Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Night At The Opera

Actually, two nights at the opera, in the mid-1870s. Unfortunately, there is no mention of who sponsored the events, or who attended.

Boston Daily Globe November 30, 1875

Opera In Jamaica Plain.

Jamaica Plain is to have the "Bohemian Girl," on Thursday evening of next week. It will be given with the following cast: Count Arnheim, Mr J.F. Rudolphsen; Arline, Miss Anna Starbird; Queen of the Gypsies, Mrs Jenny T. Kempton; Thaddeus, Mr. Charles R. Hayden; Devilshoof, Mr. Stanley Felch; Florstein, Mr. W. Willis Clark; Buda, Mrs E.V. Rink; the whole company numbering twenty persons. The costumes and scenery will be beautiful, and no expense will be spared to tender the opera in the best manner. Tickets wll reserved seats, at fifty cents, may be had at the apothecary stores and at Ditson's music store. Steam trains leave Boston at 6:30 and 7:35 p.m. and return at 9:20 and 10:20, and street cars run directly to the hall every half hour, from Tremont House.

January 17, 1877


Opera at Jamaica Plain.

The people of the Twenty-third Ward were afforded a musical treat of no mean order last evening, and it is to be hoped that it was appreciated. The Dow-Kempton Opera Troupe gave a performance of "Martha" at Curtis Hall before an audience not quite large enough to fill the hall, and although the scenery, the accessories and the orchestra were not of the most pretentious character, the performance was first class in all respects. The orchestra part of the music was furnished by Professor W.E. Taylor, pianist and director, who, as a one-man orchestra, proved to be an unqualified success. The caste was as follows:

Lady Harriet Dunbar..........Mrs Anna Granger Dow
Nancy....................................Mrs Jennie Twichell Kempton
Lionel....................................Mr. Charles R. Hayden
Lord Tristan........................Mr. Stanley Felch
Sherriff.................................H.M. Morse

Farmers, servant maids, hunters and huntresses in the suite of the queen, pages, etc.

The opera was "cut" liberally in some parts, to the advantage of the performance. Mrs. Dow never sang in better voice, probably, and her extreme purity of tone, and the ease and grace of the method were never more strikingly apparent. The romanza in the third act, "Here in Deepest Forests," was exqisitely rendered. Mr. Hayden, unfortunately, was suffering from a severe cold, but he went through all his numbers in gallant style, although his effort to maintain his voice was painful to witness. His aria, "Like a Dream," was encored with warmth, and deservedly, for he gave it with unusual expression and tunefullness. Mrs. Kempton and Mr. Felch were in excellent voice, and did some acting, which was no less creditable than their vocalism. The chorus deserves more than ordinary praise. Although few in number it excelled in many respects the usual "grand opera" chorus. The voices were fresh and clear, and the attack was splendid. Taken all in all it was a really fine performance in every regard. The same troupe will appear this evening in East Boston.

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