Anschütz German Opera: Alessandro Stradella

Event Information

Venue(s):
Academy of Music

Proprietor / Lessee:
East 14th St at the corner of Irving Place Academy of Music

Conductor(s):
Carl Anschütz

Price: $1 parquette and balcony; $1.50 reserved parquette and balcony; $.50 family circle; $.25 amphitheatre

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
23 July 2014

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

02 Dec 1863, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Opening Night of New Season.

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
Composer(s): Flotow
Text Author: Friedrich
Participants:  Anschütz German Opera Company;  Joseph Weinlich;  Bertha Johannsen (role: Leonore);  Anton Graf (role: Barbarino);  Theodore Habelmann (role: Malvolio);  Franz Himmer (role: Alessandra Stradella)

Citations

1)
Announcement: New York Post, 07 September 1863, 2.

“Two opera companies will divide the honors of the lyric drama this year. Mr. Maretzek heads the Italian troupe, as usual, and Mr. Anschutz will bring out a German company with a number of operas never played here. The Academy of Music will open under Maretzek’s management on the 5th of October, with Medori, Mazzolini [sic], Sulzer, Bellini and Biachi in ‘Robert le Diable.’ The choruses will be greatly strengthened; they needed a tonic. Mr. Anschutz will begin his season in November, with ‘Faust and Marguerite.’ His company are now on the way to this city from Hamburg.”

2)
Article: New-York Times, 28 September 1863, 4.

“The artists of Mr. Auschutz’s [sic] German troupe have already arrived from Hamburgh [sic], and will go into harness on Monday next in Baltimore, where Mr. Anschutz commences operations. The company will open on the Dec. 1 [sic] at the New-York Academy of Music, and play for two or three months. The répertoire is almost entirely new in this country, and will be interpreted by the lately arrived singers by a superb chorus, by a full orchestra, and with the auxiliaries of entirely new scenery and a costly and appropriate wardrobe. There cannot be a doubt of the complete success of the enterprise. The Germans are justly attached to their national opera, and as New-York is, in point of numbers, the third German city of the world, and in point of diffused wealth far ahead of the two rivals, Vienna and Berlin, it is obvious that the Teutons have both the strength and the means to make their opera a successful institution if they are so disposed. Experience has demonstrated, too, that Mr. Anschutz has hosts of friends in the American public, who will gladly support him in his effort to give a cis-Atlantic popularity to the master-works of Germany. An initial performance will be given at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday evening, for the purpose of introducing the artists to our public. No New-York theatre could be obtained for the purpose, hence the necessity of adjourning to the Sister City.”

3)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 05 October 1863, 5.

german opera.

            Mr. Anschutz is so well satisfied with his success last season that he will try another here in December—with a few occasional performances perhaps at one of the theatres previously. M. Anschutz has obtained from Europe, four new artists—a prima donna, a soubrette, a tenor and bass—all young fresh artists of attractive powers about whom we shall speak in due season. They sang to a private party, the other night, much to the satisfaction of all present.”

4)
Announcement: New-York Times, 16 November 1863, 4.
“On the 1st of next month the Academy will be handed over to the Germans under Mr. Anschutz; they will retain it for three months.”
5)
Announcement: New York Herald, 19 November 1863.

6)
Announcement: New York Post, 23 November 1863, 2.

7)
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 24 November 1863.

8)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 November 1863.
“The undersigned begs to inform subscribers that . . . the next season of the German Opera will positively commence on Monday, Nov. 30. . . . CARL ANSCHUTZ.”
9)
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 28 November 1863, 6.
10)
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 29 November 1863.

11)
Announcement: New York Post, 30 November 1863, 2.
“Stradella—a very good one when it was new, but that was a long time ago.”
12)
Announcement: New-York Times, 30 November 1863, 4.

“Mr. Carl Anschutz will commence his grand season of German Opera, at the Academy of Music on Wednesday next.  The opera selected for the occasion is Flotow’s ‘Stradella.’  Good: it might have been ‘Martha;’ or, who knows, even ‘Der Freischutz.’  Now we are safe for a week at least.  Capital opera ‘Stradella.’  Quite fresh!”

13)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 01 December 1863, 7.
 “The undersigned begs to inform subscribers that . . . the next season of the German Opera will positively commence on Wednesday, Dec. 2. . . . CARL ANSCHUTZ.”
14)
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 01 December 1863.

15)
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 01 December 1863.

16)
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 01 December 1863, 6.
17)
Announcement: New York Herald, 02 December 1863.
“To-night the German Opera troupe, under the management of Mr. Carl Anschutz, commence a two months season at our Academy of Music.  This is an ambitious undertaking on the part of the Germans, but it will succeed if encouraged by the public, as it will doubtless deserve to be. . . . Anschutz always has large and efficient choruses and orchestra. . . . We fear his prices are too high.”

18)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 December 1863.

19)
Announcement: New-York Times, 02 December 1863, 5.

“[Stradella] is an attractive work, and is rendered unusually interesting by the cast.”

20)
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 02 December 1863.

21)
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 02 December 1863, 6.
22)
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 02 December 1863, 8.

“Maretzek has indeed left, but Anschütz is here, and will open his winter campaign this evening at the Academy with his new, and, from what we hear, capable forces. ‘Alessandro Stradella’ will be presented with an almost completely new cast. The highly praised tenor, Mr. Himmler, sings ‘Stradella,’ Mr. Habelmann, ‘Malvolio;’ while the other parts are filled by Mme. Johannsen and Messrs. Weinlich and Graff.”

23)
Review: New-York Times, 03 December 1863, 8.

Academy of Music.--Mr. Anschutz’s company commenced operations last night before an audience that was more select than numerous. Flotow’s opera of ‘Stradella’ was selected for the occasion, and in all the broad essentials of orchestra and chorus received the best of interpretation. It is mainly in these things that the Germans excel everywhere, and notably so in New-York. The general distribution of the opera embraced the names of Herr Himmer, the tenor robusto, who will improve on acquaintance; Herr Weinlich, known to fame; Mme. Johanssen, admirable and artistic always; Herr Habelmann, a capital tenor di grazia, and Herr Graff, who will be remembered by the frequenters of the old German opera.”

24)
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 03 December 1863.
“The opera opened, last night, with new faces in the audience--the German ‘element’ coming forward--but the house was not what it ought to be, given the known ability of Mr. Anschutz as a musical caterer. The play presented was Stradella, the pleasing melodious rather French work of the Opera Comique school, by Herr Von Flotow. The orchestra was magnetically directed by Mr. Anschutz, the reverend fathers of the assembly, the contra bassi, facing the lyrical dogs. The chorus is particularly good. They are all alive, men and women, with their work, and snap off their ultimate phrases like a lively soloist. Madame Johannsen is a most attractive artist, with a voice full of feminine sympathetics, and which can produce effects on the audience with few notes, however simple. The new tenor, Herr Himmer, did not come up to the expectations of those who looked for a large, robust tenor. His organ is imply a tenor of grace as the Italians say. The part of Mavolio, the first ruffian, was intrusted to Herr Habelmann, who we should like to hear in a leading part, for he made an excellent impression. Barberino, ruffian number two, was executed by the basso, Herr Graff, who has a melodious basso, and acts with spirit. The other bass was the well known Herr Weinlich.
 
There ought to be with the novelties which Mr. Anschutz promises, a brilliant season.”
25)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 05 December 1863, 267.
“Anschütz’s German-Italian Opera.”
26)
Review: Musical Review and World, 05 December 1863, 294.
"The house was but scantily filled.  The performers did well, and the whole entertainment gave satisfaction.  Mr. Himmer, the principle tenor, is a good singer.  He phrases well, and knows exactly what to do with his resources, which will be more fully developed in roles better taxing his dramatic powers.  Mr. Habelmann, the tenore di grazia, renewed the favorable impression he made at his first appearance.  Orchestra and chorus superb.”

27)
Review: New-York Times, 07 December 1863, 5.
“Mr. Carl Anschutz’s German experiment commenced at the Academy of Music on Wednesday last. Three performances in all have been given--on the night we have named, on Friday and on Saturday. If it were the province of journalism to refer to management, we might find in these three entertainments a theme for comment. We might ask, is it good policy to have the house half empty on the opening night? Is it judicious to try to revolutionize the entire system of management, simply because inexperienced persons, with theoretical ideas, happen to find themselves in authority? Mr. Anschutz requires a large and hearty background of supporters. He is attempting a severe task--the education of the public in a particular kind of music. To increase the numbers of that public should be an object with him; not to oppress or weary those who are already on his side. There is no bore so intolerable as an empty house; yet this affliction has been suffered by every one visiting the German opera on the nights we have named. There were a certain number of subscribers and a few outsiders--sufficient, we hope, to pay expenses--on every night, but the general effect of bare benches was calculated to make the average mind regret its kid gloves. But these matters are for the managerial judgment. Beyond briefly glancing at these we desire nothing better than to leave them alone.
 
The three performances we have referred to have introduced all the male singers of Mr. Anschutz’s company, and we may say of the latter that whatever may be their shortcomings in point of volume of voice, they are by no means deficient in intelligence or in the ability to use their resources to the best advantage. The Academy is a trying place for the voice. Nothing but strength tells there. We must look, therefore, to those departments where this quality is exhibited to find the material for unqualified praise. We find it easily enough in the orchestra and chorus, and as German opera depends so largely on those important, but generally neglected features, we think we can discover the germ of future prosperity in their completeness. Mr. Anschutz’s orchestra is collectively stronger and individually better than any orchestra we have had in the City for many years. Guided by the nervous bâton of the conductor, it sketches out the plan of a work with rare vigor and fidelity. The chorus is unusually good; better, indeed, than any chorus that we remember to have heard at the Academy. In these two masses the musician finds a true source or artistic enjoyment. They impart closeness and unity to every performance. The ensembles are invariably spirited; the orchestral figures nicely and even delicately preserved, and--we may add--the soloists are at least better than any German soloists we have had before. If the public desires to hear German opera, it can do so well and assuredly comfortably at the Academy. There are only two or three houses in Germany where in all these particulars Mr. Anschutz’s company is excelled. New-York, in point of Teuton population, is said to be the third Germany city of the world. The day is not distant when it will boast of a theatre more accurately adapted to the calibre of German voices. The Academy is too large; it requires singers such as Italy only can supply. Until that day comes, it is the duty of every German to support the parent enterprise; to make strong the hands of the management, and to be content with a very palpable progress towards perfection. Mr. Anschutz has several important works in progress, which he will produce with all the expedition possible.”
28)
Review: New York Clipper, 19 December 1863, 283.
 “Germans are a musical people, from center to circumference, and there’s a good deal of them, horizontally and perpendicularly; but fond as they are of crotchets and quavers, and such things, they like their lager beer the more, because it’s cheap and reliable.  Anschutz, with his German opera troupe, came her recently, and opened on the 2d inst., at the Academy of Music.  His terms, however, didn’t suit his own fellow citizens’ pockets, and his Dutch didn’t suite the habitues of the Academy; so what with this and that, he made ‘yust so mooch axspense’ as he cared to stagger under, and was much annoyed at the result, for he had promised himself a great success.  About the amount of it is, people are getting tired of paying a dollar and a half for an opera ticket.  To be sure a dollar will buy a ticket; but just you squat down in a seat and see how quick some dollar and a half chap will turn you out, and annihilate your squatter sovereignty.”
K: Ethnicity, Germans