Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
17 July 2013
“The Bateman concerts came to a completely satisfactory termination on Saturday evening, when Irving Hall was literally besieged. Not only the hall, but the neighborhood of the hall, was alive with the lady’s admirers. Of the concert it is unnecessary to speak. It was fully equal to its predecessors, and in the matter of heartiness toward the prima donna, somewhat surpassed them.”
“The last of the Bateman Concerts took place at Irving Hall on Saturday evening last, before an overflowingly crowded audience, which testified in the most enthusiastic manner their delight at the brilliant performances of Madame Parepa. She sang one new song, ‘The Guard’s Waltz,’ by Besignani, which he expressly arranged for her voice and free execution. It presented no remarkable traits, and resembles most of the waltzes designed to show off a bravura singer. The ample fioriture was executed in a most brilliant and effective manner, and with a grace and ease which seem to render difficulties a simple effort of will. It was encored amidst a perfect storm of applause. Auber’s aria from ‘Le Serment’ afforded Mdlle. Parepa another opportunity for the display of her brilliant vocalization. This is one of her happiest selections, for it exhibits at once, the grace and finish of her style, and her perfect command over every vocal resource. Prock’s [sic] ‘Morgen Festerlien’ was also a marked success. Its imitations so artistically executed, though by no means artistic in their character, seemed to please the public immensely, and met with, of course, the customary honor.
The last song, however, ‘Il Bacio,’ afforded the public an opportunity of showing their admiration of the artist, and their regret at her departure. She sang it as brilliantly and as gracefully as ever, achieving her altissimo notes with that fluent ease as remarkable as it is charming. This was vehemently encored, and in response she sang in her unsurpassed ballad style, ‘Five O’Clock in the Morning.’ At its close, the deafening applause still continuing, she was compelled to reappear and curtsey [sic] her thanks again and again to her enthusiastic admirers.
With this closed the most remarkable series of concerts that has been given in New York for many years. During three weeks some twelve concerts have been given of a character worthy of the principal and the City of New York—the scheme comprising a distinguished musical celebrity, Mdlle. Parepa, a solo pianist and violinist, and a concert orchestra. The expense attending these concerts was enormous, but the result fully bore out the judgment of Mr. Bateman, who asserted that the musical public would liberally support an enterprise carried out on a grand scale. Each succeeding night proved the soundness of his judgment by the increased audiences, until at the last half of the series the hall was too small to accommodate the visitors, so that both an artistic and a pecuniary success has been achieved. The combination opera favored the result; but to the talents and the rare gifts of Mdlle. Parepa must be ascribed the crowning honor of the success. Her splendid abilities met with immediate recognition, and she rose in one night to the highest position in public estimation. The first impression has been strengthened rather than weakened, and New York has honored itself in thus honoring so distinguished and brilliant an artist.”
" . . . We are at Irving Hall, whose echoes repeated for the past three weeks the name of Mlle Parepa. She's a pearl discovered by M. Bateman, and a pearl, fortunately, [that] has been appreciated by the public. We know some enthusiasts who compared the new singer, for her breadth of style, the scope of her power, and the fineness and brio of execution, to Grisi. Against ordinary comparisons, this one is simply just and well-founded; thus M. Batemanhas the hen with the golden eggs. As for Messieurs Rosa and Dannreuther, who constitute along with Mlle Parepa the personnel of these concerts, the thermometer of our enthusiasm is not at the same height. The first is a violinist who is correct and sweet enough, but he lacks nerve and warmth; the other isn't strong enough on the piano to rival the renowned virtuosos. One has to be an artist of the first order to make this disagreeable instrument, which can't stand mediocrity, acceptable. Happily for M. Bateman, one tolerates his pianist and one accepts his violinist out of consideration for the singer. . . . "