Academy of Music
Price: $1; $1.50 box; $.50 family circle; $.25 amphitheatre
3 October 2014
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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from entire loss; but no, after two performances, when a general curiosity was exisiting to hear this opera, it was withdrawn.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.”