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Pope as Beauseant; J. Byrne as Dechapelles: and Eliza Logan as Pauline; “A Morning Call," interpreted by Laura Keene and G. F. Marchant; " Julius Cæsar” (tent scene), by A. J. Neafie and E. Eddy; dance, by Mlle. Frances and M. Wiethoff; “The Irish Lion," by Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams, and others; imitations of actors, by F. S. Chanfrau; "In and Out of Place," by Mrs. Barney Williams; pas seul, by Julia Turnbull; comic song, John Winans; “London Assurance (third act), by C. Walcot, John Brougham, W. Hamilton, Bellamy, Dawson, Sefton, Mme. Ponisi, and Mr. Warren. The whole concluded with a display of fireworks. Harry Watkins was the stage director. On Aug. 12 the opera company appeared in “The Barber of Seville,” with Sontag as Rosina, and the first appearance this season of Sig. Pozzolini as Almaviva. Sig. Marini made his début 15 as Sylva in "Ernani. Max Maretzek took a benefit Aug. 23, when “Lucrezia Borgia was sung at 4 o'clock. An intermission of one and one-half hours took place for promenade and refreshments, and at eight o'clock “Lucia di Lammermoor” was given. M. Jullien commenced a series of concerts Aug. 29, assisted by Anna Zerr and others. The opera season closed Sept. 19, with “ Lucia di Lammermoor” for the benefit of Sig. Salvi. Jullien's eighty-second concert in New York and two hundred and ninth in America took place here May 19. June 2, 1854, a fancy and full dress ball was given under the direction of M. Jullien. The whole of Jullien's concert orchestra and soloists appeared in the ball room. Single tickets of admission, admitting lady or gentleman, cost $3 each; family tickets, admitting gentleman and two ladies, $5. The balcony was reserved for those who did not wish to participate in the dancing, and the tickets were $3. Another season followed of Italian opera, under the baton of Max Maretzek, with the following artists: Signora G. Brambrilla, Donna Valerei Gomez, A. Artolini, Mme. Bertucca Maretzek, Signora Martini, D. Ormy, Rosa Marra, G. Galvarti, Neri Beraldi, Mazzoleni Graziani, Giraldoni, Andragi Marini, Colletti, Ortolani, and Robert Stoepel.
“Lucia di Lammermoor” was sung June 30; July I, 2, 6, Maria di Rohan;" “ La Sonnambula” 10. Mme. D. Ormy, the contralto, made her American début 12 in "Maria di Rohan.” Verdi's opera, "Louisa Muller," was given for the first time in America 20, cast as follows:
Beraldi “Masaniello" was given 31. Grisi and Mario were brought to this country by Jas. H. Hackett, and they made their American début Sept. 4, 1854. An auction sale of tickets took place at Castle Garden for their opening night on Sept. I. No charge was made for admission to the garden during the sale, as was done when the Jenny Lind sale took place. At least 15,000 persons were present. The first ticket was purchased by Miss (now the Baroness) Burdett Coutts, a wealthy lady from England, for $250. It was said at the time that this lady was a great admirer of Mario, and had followed him to this country. The sale continued for two hours, the tickets going at rates varying from fifty cents to $2.50. A great many at $1.50 to $1.75 premium were sold to music stores, speculators, and others, in lots of twenty to one hundred, while the average to private individuals was from two to six tickets. The initial opera was “Lucrezia Borgia," with Grisi as Lucrezia, Mario as Genarro, and Susini as Duke Alfonso, - their first appearance in America. The company consisted of Donovani,' Susini, Fabricatore, Patti Strakosch, M. Morra, Amati Debreul (stage manager), Candi, Patti, Mora, Parozzi, Brindi, and Sig. Arditi (musical director). An auction sale for the second representation took place at the garden Sept. 5.
The attendance was meagre, and the bidding slow. Two or three seats were sold for premiums, realizing from $5 to $7.50, and the bidding fell off to a dollar, and from that to a shilling. After the second night it was discovered that the public would not pay the prices of admission, and on Sept. 8, the third opera night, it was announced that the uniform price would be $3, and that there would be no auction sale of seats and no premiums charged on seats. The promenade tickets were $1. “Norina was sung Sept. II, with Grisi as Norma, Mario as Pollio, and Signorina Donovani as Adelgisa, — her first appearance in America. “Norma" was a great success, and was repeated several evenings. The season closed Sept. 29 with "I Puritani,” as the autumn was too far advanced to admit of performances in the exposed area of Castle Garden. The company then went to the Academy of Music, under Mr. Hackett's management.
A season of equestrian performances was opened Oct. 23, 1854, with J. Vanderbilt as manager and James M. Nixon as equestrian director. In the company were Mme. Marin, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Robert Ellingham, Misses Cline and Cook, Hank Madigan, Chas. Davis, A. Sylvester, Harry Whitby, Jas. Nixon, Fred Sylvester, Wm. Lera, Tom King, Felix Carlo (trick clown), Jas. Myers (clown), Hiram Day, Mike Lipman, Master Carlo, Charles and James Madigan, and Geo. and Wm. Nixon. Two performances were given daily. The season terminated Nov. 25, 1854.
In May, 1855, Castle Garden was closed as a place of amusement, and was taken possession of by the Commissioners of Emigration as an emigrant depot. On May 23, 1870, it had a narrow escape from destruction by fire, and suffered damage to the extent of $3,000. It was finally destroyed by fire Monday afternoon, July 9, 1876. The fire began about 5.30 o'clock, and in less than half an hour it was a heap of charred ruins. The walls alone were left standing. It had just received one hundred and twenty emigrants, most of whom could neither speak nor understand a word of English. The fire started in the wooden covering of the balcony which skirted the top of the building and overlooked the circular enclosure. The loss on building, baggage, and other goods, amounted to about $45,800. In December, 1891, it served as a drill hall for the Naval Reserve Battalion. By an act of the Legislature the sum of $150,000 was appropriated to restore the existing portion of the building and transform it into a public aquarium.
THE LAFAYETTE THEATRE
west side of Laurens Street, one hundred feet north of Canal Street, extending from Laurens St. (now West Broadway) to Thompson St. It was opened July 4th, 1825. The design was attractive, but it had an unfinished and cheap appearance. The performances consisted of the customary exercises of the circus, equestrian dramas, farces, and ballets. In the company were Lawson, Mestayer, Thompson, Hand, D. Eberle, Morrison, Stickney, Richings, Madden, Tatnall, Richards, A. Herbert, Harrington; Mesdames Tatnall, Pelby, and Godey; Misses Monier, Edstrom, Ann Maria Mestayer, and Ophelia Pelby. The house was opened as a regular theatre on July 4th, 1826, with “The Three Hunchbacks," and, for the first time in America, " The Dumb Girl of Genoa," with Jones, Fisher, Blake, Bernard, Hyatt, Mrs. Fisher, Mrs. Jones, and Miss Tilden, Mrs. Godey, dancer, Burroughs, Thompson, Dinneford, Stickney, Mrs. Dinneford, Sophia, and H. Eberle in the company. The farce of "The Two Gregories” was given, first time in this city, Aug. 7th ; "The Avenger, or The Moor of Sicily " the 21st; "The Idiot Witness" Sept. 6; “The Troubadours" Oct. 3. The farce “Three Deep" was given 19th ; Alex Wilson acted Bertram the 26; “The Banker of Rouen" Nov. 2nd ; “Old Oak Chest” Nov. 21st. The opera “ Lodoiska” was sung for the first time here Dec. 4th. " Joan of Arc” was produced Dec. IIth. Peter Richings appeared Jan. uth, 1828, as Sir Rowland in “The Blood Red Knight," then acted here for the first time ; “Sons of Erin” was given March 20. Mr. Kinlock was first seen in this city May 5th, as Napoleon Bonaparte in the “Battle of Waterloo " for Mrs. Gilfert's benefit, and Edwin Forrest played Pythias, to the Damon of Mr. Cooper, June 7th. John Sefton made his first appearance in New York here June 20th, and W. Jackson's debut in New York, as Fribble in “Miss in Her Teens," occurred the same night. Mrs. John Green,
formerly Anne Nuskay, made her bow to New York in this theatre June 23rd, as Elvira in “ Pizarro.” In the early days of the civil war she resided in Nashville, Tenn., where she lost her husband and all of her property. She died in that city Jan. 19, 1862, and was interred in the same grave with her husband in Mount Olivet Cemetery. The dramatic season closed early in December, and the theatre was rented to Mons. Villalave, a rope-dancer, who opened it on the 18th. During the following summer it was entirely rebuilt by Mr. Sandford, and was acknowledged to be the largest and finest theatre in the country. The stage was 120 feet deep, and, in part, 100 wide, being larger than any then existing in England or America, and could be transformed into a tank of real water during any performance. It was considered a vast improvement that the lighting was from above, and that the stage machinery was also managed from the same elevated position. The season opened Sept. 29, 1827, with an address written by Prosper M. Wetmore, and "The Honeymoon ” and “The Wandering Boys.” July 19th George W. Dixon made his first appearance in New York here as a singer of comic songs. He attained considerable popularity with his “Coal Black Rose" and other negro ditties before T. D. Rice and his “ Jim Crow” electrified the public. The season closed in August. The theatre was reopened Dec. 24, 1828, under the stage management of James M. Scott. Mrs. Preston made her debut in New York here Dec. 31st as Young Norval in “ Douglas." The season ended about the middle of March, 1829, and recommenced April 6th. The ballet "The Marriage” was first seen here July 7th when Mlles. Estelle, Adrie, Ravenot, Clara, Louise, Esther, and Hyacinth, Messrs. Feltman, Duruissell, and Benoi made their American début. On the morning of the uth, before daybreak, a fire originating in a neighboring building spread to the theatre, and in a short time caused its total destruction. The fire was believed to have been the work of an incendiary. The house was never rebuilt.
THE BOWERY THEATRE
COMPANY was formed for the purpose of erecting a theatre
A on site
known as the Bull's Head, then belonging to George Astor. Messrs. Gouverneur, Graham, Jas, A. Hamilton, Geo. W. Brown, P. M. Wetmore, T. S. Smiths, and Gilfert were the projectors of this enterprise, and in process of time a very handsome structure was completed, having externally the appearance of white marble, with a spacious pontico, lofty columns supporting an entablature, and pediment. The mise, both of stage and auditorium, was greater than any theatre in the country, and the seating capacity about three thousand persons; am in point of decoration it was unsurpassed. It was hoped by its proprietors that it would prove to be the favorite dramatic temple of New York. Although known as the Bull's Head Theatre, it was determined to give it the more comprehensive title of the New York Theatre, a name which it retained until it came into the hands of Hackett and Hamblin, who.called it the Bowery Theatre, though the latter, in a fit of patriotism on the occasion of the Anderson riot at the Park, in 1831, proclaimed a change, and announced it as the American Theatre, by which its bills were headed for a year or two.
The management of the Theatre was intrusted to Charles Gilfert. There were four tiers of boxes, and the lobbies were extremely spacious and convenient. George Barrett was engaged as stage manager, Mr. Taylor, from the Park, as leader of orchestra. The prices of admission were at first fixed at fifty cents for the boxes and pit, and twenty-five cents for the gallery; but a few nights' experience proved that it would be necessary to discriminate between the boxes and the pit, and the admission was raised to seventy-five cents for the former, and reduced to thirty-seven and a half for the latter, which soon produced the desired effect. The company consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Duff, Mr. and Mrs. Young, Mr. and Mrs. George Barrett, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, Messrs. Edwin Forrest, Faulkner, Hyatt, Stone, Bernard, Lamb (the singer), C. Durang, Logan, J. Scott, Hamilton, Kenyon, Essenden, Laws, Read, and Beckwell, Mrs. Gilbert, Mrs. Hughes, old Mrs. Barrett, Mrs. Brazier, Miss Devlin, little Miss Kent, the “infant phenomenon” of the period, and others. The theatre was opened Monday evening, Oct. 23, 1826, and the experiment of lighting the house with gas, then first attempted, was hailed with the greatest satisfaction by an audience which crowded the building in every part.
The first performance consisted of an opening address, written by Greville Mellen and recited by George Barrett; the comedy “ The Road to Ruin; "a second address written by Dr. Farmer and spoken by Mrs. Young; and the farce of “Raising the Wind.” Nov. 6th Edwin Forrest made his first appearance here, acting Othello; “Damon and Pythias " 8th; and Jaffier in “ Venice Preserved ” 14th. The farce called “Dog Days in Bond Street” was done 17th; Mr. Leggett appeared as Bertram 18th; Edwin Forrest played the Indian Chief in “She Would Be A Soldier" 25th; and 30th the title rôle in" William Tell; » he was seen as Marc Antony Dec. 1, in "Julius Cæsar," with Conway as Brutus and George Barrett as Cassius.
Thomas S. Hamblin first appeared here 13th, as Virginius ; Edwin Forrest was seen as King Lear 27th for the first time, with Hamblin as Edgar; Duff, Edmund; and Mrs. Duff as Cordelia. On Jan. 15, 1827, Marie Felicia Garcia (Mme, Malibran) first attempted a character in English opera, that of Count Bellino in "The Devil's Bridge,”