opera Bouffe closed at the French Theatre on the 13th inst. Business has been rather queer of late.”