Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
5 August 2013
With comments on overall season. “Mr. Grau has given nineteen opera nights and three matinées, playing during that time no fewer than ten operas. . . . When it is remembered that the management was in a way thrust upon Mr. Grau, and that at a moment’s notice to form a company from material that had been wrecked on our shore by Mr. Ullman, it will, we think, be conceded that this is doing pretty well.”
Letter from Brignoli to Grau, mentioning benefit for Grau and thanking him for his work as manager. “[W]hen no other manager could be found bold enough to hazard the experiment, many persons are indebted for engagements which otherwise they would, in all probability, be without.”
Provides reply from Grau to Brignoli.
Gives program for the benefit, but contains errors.
“Academy of Music.--The season ended here last night with a bumping house for Mr. Grau, whose benefit it was, and a bumping programme for the public, who, in this respect, also had a benefit. The performances opened with an act of 'Ernani,' followed by the entire opera of 'I Puritani.' and succeeded by a new anthem. As if this were not sufficient, the audience, which was unusually brilliant and lively, insisted on encoring almost every well-known morceau. The performances concluded at so late an hour that we are compelled to defer any further notice of them until another opportunity. We may congratulate Mr. Grau on the satisfactory conclusion of the season. . . .
An apology had to be made for Mme. Guerrabella, who, having met with an accident, was unable to sing. Hence an act of ‘Traviata,’ announced for performance, was happily annulled.”
“The Grau benefit last night was largely attended, and the performance received with much favor. In the ‘Ernani involami’ Mme. Lorini was heartily encored. The whole of 'Puritani' was given, with Cordier as Elvira. She sang and acted charmingly, giving one of the best dramatic representations of the crazed Puritan maiden we have yet had. There have, it is true, been singers here who have sung the part with greater brilliancy, and others who like Grisi, have acted with greater intensity; but none have more happily united grace, ease and simplicity with finished skill and exquisite taste. Brignoli sang as sweetly as ever, and Amodio and Susini gave satisfaction. The polacca and A te cara were encored.
After the opera the chorus singers ranged themselves in due order, and the curtain rose for the new national anthem, Morensi and Amodio singing the solos, and indulging in animated conversation on the stage the rest of the time. The music of the new anthem is by Charles Hodges.
A foreign gentleman, who had been lately studying the elements of the English language, next appeared before the curtain, and announced that as Signora Guerrabella had received a sprain in the ankle by falling on the stage, the promised act of Traviata could not be given; whereat the audience dispersed, and the lyric music left the Academy of Music until next January. [reference to earlier Susini performances with Grisi at the opening of the Academy in 1854]”