Dora Harris Concert

Event Information

Steinway Hall

William Berge

Price: $1; $1.50 reserved

Event Type:

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
19 November 2022

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

20 May 1869, Evening

Program Details

The program also included an unidentified buffo aria performed by Domenico Coletti.

Berge conducted and played the piano.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Dora [soprano] Harris
aka So true
Composer(s): Campana
Participants:  Giuseppe Tamaro
aka Rigoletto, quartet
Composer(s): Verdi
aka Witches’ dance; Hexentanz
Composer(s): Paganini
Participants:  Wenzel Kopta
Composer(s): Pattison
Composer(s): Pattison
Participants:  John Nelson Pattison


Announcement: New York Clipper, 15 May 1869, 46.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 May 1869, 12.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 May 1869, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 17 May 1869, 5.

A concert, the exact purpose of which is not yet divulged, will take place next Thursday evening at Steinway Hall. The programme offers in the way of positive attraction the names of Miss Dora Harris, a debutante, Mme. Testa, Messrs. Pattison, Tamaro, Coletti, Kopta and Berge, and Mr. Theodore Thomas’ orchestra.”

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 19 May 1869.
Review: New York Herald, 21 May 1869, 7.

“A concert of more than ordinary interest was given at this hall last night, being the occasion of the debut of a young American soprano, Miss Dora Harris, the sister of Laura Harris, now one of Bagier’s favorite artists. She sang ‘Ernani Involame’ with Theodore Thomas’ orchestra, and gave evidence of possessing a high soprano voice of considerable power and richness of tone, which with more experience can be made a strong feature in opera or concert. Mme. Natali Testa’s beautiful and thoroughly artistic contralto voice was heard to advantage in the O Salutaris from Rossini’s mass, and Signor Tamara sang ‘E ver’ a romanza by Campana, with orchestra with marked effect. Coletti came out in a buffo aria in his own happy manner; and the four artists rendered the inimitable quartet of ‘Rigoletto’ in a manner worthy of this, the greatest of Verdi’s works. The ‘Witches Dance’ was violinized by Kopta in an artistic manner, and Mr. Pattison played his new concert polka and ‘Martha’ fantasia with all the characteristic dash and brilliancy which places him at the head of his school of pianism. Dr. William Berge was the conductor, at the piano and in the orchestra, and fulfilled both departments with his usual ability. The concert in an artistic point of view was an entire success, but the audience was scarcely of proportionate dimensions.”

Review: New York Post, 21 May 1869.

“At Steinway Hall last night Miss Dora Harris gave a concert, with the object of bringing herself before the public. She possesses a good, full voice, which will in time enable her to assume a prima donna’s position. As yet the young lady stands in need of further culture and experience. She was ably assisted by Madame Testa (who sang the O Salutaris of Rossini’s Mass), by Signor Tamaro, by Mr. Pattison, the pianist, and by Wenzel Kopta.”

Review: New-York Times, 21 May 1869, 5.

“Miss Dora Harris, who sang at the Theatre Francaise on the occasion of a benefit performance some weeks ago, made a formal début in the concert room, at Steinway Hall, last evening. Miss Harris’ claims to critical praise may have more foundation, in a distant future, but they rest at present upon quicksands that her friends should have detected. As usual in similar cases, her friends did not. Her voice, a mezzo-soprano of a great deal of shrillness and some power, lacks culture, and so does her manner, at least as far as the exigencies of the concert-room are concerned. The artists who assisted her were Mr. J. N. Pattison, Mr. Wenzel Kopta, Signori Tamaro, and Coletti and Mme. Testa. Liberal applause were bestowed upon the playing of Mr. Pattison and upon the singing of Mme. Testa, a contralto whose style and taste have often been alluded to in terms of warm commendation.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 24 May 1869, 5.

“The concert at Steinway Hall on Thursday, advertised as for the debut of Miss Dora Harris, is also understood to have been testimonial to somebody whose name did not appear upon the bills. We hope the audience did not fairly represent the number of his friends. Miss Harris has sung before in New-York. As yet she is hardly a legitimate subject of criticism.”