Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
H. L. [impressario] Bateman
Price: $1.00; $1.50 reserved
16 October 2018
“The farewell concerts of Madame [sic] Parepa take place at the operatic catacombs, the Academy of Music, this week. Madame [sic] Parepa is a good but not a great artist, and is assisted by Levy, Carl Rosa and Mills—and by a full orchestra.”
“Tonight, the third and last concert takes place. The program is even better than that of last evening.”
“The Parepa concerts certainly succeed in drawing monster audiences, and last night was no exception to the rule. The programme included several of Parepa’s most attractive pieces, and after the ballad, ‘My heart is over the sea,’ the vocalist received a double encore, responding with ‘Il Bacio’ and ‘Comin’ thro’ the rye.’ The other selections, excepting those played by Mr. Levy on his cornet, were uninteresting, and the applause was courteous rather than cordial.”
“The program last evening was in many respects the same as others we have already commented on. Mlle. Parepa sang any number of ballads, and sang them (as we honestly think she always does sing them better than any artist now living). Simple trifles like these gilded with the splendor of her voice have, of course, a particular fascination for the masses, particularly as they are sung with a phenomenal pronunciation of the good and honest vernacular. We speak now more particularly of the old ballads, and with especial exclusion of Mr. Ganz’s productions, which seem to us to be manufactured with the most meager of material and to be utterly unworthy of the distinction they obtain by being sung by Mlle. Parepa. The scena which this lady sang from ‘Robert le Diable’ amply demonstrated to what better uses her magnificent organ and method may be put—so also the aria from the ‘Nozze de Figaro.’ Both pieces were tumultuously applauded, but we must frankly confess that it was a ballad which carried the day. This (‘My Heart is o’er the Sea’ by Claribel) was encored, and, amid a tumult of approbation, Mlle. Parepa gave ‘Il Bacio’—a morceau which, in general bravura, we never expect to hear excelled. Another encore was inevitable, and the generous cantatrice sang ‘Comin’ Through the Rye’ in the best possible manner. We have seldom heard her to such decided advantage. She seemed to have fully recovered from the fatigue of her recent trip, and to be once more in that voice which we hailed with so much satisfaction on the occasion of her first appearance in our city. Mr. S. B. Mills played his own ‘Faust’ transcription and a ‘Hungarian Rhapsodie’ by Liszt. Both pieces were rendered with absolute power and precision. Messrs. Levy and Rosa were in excellent condition, and the orchestra, under Anschutz, contributed several interesting morceaux.”
“Passing by the larger works to which [Parepa] did such ample justice, we would simply refer to the simple, but by no means easy song, ‘Sing, Birdie, Sing,’ as an evidence of her almost perfect vocalism. It was pure artistic warbling—if art and nature can be so closely blended together—and we can characterize it in no other way than by saying, that it was the perfection of ballad singing.”
Review covering all five concerts of January 6, 8-9 and 11-12, 1866. Very well attended. The programs did not vary much from the ones before. Even the performers were much the same except for Mills. However, even Mills repeated his usual pieces. We do not comprehend that a fine artist such as Mills is moving in the same circle (of people) all the time. We suggest for him to leave out his own compositions for a change. The audience has heard enough of them. Moreover, we advise that he should use the Chopin style music for other works more. Above all he should adopt a repertoire of brilliant pieces. He is able to play everything, and much better than anybody else. So why not use his talent in a more diverse way?
Mme Parepa gave a less favorable impression. She seemed very fatigued; the repercussions of the stress she must have been exposed to. What she is in need of, is peace and quiet.
Mr. Levy also seems indisposed. He is the highlight of the concert for the majority of people’ however, we are not among them.
The violinist Mr. Rosa will leave the ensemble next week to spend the summer in London, before moving back to his hometown Hamburg (Germany).
Anschütz conducted the orchestra as usual. We believe the orchestra could dare to play more demanding works than the Zampa overture.