H. Draper Sacred Concert: 1st

Event Information

Irving Hall

Manager / Director:
Henry Draper

Price: $.50; $1 reserved

Event Type:

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

08 Apr 1866, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Concert originally scheduled for Easter Sunday, 04/01/66, but postponed owing to the “indisposition of two of the principal artists.” Performers advertised for 04/01 were Lizzie Leonte, Octavie Gomien, Stella Bonheur, William Castle, John Farley, Charles Templar, and Harold Montrose. It is unclear if Bonheur, Farley, and Templar participated in the performance on 04/08. Octavie Gomien was replaced by Miss Norton on 04/08 (see review in the New York Herald). Program advertised for 04/01 included Rossini’s “La carita,” Owen’s “Ave Maria,” and an unidentified quartet for male voices by Costa. It is unclear if these pieces were performed on 04/08. United States premiere of Presso il fiume stranier. The New York Post incorrectly advertises this concert as the second in the series.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Liche
aka Super flumina Babylonis; Presso il flume stranier ; Psalm 137
Composer(s): Gounod
aka La carita; Charity; Strength of the holy, virtue divine
Composer(s): Rossini
Composer(s): Miné


Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 07 February 1866, 8.
Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 26 March 1866, 158.

     H. Draper – who is planning to stage the opera Der Doctor von Alcantara – will give so-called ‘Sacred Concerts’ for church music on Sundays from coming Sunday on. We wonder if the police will interfere and stop the concerts, because music on Sundays is not allowed. Maybe there will be an exception for church music. The term ‘church music’ seems very flexible here in the United States. Arias from Lombardi and ‘Winden wir den Jungfernkranz’ are sung with the text of ‘Gloria Deo in excelsis’.

     The very talented singer Ms. Stella Bonheur will participate in these concerts.

Announcement: New York Post, 29 March 1866, 2.

     “The second of the scared concerts given under the direction of Mr. H. Draper, will occur at Irving Hall next Sunday evening. Madamoiselle Stella Bonheur and Octavie Gomien and Messrs. Castle and Farley are among the performers engaged. The programme embraces Rossini’s celebrated ‘cantata,’ [sic] for four prima-donnas, Owen’s beautiful ‘Ave Maria,’ Costa’s great quartet, gems for male voices, and Gounod’s new and grand chorus, which will be performed for the first time in this country.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 30 March 1866.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 31 March 1866, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 31 March 1866, 2.
Announcement: New-York Times, 01 April 1866, 4.

Partial program and performers.

Announcement: New-York Times, 02 April 1866, 2.

     “Mr. Draper’s Sacred Concert, which was announced for last evening, was postponed in consequence of the indisposition of two of the principal artists.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 07 April 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 07 April 1866.

Lists performers. “Steinway’s Grands.”

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 08 April 1866.
Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 09 April 1866, 184.

     Review will be more detailed next week. Draper’s idea of the Sunday concerts is a good one, however; the programs do not promise the same artistic value as the ones of Mr. Bergmann’ several years ago.

Review: New York Herald, 09 April 1866.

     “A pretty large audience attended the first sacred concert at Irving Hall last night. The new organ, described before in the Herald, was heard for the first time in this hall, and, under the skilful [sic] touch of Mr. William A. King, pealed forth its magic tones with wonderful effect. Mr. King is an accomplished artist, and his voluntaries show some talent and discrimination. It would be an improvement, however if the organ part of the programme were more varied and interesting. There is, unfortunately, too much sameness in the voluntaries of our organists. Their choice of theme seems to be confined to one class of pieces, and when they get hold of a nursery rhyme they ring changes on it ad nauseum. The vocal selections were of a very choice character, and, in general, well rendered. Miss Leonte, a young debutante, sang the soprano solos of the evening. She has a fresh, clear, ringing voice, under good control, and only deficient in evenness and æsthetic repose. It is a common failing with our young sopranos to indulge in little spasmodic outbursts of forte passages. This course may be productive of startling effects, but it leaves a disagreeable impression behind. Miss Norton, who sang the contralto pieces in place of Miss Gomien, is a genuine artist, both in voice and rendering. She gave the Salve Regina of Liche in admirable style. Miss Lucia Dean rendered the mezzo soprano part in an irreproachable manner. Mr. William Castle is too well known to need remark here. We have spoken of him before in the Herald. The most disagreeable part of the concert was the mutilation of Gounod’s Presso il fiume Stranier. The chorus bungled it in a sad manner, the tenors entirely overshadowing the bassos, and a complete want of unanimity in time being shown by the sopranos and the altos. We have seldom heard the ever-changing and never tiresome quartette, ‘Strength of the Holy Virtue Divine,’ by Rossini, sung with more heartfelt tenderness and expression than at the concert last night. The male quartettes were unexceptionable, but the chorus was irredeemably bad. Mine’s Magnificat was a perfect chaos, out of which it was impossible to extricate one idea of the author. With a more efficient chorus and greater variety of organ pieces, we doubt not that Mr. Draper’s series of sacred concerts will prove a success.”