Articles on the close of Grover’s German Opera season

Event Information


Manager / Director:
Leonard Grover

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

30 Apr 1866

Performers and/or Works Performed


Article: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 29 April 1866, 4.

     The short visit of Grover’s German Opera happened at a time when the audience had already enjoyed seven months of Italian opera and was somewhat tired. Although the choice of Grover’s operas and the performances of the chorus, orchestra and the few truly fine soloists were praised, he ran a deficit at the box office. Unfortunately some of the soloists’ voices are quite “worn out” and they struggle to cover up their shortcomings on stage. Many singers have been members of this ensemble for a long time, some are hired for life and they have very little time to rest in between seasons. In order to form a German opera ranking with the opera ensembles in Germany or the Italian opera will, it would be advisable to be on the look out for younger, fresher voices.

Article: New-York Daily Tribune, 30 April 1866, 4.

     “Mr. Leonard Grover’s opera season of two weeks closed with the Matinée on Saturday last. Sandwiched between the last nights of Maretzek’s and the first nights of Grau’s opera, the Germany company necessarily had many chances against them. Their success was, consequently, only moderate, while their merits deserved a much more brilliant result. The company contains many excellent, though not first-class singers, but all are musicians and earnest, pains taking artists. With less brilliance than the Italian artists and voices inferior in quality, they sing and act with spirit and fidelity, presenting with the other departments so excellent in every respect, an ensemble so satisfying, that we are content to put up with the want of high individual excellence. Mme. Johannsen, Mme. Rotter, Hableman, Himmer, and Hermans [sic], are well educated and able artists, and their efforts during this short season have won and deserved a very cordial approbation.

     The chorusses [sic] sided by several German singing societies, were more competent and impressive than any we have heard upon the Academy stage. In William Tell, especially, their performance was wonderfully grand and effective. The orchestra, under the very able direction of Mr. Newndrof [sic], was remarkably good. Great care was taken to achieve artistic coloring and broad effects, and the overtures were truly specialties, so spiritedly and brilliantly were they given. Though the public did not give that liberal support which the undertaking deserved, Mr. Grover may rest satisfied that his exertions have been warmly appreciated by those who witnessed his performances, and we are confident that at a proper season he can return and achieve a brilliant success, for his spirit, under adverse circumstances, has won the confidence of the public.”

Article: New-York Times, 30 April 1866, 5.

     “The opportunity presents itself this week of presenting the public with the celebrated French sentence, Le roi est mort; vive le Roi. Being literally interpreted, it means that Mr. Grover having departed, it is proper that we now throw up our caps for Mr. Grau. Before doing so let us express our regret at the scurvy treatment which the former gentleman has received at the hands of the public and the weather. He did not, to be sure, fulfill the promise of his opening pronunciamento, nor was it in human nature to do so. Any manager who announces nine grand operas for performance during a season of eight nights and a matinée, knows, or should know, that nothing but the most extraordinary luck can carry him through. As a steady thing it is, happily, impossible. When at long intervals the feat is accomplished, it is at the expense of the operas performed. Mr. Grover is in the habit, we think, of promising more than he can perform. We mention it simply because he injures himself more than any one else. Had he been content with announcing three operas instead of nine, he might possibly have fared differently. Be this as it may, he deserved better luck than he found. He gave us the best chorus ever heard in the Academy of Music, and an orchestra inferior to none. His artists were not great—nor were his prices of admission. The descent from a dollar and a half to a dollar, (injudicious because a declaration of non-success,) was received calmly by the public, and had the matinée taken place at fifty cents—the admission announced—we have no doubt our German friends would have smiled and stayed away. Nothing could exceed the easy indifference with which they permitted the season to blow over. We trust that Mr. Grover may be more successful in Pittsburgh, whither he and his singing birds have taken flight. A new opera house has, it seems, been erected there, and it will be inaugurated to-night.”

Article: Dwight's Journal of Music, 12 May 1866, 240.

     Brief. “Opera. Grover’s German Company have left New York and gone to Pittsburg, Pa. They have given Gotham some of the best things, for instance, ‘Fidelio,’ ‘Magic Flute,’ ‘William Tell,’ and ‘The White Lady.’”