Amateur Musical Entertainment: W. H. Cooke Benefit

Event Information

Irving Hall

Manager / Director:
Signor Rondinella

Signor Rondinella

Event Type:
Chamber (includes Solo)

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
18 September 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

21 Feb 1863, Evening

Program Details

Miss Smith's performance of Meyerbeer's "Ah! mon fils" was encored. She sang a waltz written by Pedro d'Abella.
Mrs. Ronald's performance of Bellini's "Ah! non credea mirarti" was encored. She sang a cavatina from Verdi's "I Lombardi."

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Reminiscences of Rigoletto; Fantasia Rigoletto; Rigoletto fantasie
Composer(s): Liszt
Participants:  Sebastian Bach Mills
aka Ah, mio figlio; Beggar's song; Prophete. Ah! mons fils
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Composer(s): Abella
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Mrs. Ronalds
Composer(s): Rondinella
Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Mrs. Ronalds
Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Mrs. Ronalds


Review: New York Herald, 23 February 1863, 5.

“A concert was given at Irving Hall on Saturday evening, which attracted the elite of New York society. It was an amateur musical entertainment, under the direction of Signor Rondenella [sic, here and remainder of review], for the benefit of Mr. W. H. Cooke. The ladies and gentlemen who sang deserve great praise for their performances, which reflect much credit upon their professor, Signor Rondenella, the popular maitre de chant, whose pupils they mostly are. The programme was most varied and attractive. Mr. S. B. Mills was the pianist upon this occasion. He began the evening’s performance by a solo on the piano, a ‘Fantasia Rigoletto,’ composed by Liszt. Then Miss Reed, Mr. Cook and Mr. Nash sang a trio from ‘I due Foscari’ in such style as to cause us to forget that amateurs and not renowned artists, were being heard. After this a duetto from ‘Don Pasquale’ was given by Miss Smith and Mr. Berry with great ensemble. The audience were excited to great applause, and a reiterated demand for an encore by Miss Reed’s splendid rendition of the ‘Ah! Mon Fils.’ She substituted for the encore demanded the ‘Valse d’Abella.’ It now became evident, from the agitation displayed by the ladies, that something eagerly expected was to take place. The programme announced a trio from ‘Ernani,’ and Mrs. Ronalds was the soprano. This lady—the star of the evening—has won applause in the salons of London and Paris. Her voice is one which rivals that of artists well known to fame. In London she created a furor in the beau monde by singing duets with Lady Otley. In Paris she sang with great effect at the private concerts given by the Empress Eugenie. The lady’s beauty and ravisante [sic] toilette added to the effect produced by her admirable singing in the trio we are now referring to. In the second part of the programme there were gems which we have not space here to mention. Miss Smith sang with great purity and expression a canzonetta composed by Signor Rondenella. The duetto between Mrs. Ronalds and Mr. Cook, from the ‘Ballo,’ was admirably rendered. But the great success of the evening was the ‘Ah! non Credea,’ sung with such purity and effect by Mrs. Ronalds. It was tumultuously encored, but the lady gave instead the cavatina from the opera ‘Lombardi.’ After this the trio from ‘Falstaff’ by the three sopranos—Mrs. Ronalds, Miss Reed and Miss Smith—was received with shouts of applause. The ladies sang with all the aplomb of professionals and were as merry and arch as was required. To sum up, we doubt whether a more pleasing or artistic concert was ever given within the Irving Hall.”