Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
1 July 2014
Includes review from Chicago Tribune dated 01/19/1865 – “The associations which cluster around the massacre of the Hugenots [sic] will always render the story one of absorbing interest. Meyerbeer seized upon the historical and intensely dramatic elements of the narrative, and deriving inspiration from its religious character, wrought out the splendid opera of the Huguenots, an achievement which inaugurated the era of the lyrico-historic drama. Although the melodies of Robert are by far the best of Meyerbeer’s, yet its effective contrasts and sequences, in the range of scenic accessories, in ensembles, in depth and breadth of instrumentation and in dramatic power, the Hugenots [sic] must rank as his greatest work. The chorals [sic] introduced are enriched by the ornaments of his elaborate and descriptive instrumentation, and his choruses in the finales are most skillfully arranged, and appeal with great force to the auditors.
We want a dictionary for superlatives to heap upon the artists, chorus singers, orchestra and the guiding spirit Anschutz. The Bacchanalian chorus at the supper, the dead chorus of the second act, that rare embroidery of choruses, the citizen, the Huguenot rataplan, and the beautiful litany at the commencement of the third act, so skillfully interwoven, the benediction of the daggers and the adjuration chorus, so full of energy, fierceness and religion, fury forming the background to the terrible trio of the monks – all of these were splendidly rendered.”
The ad includes excerpts from a review that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on 01/19/1865 (appears to be same review from NYH translated into French).
“The best house of the season was present at Meyerbeer’s grand opera, Les Huguenots, at the Academy last evening. There could be no exception taken to the manner in which the opera was produced. The cast was very strong, and the costumes and scenery entirely in keeping with the events of the story. Carl Formes, in his great — indeed, we may say his best part — Marcel, sang and acted splendidly. The tenors --- Tamaro and Habelman [sic] — were in good voice, and sustained the parts well. Tamaro’s Raoul, in some parts, was especially good. Mesdames Johannsen and Rotter were very cordially received. The Huguenots, we think, would bear repetition; and Mr. Grover may probably be required to produce it again.”
“Mr. Grove fulfilled his promise last evening by reviving Meyerbeer’s opera of ‘Les Huguenots.’ Any words of ours in praise of the work would be superfluous. It is accepted – and rightly – as the grandest opera of the Italian or German repertoire. It contains more ideas than any half-dozen of the present run of works. We reserve for another opportunity, which we hope may soon occur, the remarks which, in view of a lengthy performance, we could only now imperfectly express. Briefly, we wish to say that the opera was given most creditably. The orchestra and chorus were both superb, and the artists were generally excellent. We doubt, indeed, if Meyerbeer’s opera has ever been heard to greater advantage.”
COMMENT: The NYT erroneously includes an announcement for the performance of Les Huguenots that evening.
“Meyerbeer’s ‘Les Huguenots’ was given by the German Opera Company at the Academy of Music last evening to the fullest and most fashionable house of the season. The admirable performances of this company, so ample in its proportions, and so complete in all its details will, daring the balance of the season, undoubtedly meet with a success nearly, if not quite equal, to that which attended its last engagement in this city.
Of the performance last night, which was generally excellent, the third act must be mentioned as especially admirable. In it occurs the impassioned and masterly duet between Valentine and Marcel, Johannsen and Formes, which was rendered in a grand and impressive manner. Johannsen exhibited more power and more passion than we believed her possessed of, and she showed in this really fine effort all the qualities of a true artist and a thorough musician.
Formes seemed to have renewed his youth, his voice was steady and came out in its old power, and he acted earnestly and passionately. Never since he appeared in this country has he been heard to greater advantage. The Duello scene which followed was ably and spiritedly executed, Signor Tamaro, distinguishing himself in point of energy and power. The whole opera was in every respect faithfully and admirably executed, doing ample credit to the artists and to the management.
The chorus sustained their well-earned reputation, as also did the orchestra under the capable direction of Carl Anschutz.
Mr. Grover has spared no expense to present the finest operatic works in the most effective and perfect manner possible under the circumstances, and should receive the liberal patronage and the warm thanks of the public.”