Annual Purim Ball: 5th

Event Information

Academy of Music

Theodore Thomas [see also Thomas Orchestra]
Claudio Solomon Grafulla

Price: $10 includes one gentleman and two ladies

Record Information


Last Updated:
25 October 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

01 Mar 1866, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Herald, 25 February 1866.

“The Purim ball, though given in celebration of the Jewish feast instituted to commemorate the deliverance of the Hebrews from the tyranny of Haman [illeg.], is by no means exclusively attended by the Hebraic element of Gotham, and the festive occasions of preceding years, although lacking that exuberance of carnivalistic jollity that characterizes the Germans ballo in maschera, have been remarkable for magnificent decorative displays, gorgeous costumes, and large but select assemblages. The soiree to be given on Thursday next will be remembered for the grandeur and historical fidelity of the decorations of the Academy, even if the ever changing scenes of midnight revery [sic] make no lasting impression upon the beholder.

The Irving Place Catacombs will be metamorphosed into a spacious temple, built in the Persian style of old, the artist designing to recall the magnificence of a past age. Trophies of arms, branches of palm, oriental vases and allegorical figures representing the twelve tribes of Israel will be displayed with good effect, while the committee will be attired in costumes of the time of Queen Esther, or pace the floor as courtiers and warriors of high rank, their dresses being prepared expressly for the occasion. The dancing music will be provided by Theodore Thomas and his orchestra; Grafulla and the Seventh regiment band having charge of the promenade music.”

Announcement: New York Sun, 26 February 1866, 1.

“The Academy will be transformed into a Persian temple, with palm branches, eastern vases, and allegorical representations of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Committee will appear in the guises of warriors and others of high rank in the time of Queen Esther.  The processions will be unique in style and grand in effect.  The first procession will represent the centuries during which the Hebrews were oppressed, each century marching past until the nineteenth is reached, when the Goddess of Liberty will appear in a chariot, with a temple within which rises a structure, bearing the names of Hebrew celebrities of the time in which they lived.  As the cortege reaches the stage, the clouds will open, and Prince Carnival and his Court will appear and pay homage to the Queen, after which a grand ballet by harlequins and amazons, will bring the ceremonies to a close.”

Announcement: New York Herald, 01 March 1866, 5.

Statement from the Police Department describes the arrival and departure procedures for coaches.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 01 March 1866.
Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 02 March 1866.