German Opera House
Manager / Director:
Price: $.75 orchestra and reserved; .50 parquet and first tier; .25 parterre and second tier; $5 to $6 boxes
21 June 2016
"German Opera.--It so rarely happens that we appreciate the modest gifts which the God's vouchsafe to us, that the success of so pleasant a trifle as the German Opera may be regarded almost as phenomenal. The World clamors for Opera without seeming to know that other lands than Italian have something in the cause of art. There are hundreds of works in German and French that could be transplanted successfully to this latitude, were managers more enterprising and the public less wedded to what is fashionable. Mr. Anschutz in his venture at Wallack's theatre, has thrown himself upon the genuine appreciation of the public. With a company, which all things considered is amply sufficient for his purpose, a good orchestra and a well selected chorus, he has offered from week to week a choice of works popular in German theatres but unknown elsewhere. No better musician exists in this country, and this circumstance accounts for a degree of completeness in the representations which could hardly be predicated from the known material of the establishment. The critic, who is not cramped by prejudices, detects in every performance something which raises it above the average of ordinary performances, whilst the amateur listens with pleasure to the careful interpretation of works that are, perhaps, entirely new to him. ‘Johann von Paris,’ which was produced at the German Opera house on Wednesday, is a work that no longer possesses the bloom of youth, but so agreeably was it performed, and so pleasantly were its charming melodies offered to the ear, that it obtained a success such as the composer in his palmiest days might have envied. The principal parts were intrusted to Mme. Johannsen and Mme. Rotter, both of whom were more than equal to the demands made on them. Herr Graff, a respectable basso, was excellent as the Senesihal, and Kronfeld, an admirable comedian, kept the house in constant merriment as the overwhelmed innkeeper. The minor parts were cared for in the best manner, and a terpsichorean scene in the third act by Mlle. Theleur and Mons. Wiethoff brought down the house by its excellence. We have seldom, indeed, listened to an opera that in its manner of performance and placement on the stage, gave more genuine satisfaction, or merited greater praise. Boildieu's [sic] music is full of graceful ease and melodic charm. It is written with the freedom of a master, and a with none of that overwrought effort which now passes muster for effect. The third act, which displays the master’s best characteristics, was received with a tumult of applause and insured a triumphant success to the performance. Both Mme. Rotter and Mme. Johannsen were encored in the troubadour romanza. The opera is so pleasant, and the performances so good, that we shall be greatly disappointed if it does not crowd the cosy quarters of the Germans for many evenings to come.”
"Johannsen and Rotter made so gratifying a success on the first night."
"The German Oper [sic] . . . will produce Boieldieu's comic opera, generally known as 'Jean de Paris,' on the 22nd, for the first time in America. Another feather in the cap of Carl Anschutz."
A welcome novelty was brought back last week at the German Opera in Boleildieu's beautiful, though almost [illeg.], work, 'Jean de Paris.' This was the first time of its production in this country, and great care was exercised [illeg.] it upon the stage. It has many sparkling melodies and the instrumentation shows the hand of a master. Madame Johannsen, in the Princess, added to the highly favorable approbation which her other performances had created. She is a careful and conscientious artist, and everything which she attempts is satisfactorily executed. Madame Rotter, one of the most piquant and agreeable of actresses sustained the role of the page, to which her by play and correct vocalization lent additional attraction. The Troubadour song, the most charming morceau in the opera, was twice encored. There is a grand pas de deux in the third act, which was capitally danced by W. Weithoff and Mlle. Costa Theleur. The opera has been given twice to crowded audiences . . ."
Not much discussion of the performance. "For some reason best known to the direction, the two acts of the opera were lengthened into three, or rather, the curtain was lowered at the end of the duo in the first act, between Jean and the page - an insufficient close. - Why did Mr. Anschutz make us wait, musicless, once more than necessary, in the small seats of the unventilated little theatre, Where every wandering breeze that woke Among the warm and crowded folk, Bore, as upon the sense it broke, Those fumes that sore all dames provoke, Thine, sharp and strong, tobacco smoke?"