Richings English Opera: Postillon de Lonjumeau

Event Information

Venue(s):
Niblo's Garden

Proprietor / Lessee:
William Wheatley

Manager / Director:
William Wheatley

Conductor(s):
Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
24 November 2015

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

29 Feb 1864, 7:30 PM

Program Details

Opening Night

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
aka The Coachman of Longjumeau
Composer(s): Adam
Text Author: Leuven, Brunswick
Participants:  Richings English Opera Company;  Edward S. C. Seguin (role: Bijou);  Mrs. J. A. Arnold (role: Seconda Donna);  Mrs. William J. [Richings Opera] Hill;  Mrs. E. D. Hardy;  Henry C. Peakes (role: Bourdon);  Walter [minstrel, tenor] Birch;  Caroline Richings (role: Madeleine);  Peter Richings (role: Marquis de Corcy);  William J. Hill [tenor] (role: Chapelou)

Citations

1)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 20 February 1864.

2)
Announcement: New York Post, 22 February 1864, 2.

3)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 22 February 1864, 7.

4)
Announcement: New York Post, 24 February 1864, 2.

“Next week Caroline Richings will sing in the style of English musical drama which Mr. Peter Richings deems opera.”

5)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 24 February 1864.

6)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 27 February 1864, 371.

“The troupe have been performing in English opera in the principal cities ever since the season commenced, and now they return to New York to give the metropolitans a taste of their musical abilities.”

7)
Announcement: New-York Times, 27 February 1864, 6.

8)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 29 February 1864.

mr. edward seguin, Baritone, (son of the late celebrated basso of that name.)…increased orchestra, augmented chorus.”

9)
Announcement: New York Post, 29 February 1864.
Cast.
10)
Announcement: New-York Times, 29 February 1864, 5.

“An English version of [Postillon]—including, we are happy to say, all the music—will be given.”

11)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 29 February 1864, 9.

Cast, time, prices.  “With All the Original Music.”

12)
Announcement: New York Post, 29 February 1864.

13)
Review: New York Herald, 01 March 1864, 4.

“The Richings Opera troupe made their first appearance this season at Niblo’s Garden last evening in the Postilion [sic] of Lonjumeau. The house was filled by a most appreciative audience and the performance was moderately successful. Miss Caroline Richings sang and acted the role of Madeleine with her usual spirit. We were not favorably impressed with Mr. Hill, the tenor of this troupe. His voice is by no means powerful or sympathetic. Mr. Seguin did not appear musically to great advantage in the secondary role of Bijon. He acted nicely, however, and will doubtless be more successful in some more important part. The music of this most pleasant of comic operas must ever please; but we would really recommend to the management more ensemble in the choruses.”

14)
Review: New-York Times, 02 March 1864, 4.

“Miss Richings commenced an engagement here on Monday evening, opening in an Anglicised version of Adolph Adams’ celebrated ‘Postillion de Lonjumeau.’ The lady is a favorite with theatre-goers, partly because she has a good voice and sings effectively; and partly because she is a fair actress of certain picturesque parts. The role of Madelaine, although written for a tighter voice than Miss Richings’, exhibits her special qualities to advantage. She sings and acts with all the power possible, and naturally wins the applause of the audience. Mr. Peter Richings supports the lady in a thoroughly admirable manner. His Marquis is a fine piece of character acting. Mr. Seguine [sic] as the Blacksmith made the part interesting in a dramatic point of view, but did not add to its musical significance. The support in other respects was only tolerable. There was a palpable scattering in all the concerted pieces, showing insufficiency of rehearsal.”

15)
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 05 March 1864, 375.

Gives the basso’s name as Parks.

16)
Review: New York Clipper, 12 March 1864, 379.

“The Richings Opera Troupe made its debut in this city on the 29th ult., at Niblo’s. The attendance was one of the largest that has been witnessed inside of that establishment this season; and that is saying a great deal. The comic opera of ‘The Postillion of Lonjumeau,’ written by Adams, a French composer, for Cholet, (the best and highest tenor in France, for whom Zampa was likewise composed) was the one selected for the first appearance of (to New York) this new troupe. From the fact of this opera having been composed for such a high tenor as Cholet, it is seldom produced in this country—there not only being few Americans, but few tenors of any nation, even the most favored, who can accomplish the score without the greatest difficulty. The libretto is exceedingly clever, and amusing—the story quaint and interesting—the music light, elegant and sparkling. The story is as follows:—[Provides lengthy synopsis of the plot.] This is a meagre outline of the story. The Opera was placed upon the stage with the same care and attention that characterizes all of Manager Wheatley’s productions. As Madelaine Miss Richings equalled, atleast, if not excelled, all her previous efforts. Mr. Hill was satisfactory as the Postillion. The character is a hazardous one for any one to undertake, but he managed the B flat notes, which so few tenors can master, with taste and skill. Mr. Hill is not what is known as an ‘educated singer;’ he is possessed of a fair voice, but unfortunately it lacks culture. Mr. Peter Richings appeared as the old Marquis, the same character which he assumed years ago at the old Park when this Opera was first produced in this country. Who does not remember those good old days of the Park when Sir Peter was in his prime and the great Seguin was the ‘observed of all observers.’ The old Park is gone, but Peter the Great still lives. Mr. Edward Seguin is a son and namesake of one of the greatest baritone singers ever heard in this country. Although he is said to have graduated with high honors from the French Conservatoire, and has sung in Paris and London, yet his voice is not fully developed into that resonant fullness of tone and power which gave such richness and sympathetic force to the elder Seguin’s singing. He was quite nervous on the first night, which somewhat embarrassed that freedom of action—that abandon to the humor of the situation, which we hope may characterize his performances when he becomes used to his audiences.”