Anschütz German Opera: Lustigen Weiber von Windsor

Event Information

Academy of Music

Carl Anschütz

Price: $1; $1.50 box; $.50 family circle; $.25 amphitheatre

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
3 October 2014

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Jan 1864, Evening

Program Details

"Extra Night"

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Merry Wives of Windsor; Merry Wives of Windsor, The; Falstaff
Composer(s): Nicolai
Text Author: Mosenthal
Participants:  Anschütz German Opera Company;  J. Kronfeld;  Marie Frederici (role: Mrs. Reich);  Theodore Habelmann;  Pauline Canissa;  Joseph Hermanns (role: Sir John Falstaff);  Bertha Johannsen (role: Mrs. Fluth);  Anton Graf


Announcement: New-York Times, 23 January 1864.
“A Supplemental performance will be given on Wednesday next, when Nicolai’s famous opera of the “Merry Wives of Windsor,” will be given for the first time.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 23 January 1864.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 24 January 1864, 7.
“Herr Hermanns in his celebrated role of Falstaff.”
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 24 January 1864, 8.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 25 January 1864, 6.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 26 January 1864.

Announcement: New York Post, 27 January 1864, 2.

Announcement: New-York Times, 27 January 1864, 4.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 27 January 1864, 7.
“’Merry Wives of Windsor’ will be given for the first and only time this season.”
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 January 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 January 1864.

Review: New York Herald, 28 January 1864.
“Mr. Anschütz’s artists closed their performances for this season in New York last evening, upon which occasion Nicolai’s charming opera, The Merry Wives of Windsor, was sung. The lively, rattling music seemed to please greatly the large audience, and the applause bestowed up on the artists was hearty and constant. [Johannsen and Frederici] sang and acted with great spirit.  Herr Hermanns, as Sir John Falstaff, was very successful.  His voice is admirably suited to the music of the role.  He was unctuous, as one can be in the language, and certainly made it a hit. The other artists acquitted themselves creditably in their different parts.
On Friday this opera will be repeated at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn.”
Review: New York Post, 28 January 1864, 2.

Very brief mention.  “The Germany Opera Company gave a good performance of ‘The Merry Wives’ last night at the Academy, before a full house. To-morrow they repeat it at the Brooklyn Academy.”

Review: New-York Times, 28 January 1864, 4.
German Opera.—Mr. Anschutz’s return to his position as chief of the German forces was hailed last night with much favor by an attendance crowded from parquet to dome. The gentleman has been very seriously indisposed, and is still feeble in everything save his bâton arm, which is as nervous and imperious as ever.
Nicolai’s popular opera of the ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ was given. The story is taken bodily from Shakespeare, and is therefore easily followed by the American part of the audience. The Teutons seemed to be equally satisfied, and laughed and enjoyed the text hugely. Nicolai’s music is fresh and invigorating. It has not been very well studied, but was, nevertheless, sung with spirit, Herr Herrman’s [sic], the basso, was a good Falstaff.”
Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 28 January 1864, 8.

“The German Opera’s final performance at the Academy of Music took place yesterday before an overfilled house. The first performance of this opera last spring was less than perfect and not a success; the one yesterday was accompanied by applause from beginning to end. Herr Herman as Sir John Falstaff impressed with his voice, acting and make-up; he developed a rare ‘vis comica’ (comedic facial expression) which was irresistible. The other big roles were executed more skillfully than in last year’s performance.”

Review: Musical Review and World, 29 January 1864, 40.

Nicolai’s popular opera, ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ was revived by the Germans at the Academy of Music with a far better success than attended its first performance here last year. The cast was excellent, and Mr. Herrmanns as Falstaff created a very lively interest by his really artistic performance.”

Review: Musical Review and World, 13 February 1864, 55.

Reviews multiple performances. “The German Company have at last started on their western tour. That their season was not successful, was simply owing to bad management. As everybody knows, the performance of ‘Faust,’ ‘Tannhæuser,’ and ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ were [sic] witnessed by very crowded audiences. Had the troupe commenced with these operas, instead of giving ‘Stradella’ and ‘Martha,’ there would have been a surplus instead of a loss. ‘Tannhæuser’ might have been given six times, and saved the Company from entire loss; but no, after two performances, when a general curiosity was exisiting to hear this opera, it was withdrawn. Well, instead of that we heard Nicolai’s charming musical comedy, ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ a work that is full of merit, but considered from a merely dramatic point of view, is very deficient and uninteresting. With exception of the second act, the music of which is full of characteristic broad humor and dramatic points of effect, there is but little else to commend but the fine and artistic musicianship which pervades the score. Not that the author is deficient in ideas, but they are not treated so as to produce the right dramatic effect; in proof of it, we refer to the first duet between the two women, which is much too long, and the salient points of which are lost by a great deal of unnecessary music.

The opera met only with a partial success. In the performance it was chiefly Mr. Hermanns (Fallstaff, [sic]) who was very favorably received. This is decidedly the best German basso we have had here.”