Grau Italian Opera: Jacob Grau Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Jacob Grau

Emanuele Muzio

Event Type:
Choral, Opera

Record Information


Last Updated:
5 August 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Dec 1862, 7:30 PM

Program Details

The last act of La Traviata was to conclude the program but was cancelled due to Guerrabella’s indisposition.

Closing Night of the Season.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi
Participants:  Domenico Lorini (role: Elvira);  Alessandro Maccaferri (role: Ernani)
aka The Puritans
Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Pepoli
Participants:  Pasquale Brignoli (role: Lord Arturo Talbo);  Augustino Susini (role: Sir Giorgio);  Federico Amodio (role: Sir Riccardo Forth);  Angiolina Cordier (role: Elvira)


Announcement: New-York Times, 08 December 1862.
“The season ends on Monday next week, with Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni.’”
Announcement: New York Post, 08 December 1862.
“Perhaps ‘Don Giovanni’ will be given.”
Announcement: New-York Times, 13 December 1862, 8.
“Grau, during his frequent seasons at the Academy, has earned the title of the artists’ friend. At times, when other managers were either frightened or incapable, he has filled the breach, enabled a large number of singers to make their talents known, and supplied the public with good entertainment.”
Announcement: New York Post, 13 December 1862.
Gives the lyrics to the “new national anthem,” entitled “Free and United.”
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 13 December 1862, 2.
Prints the lyrics of “Free and United.”
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 13 December 1862.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 December 1862, 7.
“Signor Brignoli has fully recovered from his indisposition and will positively appear in I Puritani. . . . Between Puritani and Traviata, A NEW NATIONAL ANTHEM, Composed for and sung by Mlle. Morensi and Sig. Amodio.”
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 December 1862, 7.
Smaller ad. “A grand National Anthem will be sung by Morensi and Amodio.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 15 December 1862, 7.
Big ad and two small ads. “All bills for payment must be presented to-day, as the company leaves for Philadelphia to-morrow.”
Announcement: New York Herald, 15 December 1862.
Long section on the future of Morensi and Brignoli in Europe.
Announcement: New-York Times, 15 December 1862, 5.

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.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 15 December 1862, 7.
Gives casts, time, prices, order of programme, etc. “In answer to several inquiries, Mr. Grau begs to announce that Sig. Brignoli has fully recovered from his indisposition and will positively appear in I Puritani this evening. . . . Cordier will sing, for the first time, the role of Elvira [in Puritani,]. . . . Between Puritani and Traviata – A New National Anthem – Composed for and sung by Mlle. Morensi and Sig. Amodio”
Announcement: New York Post, 15 December 1862.
“The programme, as revised up to midnight last, includes the whole of ‘Puritani’ and acts from ‘Ernani’ and ‘Traviata,’ thus allowing every artist in the company to take part, giving, however, the precedence of Cordier. The new national anthem which we published on Saturday will also be sung.”
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 December 1862, 2.
Grau’s benefit “was all very pleasant and gracious and deserved.”
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 15 December 1862.
This evening, the final performance of the Irving Place season will be an extraordinary performance organized by the artists for the benefit of M. Grau. They will begin with the first act of Ernani, sung by Mme Lorini and Maccaferri. Les Puritains will come next, Mlle Cordier singing the role of Elvira. The other roles will be interpreted by Brignoli, Amodio and Susini. During the interlude, Mlle Morense and Amodio will sing a new national hymn, composed expressly for them. Finally, this monster program will be completed by the 4th act of La Traviata, where Mme Guerrabella appears.
Review: New-York Times, 16 December 1862, 5.

     “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.”

Review: New York Post, 16 December 1862, 3.

“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]”