English Opera Company: Maritana

Event Information

Olympic Theatre

Proprietor / Lessee:
Mrs. John Wood

Manager / Director:
Mrs. John Wood
Benjamin A. Baker

Anthony, Jr. Reiff [vn-cond.-composer]

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
11 September 2011

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

04 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
05 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
06 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
07 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
08 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
09 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Opening Night of the English Opera Company.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Wallace
Text Author: Fitzball
Participants:  Louisa Myers (role: Lazarillo);  John [basso] Clark (role: King Charles II of Spain);  G. Warren [bass] White (role: Marquis de Montefiori);  Mrs. N. E. Burroughs (role: Marchioness);  William Castle (role: Don Caesar);  Sherwood C. Campbell (role: Don José de Santarem);  Madame Comte Borchard (role: Maritana)


Announcement: New York Clipper, 02 July 1864.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 02 July 1864, 96.

An “efficient Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Anthony Reiff.”

Announcement: New York Herald, 02 July 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 03 July 1864.


Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 03 July 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 July 1864.

Announcement: New-York Times, 04 July 1864, 4.

“The house passes into the hands of an English opera company, composed of a portion of Mr. L.F. Harrison’s Philadelphia troupe.  The opening opera is ‘Maritana.’ . . . Anthony Rieff [sic], who has suffered and grown strong in the cause, is the musical conductor.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 04 July 1864, 7.


Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 July 1864.

Review: New-York Times, 06 July 1864, 4.

Wallace’s opera of ‘Maritana’ was produced here on Monday, by a small opera company, under the management of Mr. B.A. Baker, and direction of Mr. Anthony Reiff. . . . There was a small orchestra and a sufficient chorus.  The performance was only moderately good.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 July 1864, 5.

“The Fourth of July is a jubilee of freedom for the theaters.  As a custom they are closed after that till the Autumn. . . . The Olympic Theatre, however, is an exception.  That reopened on the 4th for a season of English opera.  We consider it a hazardous undertaking to try opera when the acting drama ceases to draw; moreover, the public are si[n]ce the building of an Academy of Music or very large opera-house, very little used to look to the acting theaters for musical entertainments, and hence require special spurring to excite their artistic sympathies in that direction. The company played . . . “Maritana There were several encores, the fine baritone of Mr. Campbell meeting with particular favor. The chorus was increased over that heard in Niblo’s Saloon; so, too, the orchestra, led with spirit by Mr. Reiff.”

Review: New York Herald, 08 July 1864, 1.

“Maritana has been sung at this theatre this week to very excellent houses. . . . This is the best English opera company ever heard in this country.  The Pyne and Harrison troupe cannot be compared to them as a whole.  They are very well supported by the minor singers, and should be supported by the public also.  How can we ever expect English opera if we persistently refuse to patronize it?”

Announcement: New York Clipper, 09 July 1864, 102.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 09 July 1864.


Review: New York Clipper, 16 July 1864, 110.

“[Q]uite a full attendance. . . . The cast at the Olympic is really the best ever seen in this country, and throughout they interpreted the music of the opera artistically, the solos and the choruses being very effectively rendered, as were the orchestral portions. . . . as a whole, we doubt whether it was ever better rendered than it has been at the Olympic the past week. The audience on Friday night were inclined at first to be hypercritical, but it was not long before the excellence of the vocalism and the admirable rendering of the principal gems of the opera drew forth loud and repeated outbursts of applause, encores being insisted upon in several instances, Messrs. Campbell and Castle monopolizing the lion’s share, although the two prominent lady artists were duly honored. Campbell’s rendering of that charming melody, ‘In happy moments,’ and Castle’s ‘Let me like a soldier die,’ elicited deserved encores, and Miss Myers also was deservedly applauded for her singing in the second and last acts.  This charming young artist is rapidly attaining a popularity her estimable private character and excellence of performance fully entitle her to, and we are glad to record her success.  On the whole, we have never before had so satisfactory a presentation of English opera as is now given at the Olympic.”

Review: New York Post, 17 July 1864, 2.

Just a mention.  “The English opera season at the Olympic Theatre is meeting with a success which does not always attend these enterprises.  ‘Maritana’ and ‘Fra Diavolo’ have each had a run of a week.”