Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
27 June 2013
“The weather cleared up a little last evening, and gave manager Grau a good night for his gala performance. The public appreciated this favor, and Irving place thundered with the rumble of carriages. The performance began half an hour earlier than usual, and so the house filled up rather slowly at first. By the regular hour of opening, however, a very select and fashionable audience crowded every part of the Academy.
Although Mr. Grau had not advertised the fact, it seemed to be generally understood that General McClellan would be present last evening. The General did not attend, however, although Mrs. McClellan was in a retired private box in the dress circle, and Mrs. President Lincoln was present for a short time during the evening. As we semi-officially announced that the General's presence was anticipated, it is but fair to state that General McClellan at first accepts Mr. Grau's invitation to attend, but, being detained by other engagements, sent Mr. Grau the following note, of which no mention was made to the audience, because no official notice had been given on the subject:--
[Lt. Col. Sweitzer's letter is reproduced]
As is usual upoln such occasions, there were many rumors that the brave and popular General was here, there and everywhere--in the parquet, the dress circle, the boxes, but he could not be found, though at every pause in the performance opera glasses were anxiously levelled to catch a glimpse of him, and enthusiastic individuals rushed up stairs and down stairs, and through the corridors to hunt him out. Evidently the large audience desired rather to see McClellan than to listen to the performance but the performance was amply sufficient to repay them for their attendance.
The programme began with the first act and a scene from the third act of ‘Norma,’ in which Lorini, Morensi, Susini and Maccaferri appeared. Lorini was in good voice, but did not sing as well as in ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ on the evening previous. Morensi was, as usual, admirable, and was heartily and deservedly applauded. Susini did well, and Maccaferri did as well as he could. 'La Traviata' followed, with Guerrabella as the heroine and Brignoli as Alfredo. We can only repeat our former notice of the latter opera. Guerrabella acted splendidly and sang enjoyably. Brignoli’s excellent rendition of his part is familiar to the public. Both artists, as well as Amodio, were greatly applauded. The extraordinary care with which Signor Muzio affected to conduct the orchestra was equally instructive and amusing.”
“Gen. McClennan and the Academy of Music.--The extra performance here last evening was well attended by an audience of singularly fashionable exterior–attracted mainly by the idea that Gen. McClellan would be present. There were rumors, indeedm that the General was in the house, but the following letter would seem to indicate that that was not the case."
A letter from Lt. Switzer to Grau says McClellan “express[es] his regrets that he is compelled to deny himself the pleasure of attending the ‘Opera’ this evening, as proposed, and to tender you his thanks for your kind invitation.”
The operas played were ‘Norma’ (two acts) and ‘La Traviata.’ The casts being the same as heretofore. it is unnecessary to refer to them. During the performance, Mrs. McClellan occupied box No. 50, and Mrs. Lincoln, it was understood, was in the Hall. On the conclusion of the operatic performance, the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was sung by the company, and the effect was electrical.”
"The week past has been noted for much rain outside, and for much music inside, the Academy. Notwithstanding the bad weather, the houses generally were fair. Madame Lorini appeared again as Norma, on Saturday night, to a good house, with success. Opera of 'Traviata' followed."