American Dramatic Fund Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Max Maretzek

Price: $2, $1, boxes $10

Performance Forces:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 February 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

25 Nov 1869, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Committee includes many of the wealthy women—Mrs. August Belmont, Mrs. R. O. Doremus, Mrs. C. F. Chickering, Mrs. George T. Strong, etc.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Freischutz overture
Composer(s): Weber
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Giovanni Garibaldi
aka Minstrel boy to the war hath gone; Minstrel boy to the war is gone, The
Composer(s): Moore
Participants:  Marie [contralto] Putnam
aka Robert! Robert! toi que j'aime ; Robert toi que j’aime; Robert, all I love!
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Text Author: Scribe, Delavigne
Participants:  Jules [cornet] Levy
Composer(s): Auber
Composer(s): Mozart
Participants:  Lillie Greenough
aka Concert-Stuck; Konzertstück, J. 282
Composer(s): Weber
Participants:  Anna Mehlig
Composer(s): Capponi
Participants:  Monsieur [tenor] Tabardi
aka Shadow dance; Schattentanz; Shadow song
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Text Author: Barbier, Carré
Participants:  Lillie Greenough


Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 November 1869, 9.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 23 November 1869, 7.

Notice that “Miss Marie Putnam will sing the celebrated song by Proch, ‘The Alpine Horn,’ arranged for voice and cornet by J. Levy . . .”

Article: New York Herald, 24 November 1869, 7.

General information about the Association and Mrs. Moulton (Lillie Greenough).

Announcement: New York Post, 24 November 1869, 4.

A description of the morning rehearsal and of Mrs. Moulton (Lillie Greenough). “The rehearsal . . . went off with the liveliest enthusiasm on the part of the very few amateurs and artists who were present. Mrs. Moulton sang with wonderful power and sweetness, and Miss Mehlig performed twice on the piano; the second time a concerto of Weber, with such brilliancy of execution and extraordinary expression that the members of the orchestra broke out into involuntary applause. Mr. Levy played on the cornet a pot-pourri of national airs with great effect. The concert will be the great musical event of the season.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 24 November 1869, 4.

Brief notice, with mention of Mrs. Moulton (Lillie Greenough), “for some time a conspicuous ornament of the AMERICAN CIRCLE IN Paris, for which she will depart on Saturday.”

Review: New York Herald, 26 November 1869, 7.

“. . . All the artists who kindly volunteered their services on the occasion were entitled to the applause which they received. Mrs. Charles Moulton, the fine quality of whose well trained voice elicited special admiration; Miss Anna Mehlig, who played on the piano with marvellous [sic] precision and power, and M. J. Levy, who played as exquisitely and incomparably as usual, were each and all deservedly encored. . . .”

Review: New York Post, 26 November 1869, 2.

“The concert at the Academy last evening called together the most fashionable and critical audience of the year. The performance was strangely unequal; but parts of it were so brilliant that the general result was as satisfactory as is often that of sustained and uniform merit.

“It is not necessary to speak in detail of some of the ambitious failures made. The kind sympathies of the audience were given to the young debutante, Miss Putnam, who had been very unfortunately advised, however, in her selection of pieces. The hand-organ melody of ‘The Minstrel Boy’ required only self-possession and spirit to bring out what little is in kit, and these are just what the bashful young lady, on her first appearance, most lacked. Her second attempt, challenging comparison with Parepa in a duet with Mr. Levy’s cornet, was spoiled from the beginning by the fact that the piano accompanying her was turned up to the orchestra pitch, or a full quarter note higher than that of her rehearsals and practice.

“Mrs. Moulton’s singing justified her reputation, and made it public. Her selections were admirable, both for effect, and for her peculiar endowments. The wild chant, ‘Ma mere etait Bohemienne,’ never heard in this country before, is a peasant melody of Bohemia, learned by Mrs. Moultoin from the Princess Metternich, a native of that country, and arranged by Massé upon the joint suggestions of herself and Signor Albites, the husband of Madame Gazzaniga. Its curious history has done it no harm; it comes to us fresh, retaining all its weird and sweet suggestiveness, and adorned and developed in perfect keeping with the theme. It was, of course, enthusiastically encored. A still more complete triumph was her rendering of Mozart’s ‘Voi che Sapete,’ in which she did not suffer by comparison with the best professional artists who have sung it here. Its simple fullness of melody brought out her voice, and her soul with it, to the delight alike of musicians and the public. ‘Beware, beware,’ Longfellow’s familiar words, set to music by Mr. Moulton, which she volunteered, when called lout again, is less adapted to her style, which lacks the coquettish humor the song calls for, but who would have believed it capable of such depth and sweetness of expression as she gave it?  In her last appearance, Meyerbeer’s wonderful ‘Shadow Song,’ Mrs. Moulton was evidently tired, and lacked spirit, but not grace, purity or finish, nor exquisite exactness of intonation.

“On the whole, the concert was a success, musically as well as pecuniarily. Every seat was filled, and the reinforcement of the benevolent fund which receives the proceeds will be very welcome.“

Review: New-York Times, 28 November 1869, 5.

“The Dramatic Fund Concert on Thursday was supremely and equally fortunate in weather, in patronage and in artistic results. Mrs. CHARLES MOULTON, whose deserts. No doubt, have done quite as much as influential friends to make her a sort of idol of the hour, sang thrice, dividing her favors between MEYERBEER, (the “Shadow” dance,”) MOZART, (“Voi che Sapete,”) and a pretty trifle by MASSE, “Ma mere etait Bohemienne.” The lady has a voice of singular beauty, and it has been cultivated with taste and assiduity. She has acquired remarkable execution, without impairing the sympathetic qualities, which,. After all, are the prime forces in every art for the loftiest triumph. Mrs. MOULTON’S attainable range is evidently very great; we presume, however, her voice is to be classed as a mezzo-soprano. At present, while she has abundant wealth of it—we mean as regards quantity—delicacy, sweetness and finish are its most notable and most charming characteristics. Whether that organ would have or could acquire the ‘staying’ power requisite for opera we can only surmise. The power is, above all others, the one that inexperienced artists and inexperienced judges are most apt to err in estimating. We are not aware, however, that Mrs. MOULTON intends to try her fortune on the lyric stage, so that speculation on the subject is, perhaps, superfluous. What we know is, that appearing as an amateur—being carefully so described on the bills—this gifted lady has made a profound impression on audiences rather weary of being called upon to be indulgent to novices, and consequently, it may be presumed not over ready to be enchanted without a cause. This fact, standing alone, shows Mrs. MOULTON to be possessed of uncommon powers, and that if she chooses to exchange her niche as amateur for the more arduous one of the professional artist, she will do so under circumstances of almost unequalled promise. The other performers, who, in common with Mrs. MOULTON volunteered on this occasion, were cordially received. Miss MARIE PUTNAM made her first appearance, and showed that she possesses a contralto voice of ample and rich quality; and Miss MEHLING, a newly-arrived German pianist of repute, played a familiar concerto of WEBER’S in a way that proved her claims to be ranked as a thorough, well trained and conscientious artist, whose future efforts will be looked for with confidence and pleasure. Mr. GARIBOLDI, Mr. LEVY, Signor TABARDI and others aided in a programme over which Mr. MARETZEK presided, and we rejoice to know that the receipts of the occasion were some $3,000.”