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Title: The Mapleson Memoirs, 1848-1888, vol II
Author: Mapleson, James H., 1830-1901
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: J H MAPLESON]







[_All rights reserved_].





My Connection Severed--Musical Protective Union--American
Orchestras--Rival Opera-Houses--Operatic Trial by Jury
--St. Cecilia's Day--The Feast of Father Flattery
                                                        pp. 1-21


Patti and her Shoes--Patti Seized for Debt--Flight of Gerster
--Conflict at Chicago--Bouquets out of Season--Cincinnati
Floods--Abbey's Collapse--Resolve to go West            pp. 22-39


Gerster Refuses; Patti Volunteers--Arrival at Cheyenne
--Patti Dines the Prophet--Threats of an Interviewer--Arrival
at San Francisco                                        pp. 40-49


The Patti Epidemic--Gerster Furore--Tickets 400% Premium
--My Arrest--Capture of "Scalpers"--Death of my
First "Basso"--"That Patti Kiss"                        pp. 50-69


Luncheon on H.M.S. _Triumph_--Opera Auction--Concert at
Mormon Tabernacle--Return to New York--Return to
Europe--Sheriffs in the Academy--I Depart in Peace
                                                        pp. 70-83


Royal Italian Opera Liquidates--Getting Patti off the Ship--Henry
Ward Beecher's Cider--Patti's Silver Wedding--A
Patti Programme of 1855--A Black Concert                pp. 84-100


Panic at New Orleans--Thermometer Falls 105 Degrees--Banquet at
Chicago--The "Count di Luna" at Market--Coffee John--An American George
Robins--My Under-taker                                  pp. 101-117


Patti and Scalchi--Nevada's _Début_--A Chinese Swing--A
Visit from Above--Rescued Treasure--Great Chicago
Festival--American Hospitality                          pp. 118-139


"Count di Luna" Introduced to "Leonora"--A Patti Contract
--The Sting of the Engagement--A Tenor's Suite--A
Presentation of Jewellery--My "Don Giovanni"--A
Profitable Tour                                         pp. 140-154


My Covent Garden Season--Patti's London Silver Wedding--Return
to New York--Difficulties Begin--Rival Rehearsals--Grand Opera
and Operetta                                            pp. 155-167


House Divided against Itself--Rev. H. Haweis on Wagner--H.R.H.
and Wotan--Elle a déchiré mon gilet--Arditi's
Remains--Return to San Francisco                        pp. 168-184


The Retreat from Frisco--Hotel Dangers--A Scene from
_Carmen_--Operatic Invalids--Murderous Lovers--Ravelli's
Claim--General Barnes's Reply--Clamour for Higher
Prices--My Onward March                                 pp. 185-214


Del Puente in the Kitchen--Scalding Coffee--Californian
Wine--The Sergeant takes a Header--The Russian
Mother--I Become a Sheriff--A Dumb Chorus--Dynamite
Bombs                                                   pp. 215-228


Subterranean Music--The Striker Struck--Tuscan Taffy--A
Healthy "Lucia"--I Recover from the United States--A
Beknighted Mayor                                        pp. 229-243


Back in the Old Country--The London Season--Sluggish
Audiences--My Outside Public--The Patti Disappointments--The
"Sandwich's" Story                                      pp. 244-257


Master and Man--_Don Giovanni_ Centenary--Mozart and
Parnell--Bursting of "Gilda"--Colonel Stracey and the
Demons--The Hawk's Mountain Flight--Ambitious Students and
Indigent Professors--A School for Opera--Anglicized
Foreigners--Italianized Englishmen                      pp. 258-275


Fight with Mr. and Mrs. Ravelli--An Improvised Public--Ravelli's
Dangerous Illness--Mr. Russell Gole--Reappearance of
Mr. Registrar Hazlitt--Offenbach in Italian--Who
is that Young Man?--Fancelli's Autograph--Ristori's
Aristocratic Household                                  pp. 276-291


Envoi                                                       293


Singers and Operas produced by me                           295

Index to Volumes I. and II.                                 303



Shortly after my return to London I had various meetings with the
Directors of the Royal Italian Opera Company, Limited, when, to my
astonishment, they informed me they would not ratify the contract I had
made with Mdme. Patti. In fact, they repudiated the engagement
altogether, although it had been concluded by me conjointly with Mr.
Ernest Gye, the General Manager of the Company. I was therefore left
with about £15,000 worth of authorized contracts which the Company had
made with other artists, in addition to Mdme. Patti's contract for
250,000 dollars (£50,000).

I represented to the Directors that the only way to get out of the
difficulty was to release me entirely from all connection with the
Company, as I could then carry out the contracts I had made in the name
of myself and of their representative with Mdme. Patti and with several
other artists.

The matter, however, ended by the Directors giving me my _congé_,
refusing at the same time to pay me any of the money that was then owing
to me.

I had now seriously to consider my position, which was this: I had
parted with my lease of Her Majesty's Theatre to the Royal Italian Opera
Company, Ltd., a lease for which I had paid Lord Dudley £30,000. I had
parted with a large quantity of scenery and dresses, of which a full
inventory was attached to my agreement, and which were valued at many
thousands of pounds. In addition to this, during my absence in America,
Her Majesty's Theatre had been entirely dismantled and many thousand
pounds worth of property not in the inventory taken and removed to
Covent Garden. The amount of salary owing to me was absolutely refused.
My £10,000 worth of shares (being the consideration for the purchase) I
could not obtain; and the Company further gave me notice that I owed
them some £10,000 for losses incurred whilst in America.

In fact, all I had left to me was my liability for the £50,000 payable
to Mdme. Patti, and for over £15,000 on the authorized contracts made
with other artists on behalf of the Company; whilst on the other side of
the ocean I should have to face Abbey's new Metropolitan Opera-house,
for which all the seats had been sold, and the following artists
engaged--all with but one or two exceptions taken from me:--Mdme.
Christine Nilsson, Mdlle. Valleria, Mdme. Sembrich, Mdme. Scalchi,
Mdme. Trebelli, Signor Campanini, etc., etc. My scene painter had been
tampered with and taken away, together with many of the leading
orchestral performers and the chorus--indeed, the whole Company, even to
the call-boy.

     [FROM THE _Times_ OF NEW YORK, JULY 4, 1883.]

"Every mail from England brings papers containing some discussion of the
trouble in the operatic camp; and it is evident that a serious
misunderstanding has arisen between the Royal Italian Opera Company
(Limited)--principally Mr. Gye--and Col. Mapleson. The substance of this
misunderstanding appears to be that Mr. Gye and his Company have decided
to repudiate certain contracts made by Col. Mapleson as their accredited
agent. The principal trouble is in regard to the contract by which the
Colonel agrees to pay Mdme. Patti 5,000 dollars per night. It will be
readily remembered by readers of the _Times_ that a great struggle took
place at the close of last season between Mr. Abbey and Col. Mapleson
for the possession of the great singer's services. For a long time it
was impossible to tell to which house she was going, and public
curiosity was aroused to such an extent that everyone felt like
addressing her in the language of Ancient Pistol: 'Under which King,
Bezonian? Speak, or die!' Mr. Abbey offered her more money than any
singer had ever before received, whereupon Mr. Mapleson, knowing that he
must have Patti to fight the strong attraction of a new Opera-house, saw
Mr. Abbey and went him a few hundreds better. Then Mr. Abbey threw down
his hand and Mr. Mapleson gathered in the prima donna. It will also be
remembered that subsequently the stockholders of the Academy met in
secret conclave and generously voted to support the manager who
established Italian Opera in this country as a permanent source of
amusement and art-cultivation by assessing themselves. They decided to
raise a subsidy of 40,000 dollars to guarantee the Patti contract and
secure the coming season at the Academy. Mdme. Patti subsequently
ratified the contract made by Signor Franchi, her agent, with Col.
Mapleson, and the Colonel wrote to the stockholders here thanking them
for their generous support, and saying that he would return their
kindness by bringing to America next Fall a Company of superior
strength. An early evidence of the earnestness of his purpose was the
engagement of Mdme. Gerster, an artist who is a firm favourite with this
public, and whose great merits are unquestionable. Mr. Gye was in this
city, it will also be remembered, during the latter part of last season,
and was fully aware of Mr. Mapleson's movement. Therefore the
stockholders of the Academy have learned with surprise, not to say
disgust, the action of the Royal Italian Opera Company (Limited). It has
transpired that the principal cause of dissatisfaction was a belief that
there could be little or no profit in an American Opera season with
Patti at 5,000 dollars per night. The _Times_, in an article published
just after the close of the last season, showed that Col. Mapleson had
been unfortunate. While the good people of the West, who are popularly
supposed to possess but a tithe of the culture that animates the East,
flocked to the Opera as if they really knew that they were not likely,
as the Boston Theatre stage carpenter expressed it, to hear any better
singing than that of Patti and Scalchi this side of heaven, the people
of New York and Philadelphia failed to regard the entertainment in the
same light. The result was serious for Col. Mapleson, and he left this
country financially embarrassed. The Royal Italian Opera Company
(Limited) knew this, and decided that it did not care to embark in
another American season, especially with increased salaries and an
opposition of respectable strength. The London _World_, in a long
article on the condition of these operatic affairs, has said that
another cause of dissatisfaction was Mr. Gye's earnest conviction that,
if Mdme. Patti's salary was to be increased, the salary of his wife,
Mdme. Albani, ought also to be raised.

"However all these things may be, it is certain that the great question
now is whether Col. Mapleson will come over next season as a
representative, or rather a part, of the Royal Italian Opera Company

Despite obstacles of all kinds, I felt happy at being rid of the Royal
Italian Opera, Covent Garden, and I set vigorously to work to complete
the company with a view to the operatic battle which was to be fought
the following autumn in New York.

During the month of June I was fortunate enough to conclude an
engagement with Mdme. Etelka Gerster, also with Mdme. Pappenheim, who
was a great favourite in America. For my contraltos I engaged Miss
Josephine Yorke, and also Mdlle. Vianelli. Galassi, my principal
baritone of the previous years, remained with me, despite the large
offers that had been made to him by Abbey.

Prior to the commencement of my season, I found on perusing Mr. Abbey's
list the names of Signor Del Puente, of Mdme. Lablache, of my
stage-manager, Mr. Parry, and a good many of the choristers, all of whom
were under formal engagement to me.

It is true I did not care much for the services of these people, but I
could not allow them to defy me by breaking their contracts. I
consequently applied for an injunction against each, which was duly
granted, restraining them from giving their services in any other place
than where by writing I directed. Arguments were heard the following
day before Judge O'Gorman, on my motion to confirm the injunction which
I had obtained against Signor Del Puente and Mdme. Lablache, who were
announced to sing the opening night at the new Metropolitan Opera House.
The injunction, as in the case of all operatic injunctions, was
ultimately dissolved by the Court, and I agreed to accept a payment from
Del Puente of 15,000 francs, Mr. Parry and the choristers being at the
same time handed over to me.

Shortly after my arrival in New York I was honoured with a serenade in
which no less than five hundred musicians took part. The sight alone was
a remarkable one. I was at my hotel, on the point of going to bed, when
suddenly I heard beneath my window a loud burst of music. The immense
orchestra had taken possession of the street. The musicians were all in
evening dress; they had brought their music stands with them, also
electric or calcium lights; and, as I have before said, they occupied
the road in front of the hotel.

I was extremely gratified, and when after the performance I went down
into the street to thank the conductor, I begged that he would allow me
to make a donation of £100 towards the funds of the Musical Protective
Union. But he would not hear of such a thing, and was so earnest on the
subject that I felt sorry at having in a moment of impulse ventured upon
such an offer.

The Musical Protective Union is an association extending over the whole
of the United States, to which all the capable instrumental players of
the country belong. There may be, and probably are, a very few who stand
outside it; and I remember that Mr. Abbey, unwilling to be bound by its
rules, resolved to do without it altogether, and to import his musicians
from abroad. Soon, however, this determination placed him in a very
awkward predicament: his first oboe fell ill, and for some time it was
found impossible to replace him.

I have nothing but good to say of the Musical Union. The very slight
disagreement which I once had with those of its members who played in my
orchestra was arranged as soon as we had an opportunity of talking the
matter over. If I have every reason to be satisfied with the Musical
Union, I can equally say that this Association showed itself well
content with me.

While on the subject of American orchestras, I may add that their
excellence is scarcely suspected by English amateurs. In England we have
certainly an abundance of good orchestral players, but we have not so
many musical centres; and, above all, we have not in London what New
York has long possessed, a permanent orchestra of high merit under a
first-rate conductor. Our orchestras in London are nearly always
"scratch" affairs. The players are brought together anyhow, and not one
of our concert societies gives more than eight concerts in the course of
the year. Being paid so much a performance, our piece-work musicians
make a great fuss about attending rehearsals; and they are always ready,
if they can make a few shillings profit by it, to have themselves
replaced by substitutes.

All really good orchestras must from the nature of the case be permanent
ones, composed of players in receipt of regular salaries. Attendance at
rehearsals is then taken as a matter of course, and no question of
replacement by substitutes can be raised. The only English orchestra in
which the conditions essential to a perfect _ensemble_ are to be found
is the Manchester orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Hallé.

A larger and better orchestra than the excellent one of Sir Charles
Hallé is that of M. Lamoureux.

Better even than the orchestra of M. Lamoureux is that of M. Colonne.
But I have no hesitation in saying that M. Colonne's orchestra is
surpassed in fineness and fulness of tone, as also in force and delicacy
of expression, by the American orchestra of 150 players conducted by Mr.
Theodore Thomas. The members of this orchestra are for the most part
Germans, and the eminent conductor is himself, by race at least, a
German. Putting aside, however, all question of nationality, I simply
say that the orchestra directed by Mr. Theodore Thomas is the best I am
acquainted with; and its high merit is due in a great measure to the
permanence of the body. Its members work together habitually and
constantly; they take rehearsals as part of their regular work; and they
look to their occupation as players in the Theodore Thomas orchestra as
their sole source of income. As for substitutes, Mr. Thomas would no
more accept one than a military commander would accept substitutes among
his officers.

There has from time to time been some talk of Mr. Theodore Thomas's
unrivalled orchestra paying a visit to London, where its presence, apart
from all question of the musical delight it would afford, would show our
public what a good orchestra is, and our musical societies how a good
orchestra ought to be formed and maintained.

Before taking leave of Mr. Theodore Thomas and of American orchestras
generally, let me mention one remarkable peculiarity in connection with
them. So penetrated are they with the spirit of equality that no one
player in an orchestra is allowed to receive more than another; the
first violin and the big drum are, in this respect, on precisely the
same footing. In England we give so much to a first clarinet and
something less to a second clarinet, and a leader will always receive
extra terms. In America one player is held to be, in a pecuniary point
of view, as good as another.

My season at the Academy commenced on the 22nd October--the same night
as my rival's at the New Metropolitan Opera, to which subscriptions had
been extended on a most liberal scale. In fact the whole of New York
flocked there, as much to see the new building as to hear the

On my opening night I presented _La Sonnambula_, when Mdme. Etelka
Gerster, after an absence of two years, renewed her triumphs in America.
The rival house presented Gounod's _Faust_, with Christine Nilsson as
"Margherita," Scalchi as "Siebel," Novara as "Mephistopheles," Del
Puente as "Valentine," and Campanini as "Faust;" a fine cast and
perfectly trained, since all these artists had played under my direction
and did not even require a rehearsal. After a few nights I began to
discover that the counter attraction of the new house was telling
considerably against me, and I informed the Academy Directors of my
inability to contend against my rival with any degree of success, unless
I could have a small amount of backing.

After consultation, several stockholders signed a paper, each for a
different amount, which totalled up to something like £4,500, which I
had previously calculated would be about the amount required to defeat
the enemy. This was guaranteed by them to the Bank of the Metropolis on
the understanding that I should never draw more than £600 a week from
it, and then only in case of need.

The Manager of the rival Opera-house had fired off all his guns the
first night; and after a few evenings, as soon as the public had seen
the interior of the new building, the receipts gradually began to
decline. In the meanwhile, I was anxiously expecting notice of Adelina
Patti's approaching arrival. I, therefore, arranged to charter sixteen
large tug boats, covered with bunting, to meet the _Diva_; eight of them
to steam up the bay on each side of the arriving steamer, and to toot
off their steam whistles all the way along, accompanied by military
bands. All was in readiness, and I was only waiting for a telegraphic
notification. Some of the pilots at Sandy Hook, moreover, had promised
to improvise a salute of twenty-one guns; and Arditi had written a
Cantata for the occasion, which the chorus were to sing immediately on
Patti's arrival.

By some unfortunate mistake, either from fog or otherwise, the steamer
passed Fire Island and landed _la Diva_ unobserved at the dock, where
there was not even a carriage to meet her. She got hustled by the crowd,
and eventually reached her hotel with difficulty in a four-wheeler. The
military bands had passed the night awaiting the signal which I was to
give them to board the tugs.

On learning of Mdme. Patti's arrival, I hurried up to the Windsor Hotel,
when I was at once received.

"Is it not too bad?" she exclaimed, with a comical expression of
annoyance. "It is a wonder that I was not left till now on the steamer.
As it was, by the merest chance one of my friends happened to come down
to the dock and luckily espied me as I was wandering about trying to
keep my feet warm, and assisted me into a four-wheeler. However, here I
am. It is all over now, and I am quite comfortable and as happy as
though twenty boats had come down to meet me."

She then agreed to make her _début_ three days afterwards in _La Gazza

On the second night of the opera we had a brilliant audience for
_Rigoletto_, Mdme. Gerster undertaking the part of "Gilda," which she
sang with rare delicacy and brilliancy of vocalization, so that
"Brava's!" rang throughout the entire audience.

My new tenor, Bertini, who likewise made his _début_ on this occasion,
produced but little effect, either vocally or dramatically. In the "La
Donna è Mobile" he cracked on each of the high notes, whilst in the
"Bella Figlia" quartet his voice broke in a most distressing manner when
ascending to the B flat, causing loud laughter amongst the audience.

I was therefore under the necessity of sending him the following letter
the next morning:--

                 "TO SIGNOR BERTINI.

"In consequence of the lamentable failure you met with on Wednesday
evening last, the 24th inst., it is my painful duty to notify you that
by reason of your inability to perform your contract, I hereby put an
end to it. At the same time I request that you will return me the
balance of the money that I advanced to you, amounting to 1,000 dollars.

                       "Yours, truly,

             "(Signed)               J. H. MAPLESON."

Of course he did not return my thousand dollars, but fell into the hands
of some attorneys, who at once issued process against me for 50,000
dollars damages!

While admitting that at the time I engaged him he was a good singer, I
maintained that latterly, from some cause or other, his voice had
utterly gone. I had engaged him to perform certain duties which he was
unable to fulfil.

His lawyers insisted upon his having another opportunity. This I at once
agreed to; but not before the public, for whom I had too much respect to
inflict another dose of Bertini upon them. I therefore offered him the
empty house, full orchestra and chorus, and a jury half of his own
selection and half of mine, with the Judge of one of the Superior Courts
as umpire; but this he refused. The matter, therefore, went into the
usual groove of protracted law proceedings and consequent annoyances and
attachments. The very next day all my banking account was attached, and
it was two days before I could get bondsmen in order that it might be
released, so that I could continue to pay my salaries to the other

On the following night we performed _Norma_ at Brooklyn, with Mdme.
Pappenheim as the Druid priestess; the night afterwards being reserved
for the _début_ of Mdme. Patti at New York in _La Gazza Ladra_. The
occasion naturally drew together an immense audience, which displayed
much enthusiasm for the singer. The pleasure of hearing Mdme. Patti
again was increased by the fact that the work in which she was to appear
was not a hackneyed one.

The opera, however, failed to make the effect I expected, being
generally pronounced by the Press and the public to be too antiquated.
The contralto who undertook the _rôle_ of "Pippo" was excessively
nervous, having had no rehearsals and never having met Patti before.

One daily paper said that the lesser _rôles_ were well taken, down to
the stuffed magpie, who flew down and seized the spoon, and sailed away
into the flies with prodigious success, adding: "_La Gazza Ladra_ will
soon be laid permanently on the shelf. It is many years since it was
done here before, and from a judgment of last evening, it will be many
years before the experiment will be repeated."

Some time before this, a gentleman called on me. I was about to put him
off, saying I was too busy; but he seemed so earnest for a few moments'
conversation that I turned round, and on his raising his hat and
loosening his overcoat, discovered him to be a priest. On his mentioning
to me that Mdlle. Titiens had done service formerly for a church in
Ireland with which he was connected, I at once gave him every attention.
He explained that the small parish then under his charge was in great
want, whilst the church had a debt of some £700 or £800. All he
solicited was one of my singers, for whom he would pay the sum I might

I at once told him that I would aid his charity to the best of my
ability, and further, that on the appointed day, which happened to be
St. Cecilia's Day, the 24th November, I would place some of my leading
singers at his disposal for the high mass, and would, moreover, hold the
plate myself at the church door to receive any offerings that might be
made. After meeting him once or twice, I promised to take still further
interest in relieving the Church of its difficulties by giving an
evening concert in addition at the Steinway Hall, placing my best
artists at his disposal, together with the whole of my chorus, and full
orchestra under Arditi's direction, likewise my wonderful child pianist,
Mdlle. Jeanne Douste.

In due course the following announcement was made regarding the concerts
I had promised:--

                      "ST. CECILIA'S DAY.

"The greatest musical treat ever offered the people of Harlem will be
given on Sunday (to-morrow) in the Church of St. Cecilia, Corner of
105th Street and 2nd Avenue. It will be the feast of the day of the
'Divine Cecilia'--patroness of music. Colonel Mapleson, of the Royal
Opera Company, London, takes a personal interest in the celebration of
the day, and has kindly consented to send a number of his best artists
to delight the people and do honour to the beautiful 'Queen of Melody.'
Our music-loving people will have at their own doors a genuine artistic
treat--such a one as has never been given in Harlem before--and we
doubt not they will appreciate it and fill St. Cecilia's Church to
overflowing. The gallant Colonel has promised to hold the plate at the
door and receive the offerings of the congregation--the only charge for
a rushing torrent of the most delicious music. No doubt his noble and
handsome presence will secure for his friend, Father Flattery, quite a
big collection--a very essential element in such uncommon events.

"Our readers are referred to our advertising columns for the extensive
and varied programme of the great Cecilian Concert at Steinway Hall on
the same day. The famous Mapleson Opera Company will be at their best,
supported by a superb chorus and a full and powerful orchestra. This
will, indeed, be a Cecilian Concert in the best sense of the word."

In due course the day of the Feast of St. Cecilia arrived, which was
most appropriately celebrated at St. Cecilia's Church, Harlem, some
considerable distance "up town." There was no charge for admission, but
I held the plate at the door, and everyone who entered gave something
according to his means or inclination, a most handsome sum being thus
collected. Father Flattery occasionally showed himself near my plate
exhorting the incoming congregation to give liberally.

The service was conducted by Father Peyten, of St. Agnes' Church. Father
Flattery did not preach a regular sermon, but confined his remarks to
the life and character of St. Cecilia. "In venerating this saint," said
he, "we intensify our love of God. St. Cecilia stands conspicuous in the
noble choir as one of the typical saints. In studying her life we are
carried back to the dark days of the Cæsars. More than St. Peter himself
this noble lady sacrificed when she left all and devoted herself to God.
Peter was but a poor fisherman, and left but his nets and boats; she was
a noble lady of conspicuous distinction. Hers was no common origin, hers
no ordinary name; but she relinquished all this social _prestige_ for
her religion. What wonder that she should be so popular among Christians
when she is everywhere recognized as the patroness of the loveliest of
arts, an art which lives beyond the bounds of time and can never die!
Like the immortal souls of men, there is nothing destructive about
music. It is music which illustrates the relation between art and
religion. How much the art of music adds to the profound mystery of
religion! How in the hour of exalted triumph it chants its pæans! The
Festival of St. Cecilia is a festival of music; and music becomes more
beautiful still when it is emblemized through such a life as that of
this saint. Enviable is that professional art which has such a saint for
its patron." At the close of his sermon Father Flattery expressed his
own and the sincere thanks of the congregation to the manager and his
artists who in their generosity had done so much for the cause of
religion; and he expressed the hope that "when Colonel Mapleson ends
his days St. Cecilia may come down to bear him up to Heaven."

At the conclusion of the service a sumptuous breakfast was served at
Father Flattery's, to which some 200 guests were invited. Afterwards
some speeches were made and thanks tendered to me for what I had done.
The ladies present handed me, moreover, a set of studs and sleeve-links.

We afterwards drove down to the Steinway Hall to attend the evening
concert (for the breakfast had lasted some time), which was crowded to
the very doors. The receipts taken in the morning at the Church, coupled
with those of the Steinway concert completely extinguished the debt
which had weighed so heavily on St. Cecilia's Church.

About a year afterwards I was in New York, and having one afternoon
(strangely enough) a little leisure, I determined to pay a visit to my
excellent friend, Father Flattery. It was a Sunday afternoon, and when I
got to his house, at some little distance from the central quarters of
New York, I found him teaching a number of school children. As soon,
however, as he saw me he struck work and his young pupils were dismissed
to their homes.

I told Father Flattery that I had come to pay him a short visit.

"Nothing of the kind," he replied, in his frank, genial manner; "you
have come to dine with me, and you are just in the nick of time. Dinner
will be ready very soon; and I hope you have brought a good appetite
with you."

My hospitable friend left me for a minute to give some orders; and while
he was away one of his servants whispered to me that dinner was just
over, and that there was nothing in the house.

I was too discreet to take any notice of this communication, and when
the good priest returned I saw from his manner that he would take no
refusal, and that whether there was anything in the house or not,
whether he had already dined or not, I was to stay that afternoon to

After a certain delay, guests arrived, including some very charming
ladies; and in due time dinner was served. It was quite an Homeric
feast. Three roast turkeys were followed by two legs of mutton, and
these, again, by four roast ducks. The wines were of the finest quality,
and among those of French growth the vintages of _Heidsieck_ and of
_Pommery Greno_ were not forgotten.

No one but Father Flattery could have improvised such a banquet at a
moment's notice; and I afterwards found that in order to be agreeable to
me, and to express his gratitude for a slight service which I had most
willingly rendered him, he had requisitioned viands, wines, and guests
from the houses of his neighbours.

"I want that turkey, Pat; I should like to have that leg of mutton,
Mike; Murphy, send me round those ducks you have on the table." In this
summary fashion my amiable and generous host had furnished the feast; or
it may be that in summoning his guests he recommended them to bring
their dinner with them. I can only speak with absolute certainty as to
the result, and I must add that the banquet was thoroughly successful.
After the dinner was at an end we had whisky-toddy and Irish songs.



Notwithstanding the successful performances, which I continued to give,
the receipts never reached the amount of the expenditure--as is
invariably the case when two Opera-houses are contending in the same

So bent was Mr. Abbey on my total annihilation that in each town I
intended visiting during the tour at the close of the season I found his
company announced. I, therefore, resolved as far as possible to steal a
march upon him. I altered most of my arrangements, anticipating my
Philadelphia engagement by five weeks, and opening on the 18th December.
Mdme. Patti appeared in _Ernani_ to a 10,000-dollar house, Mdme. Gerster
performing "Linda" the following night to almost equally large receipts.
_Semiramide_ likewise brought a very large house. From Philadelphia we
went to Boston, where, unfortunately, the booking was not at all great,
it not being our usual time for visiting that city. Moreover, I had to
go to the Globe Theatre. On the second night of our engagement we
performed _La Traviata_. That afternoon, about two o'clock, Patti's
agent called upon me to receive the 5,000 dollars for her services that
evening. I was at low water just then, and inquiring at the
booking-office found that I was £200 short. All I could offer Signor
Franchi was the trifle of £800 as a payment on account.

The agent declined the money, and formally announced to me that my
contract with Mdme. Patti was at an end. I accepted the inevitable,
consoling myself with the reflection that, besides other good artists in
my company, I had now £800 to go on with.

Two hours afterwards Signor Franchi reappeared.

"I cannot understand," he said, "how it is you get on so well with prime
donne, and especially with Mdme. Patti. You are a marvellous man, and a
fortunate one, too, I may add. Mdme. Patti does not wish to break her
engagement with you, as she certainly would have done with anyone else
under the circumstances. Give me the £800 and she will make every
preparation for going on to the stage. She empowers me to tell you that
she will be at the theatre in good time for the beginning of the opera,
and that she will be ready dressed in the costume of "Violetta," with
the exception only of the shoes. You can let her have the balance when
the doors open and the money comes in from the outside public; and
directly she receives it she will put her shoes on and at the proper
moment make her appearance on the stage." I thereupon handed him the
£800 I had already in hand as the result of subscriptions in advance. "I
congratulate you on your good luck," said Signor Franchi as he departed
with the money in his pocket.

After the opening of the doors I had another visit from Signor Franchi.
By this time an extra sum of £160 had come in. I handed it to my
benevolent friend, and begged him to carry it without delay to the
obliging prima donna, who, having received £960, might, I thought, be
induced to complete her toilette pending the arrival of the £40 balance.

Nor was I altogether wrong in my hopeful anticipations. With a beaming
face Signor Franchi came back and communicated to me the joyful
intelligence that Mdme. Patti had got one shoe on. "Send her the £40,"
he added, "and she will put on the other."

Ultimately the other shoe was got on; but not, of course, until the last
£40 had been paid. Then Mdme. Patti, her face radiant with benignant
smiles, went on to the stage; and the opera already begun was continued
brilliantly until the end.

Mdme. Adelina Patti is beyond doubt the most successful singer who ever
lived. Vocalists as gifted, as accomplished as she might be named, but
no one ever approached her in the art of obtaining from a manager the
greatest possible sum he could by any possibility contrive to pay.
Mdlle. Titiens was comparatively careless on points of this kind; Signor
Mario equally so.

I am certainly saying very little when I advance the proposition that
Mdme. Patti has frequently exacted what I will content myself with
describing as extreme terms. She has, indeed, gone beyond this, for I
find from my tables of expenditure for the New York season of 1883 that,
after paying Mdme. Patti her thousand pounds, and distributing a few
hundreds among the other members of the company, I had only from 22 to
23 dollars per night left on the average for myself.

Mdme. Patti's fees--just twenty times what was thought ample by Signor
Mario and by Mdlle. Titiens, than whom no greater artists have lived in
our time--was payable to Mdme. Patti at two o'clock on the day of

From Boston we went to Montreal, opening there on Christmas Eve,
operatically the worst day in the year; when Mdme. Gerster's receipts
for _La Sonnambula_ were very light. We afterwards performed _Elisir
d'Amore_, and on Friday, the 4th January, Mdme. Patti made her _début_
before as bad a house as Gerster's.

Soon afterwards the most money-making of prime donne was, without being
aware of it at the time, seized for debt. It happened in this manner.
From Boston we had travelled to Montreal, where, by the way, through the
mistake of an agent, gallery seats were charged at the rate of five
dollars instead of one. On reaching the Montreal railway station we were
met by a demand on the part of the railway company for 300 dollars. The
train had been already paid for; but this was a special charge for
sending the Patti travelling car along the line. I, of course, resisted
the claim, and the more energetically inasmuch as I had not 300 dollars
in hand. I could only get the money by going up to the theatre and
taking it from the receipts.

Meanwhile the sheriffs were upon me; and the Patti travelling car, with
Adelina asleep inside, was attached, seized, and ultimately shunted into
a stable, of which the iron gates were firmly closed.

There was no room for argument or delay. All I had to do was to get the
money; and hurrying to the theatre I at once procured it. Unconscious of
her imprisoned condition, Mdme. Patti was still asleep when I took the
necessary steps for rescuing from bondage the car which held her.

The public of Montreal, more gracious than the railway authorities,
received us with enthusiasm. An immense ice palace was erected just
opposite the hotel at which we were staying; and the architecture of the
building, and especially the manner in which the blocks of ice were
placed one above the other and then soldered together, interested me
much. The ice blocks were consolidated by the agency of heat. Hot water
was applied to the points of contact, and the ice thus liquefied left to

We afterwards returned to New York, performing there the first three
weeks of January, business still being very light indeed; and it was not
until my benefit night, on the 18th, that a fine house was secured, when
over 11,000 dollars were taken. After giving a Sunday concert we left
for Philadelphia, where I arranged for three special performances, it
being three days before Mr. Abbey's arrival there with his Opera troupe.
The three performances were extremely successful. We afterwards left for

On arriving there Mdme. Gerster accidentally saw a playbill in which
Mdme. Patti's name was larger than hers; further, that they were
charging only five dollars for her appearance, whilst they demanded
seven dollars for the Patti nights. Without one moment's warning, and
unbeknown even to her husband, the lady went to the station and entered
the train for New York. When dinner-time arrived Dr. Gardini was in a
great state, as his wife was nowhere to be found, and it was by mere
accident one of the chorus told me that he had seen her going in the
direction of the railway station.

I thereupon telegraphed to Wilmington--the first station at which her
train would stop--requesting her to return, as all matters had been
arranged. There was no train by which she could get back. But through
the kindness of the manager of the road, who happened to be in
Baltimore, a telegraphic despatch was sent to Wilmington to detain the
express--in which unfortunately Patti happened to be seated--until the
arrival of Gerster's train, so that she could return immediately in time
for the performance. I afterwards learned that Mdme. Patti, on inquiring
the cause of the delay, was excessively angry at being detained for
upwards of three-quarters of an hour on account of Mdme. Gerster.
Nicolini was enraged for a different reason. He had ordered a sumptuous
dinner at our hotel, where there was a new _chef_; and he knew that,
having to wait for Mdme. Patti, his terrapin and his canvas-back duck
would be spoiled.

All endeavours to induce Mdme. Gerster to enter a train in which the
state-room was occupied by Mdme. Patti were useless, and I afterwards
received a telegram that she had gone on to New York.

I thereupon put up the following announcement at the opening of the
doors, not wishing to make a scandal:--"Owing to the non-arrival of
Mdme. Gerster from New York she will be unable to appear this evening.
The opera of _Ernani_ will be substituted. Money will be returned to
those desiring it."

In a short time the entire Opera was closely packed with ladies in full
evening dress. All were in a high state of excitement, and seemed unable
to decide what to do, whether to go into the theatre or take their
carriages and return home. The ladies shrugged their shoulders, and the
gentlemen gesticulated indignantly, looking at me as if they would like
to say something forcible but impolite. "Outrage!" "disgrace!"
"shameful!" and other excited utterances born of polite anger were heard
on all sides. About one-third of the indignant ones left the theatre,
whilst the balance remained to hear _Ernani_, which was exceedingly well
played. Two minutes after the curtain rose on _Ernani_ I hurried down to
the railway station and entered the train for New York in quest of the
fugitive prima donna. As I had eaten nothing from early morn I was
placed in a very disagreeable position. I could not get even a glass of
water or a piece of bread until some six or seven o'clock the next

On reaching New York I went in quest of Mdme. Gerster at all the likely
places, and at length discovered her at her brother's. It took the whole
of the day to get things into shape, and I succeeded towards night in
bringing back the truant, and inducing her to appear the following day,
at a _matinée_, in _L'Elisir d'Amore_, when she attracted an enormous

I was placed in great difficulty with regard to the public and the
press, knowing that the reports would be greatly exaggerated, and injure
the business in all the other cities to which we were going. I
thereupon circulated the news that Mdme. Gerster's baby in New York had
taken a cold in its stomach, and that she had been hurriedly sent for.
This got repeated during the next four or five weeks in the papers at
all the cities we visited, and afterwards gradually died out.

Before leaving Baltimore I had a bill presented to me for return of
money in consequence of the Gerster disappointment as follows:--

    Two opera tickets at five dollars ...   $10.00

    Carriage ...     ...      ...     ...     5.00

    Gloves   ...     ...      ...     ...     2.50

    Necktie  ...     ...      ...     ...     0.25

    Overlooking and pressing a dress suit     3.00

    Flowers for _her_ corsage ...     ...     3.00

    Two return tickets        ...     ...    14.00
              Total  ...      ...     ...   $37.75

Legal proceedings were resorted to, but I ultimately settled the matter
by giving a private box for our next visit.

On arriving at Chicago we found ourselves not only in the same town with
our rivals, but also in the same hotel.

Such a galaxy of talent had never before been congregated together under
one roof. The ladies consisted of Adelina Patti, Etelka Gerster,
Christine Nilsson, Fursch-Madi, Sembrich, Trebelli, and Scalchi, whose
rooms were all along the same corridor.

It was here that our great battle began; and I have much satisfaction in
quoting the following account of the conflict from a leading journal:--

"The Mapleson season opened with a brilliant house on Monday evening.
The opera and cast were not very strong for an opening night, but
Patti's name proves a drawing card on all occasions, and she was given a
flattering reception as she once more presented herself to Chicago.
_Crispino_ is not a strong opera, the music being of the lightest order.
She was finely supported by the other artists. Mdme. Etelka Gerster as
'Adina' was very charming; she appeared the following evening in _Elisir
d'Amore_. At the rival house Ponchielli's _La Gioconda_ attracted a
large but not a crowded audience on the opening night. Both Opera
Companies continued vigorously throughout the week, giving a series of
the finest performances. The palm must readily be awarded to Mr.
Mapleson's able management, as Mr. Abbey closed probably the
worst-managed opera season Chicago had ever had. It opened amidst a
flourish of trumpets, which heralded great conquests, but the results
did not justify the reports."

I must now mention that when I organized the first Cincinnati Festival I
stipulated with the Directors, in case of any repetitions, that the
terms should be the same, and that I should have the sole control. The
three preceding Festivals had been given under my direction, with
distinguished success, and with large profits. But I now found that
here, too, Mr. Abbey had stepped in and secured the great Festival for
himself. It was useless going to law with a body of directors. I,
therefore, trusted to injustice meeting with its own reward, as it
inevitably does. I could illustrate this by many hundreds of cases.

I now hastened to conclude engagements for another Opera Festival at Mr.
Fennessy's elegant theatre--one of the most beautiful in Cincinnati--in
order that Mr. Abbey might not have the whole affair to himself.

The sale of seats for my contemplated performances at Cincinnati the
following week opened grandly, no less than 235 seats being sold for the
whole series quite early in the day. The number had increased before the
close of the office to 653, the total sale realizing £6,000 (30,000
dollars). Bills were duly posted announcing for the opening night
Meyerbeer's _Huguenots_, with Nicolini as "Raoul," Galassi as "St.
Bris," Sivori as "Nevers," Cherubini as "Marcel," Josephine Yorke as
"The Page," Etelka Gerster as "The Queen," and Patti as "Valentine."
This, it seemed to me, was presenting a bold front against anything Mr.
Abbey might produce.

About this time grave rumours got into circulation with regard to Mr.
Abbey's losses. It oozed out that prior to the entry of his Company
into Cincinnati he had dropped on the road some 53,000 dollars.

The Abbey Company opened their season at Chicago with _Gioconda_. But
the tenor was bad, and the principal female part quite unsuited to Mdme.
Christine Nilsson, so that little or no effect was made. I opened with
_Crispino_, Adelina Patti appearing in the principal _rôle_; which was
followed by _L'Elisir d'Amore_, with Gerster. On the third night _Les
Huguenots_ was performed, with Mdme. Patti as "Valentine," and Mdme.
Gerster as the "Queen," when the following scene occurred:--

Prior to the commencement of the opera numbers of very costly bouquets
and lofty set pieces had been sent into the vestibule according to
custom for Mdme. Patti, whilst only a small basket of flowers had been
received for presentation to Mdme. Gerster. Under ordinary circumstances
it is the duty of the prima donna's agent to notify to the
stall-keepers, or ushers, as they are called in America, the right
moment for handing up the bouquets on to the stage. That evening Mdme.
Patti's agent was absent, and at the close of the first act, during
which "Valentine" has scarcely a note to sing, whilst the "Queen" has
much brilliant music to execute, he was nowhere to be found. There was a
general call at the close of the act for the seven principal artists. At
that moment the stall-ushers, having no one to direct their movements,
rushed frantically down the leading aisles with their innumerable
bouquets and set pieces, passing them across to Arditi, who sometimes
could scarcely lift them. Reading the address on the card attached to
each offering, he continued passing the flowers to Mdme. Patti. This
lasted several minutes, the public meanwhile getting impatient.

At length, when these elaborate presentations to Mdme. Patti had been
brought to an end, a humble little basket addressed to Mdme. Gerster was
passed up, upon which the whole house broke out into ringing cheers,
which continued some minutes. This _contretemps_ had the effect of
seriously annoying Mdme. Patti, who, at the termination of the opera,
made a vow that she would never again perform in the same work with
Mdme. Gerster.

Mdme. Patti had braced herself up sufficiently to go through the
performance in very dramatic style. But after the fall of the curtain,
when she had time to think of the ludicrous position in which she had
been placed, she became hysterical.

On returning to her hotel she threw herself on to the ground and kicked
and struggled in such a manner that it was only with the greatest
difficulty she could be got to bed. The stupidity of the "ushers" seemed
to her so outrageous that she could scarcely accept it as sufficient
explanation of the folly committed in sending up her bouquets, her
baskets, and her floral devices of various kinds at the wrong moment. At
one time when she was in a comedy vein, she would exclaim: "It is all
that Mapleson;" and she actually did me the honour to say that I had
arranged the scene in order to lower her value in the eyes of the
public, and secure her for future performances at reduced rates.

Then she would take a serious, not to say tragic view of the matter, and
attribute the misadventure to the maleficent influence of Gerster. The
amiable Etelka possessed, according to her brilliant but superstitious
rival, the evil eye; and after the affair of the bouquets no misfortune
great or small happened, but it was attributed by Mdme. Patti to the
malignant spirit animating Mdme. Gerster. If anything went wrong, from a
false note in the orchestra to an earthquake, it was always, according
to the divine Adelina, caused by Gerster and her "evil eye." "Gerster!"
was her first exclamation when she found the earth shaking beneath her
at San Francisco.

Far from endeavouring to cure her of her childish superstitions,
Nicolini encouraged her, and, in all probability, took part himself in
her quaint delusions.

Whenever Gerster's name was mentioned, whenever her presence was in any
way suggested, Mdme. Patti made with her fingers the horn which is
supposed to counteract or avert the effect of the evil eye; and once,
when the two rivals were staying at the same hotel, Mdme. Patti, passing
in the dark the room occupied by Mdme. Gerster, extended her first and
fourth fingers in the direction of the supposed sorceress; when she
found herself nearly tapping upon the forehead of Mdme. Gerster's
husband, Dr. Gardini, who, at that moment, was putting his boots out
before going to bed.

Two days before the close of the Chicago engagement grave rumours
reached me from Cincinnati, where we were due the following Monday.
Great floods had set in, and the water was still rising daily, and,
indeed, hourly.

I received frequent telegraphic reports as to the sad effects of the
flood, and I at last found it necessary to postpone our departure until
the following day, hoping the water might then begin to recede.

On learning the state of things Mdme. Patti refused absolutely to enter
the train now in readiness, and several of the other artists followed
her example. The water still kept rising, and it at last reached the
extraordinary height of 64 feet.

Cincinnati, I learned, was placed in total darkness through the gas
works being submerged. The inhabitants were compelled to burn candles
and oil lamps in order to obtain light, whilst the city was isolated
from every other part of America. I was, moreover, informed by the
railway authorities there was great uncertainty as to the train ever
being able to reach the city at all. No Festival could possibly be given
where such utter desolation existed; where the public was so far removed
from everything festive.

I therefore telegraphed Manager Fennessy to postpone my week's visit
until the 31st of the following month, and I now saw no alternative but
to stay at Chicago, though I had no engagements whatever, and had all
the people on my hands. On conversing with Mdme. Patti and Mdme. Gerster
I found that they both sympathized with the sufferers from this sad
calamity. I therefore decided that in lieu of attempting to get money
out of the ill-fated city, it was our duty to raise funds and transmit
them to the sufferers as speedily as possible. With that view I
organized a morning performance in all haste at Chicago, in which both
Mdme. Patti and Mdme. Gerster took part. The public accorded the most
generous support. Henry Irving, who was staying in our hotel, gave £20
for a box with his usual characteristic liberality; and I had the
pleasure of remitting the very next day to the Mayor of Cincinnati
upwards of £1,200.

In order to keep the band and chorus employed, I arranged to perform for
three nights at Minneapolis, which, although a considerable distance
off, I determined to try. I therefore ordered my special train to be in
readiness for our departure.

We opened at Minneapolis during the latter part of the week, giving the
three performances to excellent business. Whilst there I heard fresh
reports as to Abbey's losses, both at the Metropolitan Opera-house, and
likewise on his tour.

On taking up the newspapers I found it stated that Mr. Abbey had lost
nearly 239,000 dollars, and that he was, in fact, compelled to retire
from his management.

Although Mr. Abbey had treated me anything but handsomely, I felt some
regret at hearing of the downfall of this not very clever showman. It
was a struggle between money and ability, his object being to put me out
of the way, so that his new enterprise might have no opposition to
encounter. My singers, musicians, and _employés_ had been hired away
from me at double, treble, and quadruple salaries. From Nilsson down to
the call-boy, all had been tempted, and many led away. When my people
came in to me and said: "What shall I do? he is offering me four times
my salary," I replied: "My dear people, go by all means; you are sure to
come back to me next season."

I had myself run very close to the wind throughout all this business,
and but for great care and some judgment should have been ruined.

After the morning performance which closed our engagement at
Minneapolis, our special train had to travel for 36 hours to reach St.
Louis, where we opened on the following Monday.

There was great excitement at St. Louis about the performance of _Les
Huguenots_, announced for the Thursday following, in which Patti and
Gerster were to appear together in their respective parts. But in
consequence of Mdme. Patti's declaration that she would never sing with
Gerster again in any opera, I had to change the bill, much to the
annoyance of the public and to my own loss.

I will now mention something that occurred during the latter part of my
visit to St. Louis.

Finding business not so flourishing as it would have been but for this
irritating rivalry of Abbey's, also that Mdme. Patti's engagement
included only fifty guaranteed nights during the five months over which
the engagement extended, I concluded to give her a rest of some three or
four weeks, inasmuch as she had already sung nearly two-thirds of the
guaranteed number of times, and I had ample time to work out the
remainder. I also resolved to start the Company far away out of the
reach of Mr. Abbey to the wealthy San Francisco. Our exchequer was sadly
in need of replenishment. Mdme. Gerster consented to remain with me, but
only on condition that Mdme. Patti kept away. Finding this suited my
purpose, I agreed to it.



At the conclusion of the farewell morning performance of _Martha_, in
which Gerster took part, at St. Louis, she went home to prepare for the
journey to San Francisco. I performed _La Favorita_ that evening, and
gave orders for the Company to start at 2 a.m. for the Far West. At
about a quarter to one my agent called me, stating that Mdme. Gerster
had gone to bed and refused to allow her boxes to leave the hotel.
Feeling now that she was free from Patti, she thought she could do as
she liked. All arguments were useless, and in lieu of packing the boxes
she gave calm directions to her maids to hang her dresses up. During
this time the special train was waiting in the station ready to take its
departure. In the midst of my trouble a little card was brought in
enclosed in an envelope, stating that Mdme. Patti would like to see me.
She, too, had been on the point of going to bed. But on learning the
strait in which I was placed she at once rang the bell, mustered her
maids, requested them to pack up all her worldly effects, and now
assured me that she would sing for me day and night rather than let me
be the victim of Gerster's caprices.

Whilst I was thanking Mdme. Patti another little card was slipped in my
hand from the adjoining room requesting a word with me. On entering
Mdme. Gerster's apartments I found her dressed, and she now declared her
willingness to accompany me to the Far West.

The long and short of it was that I found myself in the train with both
my prime donne. I thereupon telegraphed to my agent in advance to call
in at Denver and arrange for a performance of Mdme. Patti in _La
Traviata_ on the following Saturday morning on our way through. We duly
arrived in Denver, when on reaching the hotel Mdme. Gerster accidentally
saw that Patti had been announced for one of the performances.

Without a moment's warning she left the hotel, presented herself at the
station, and ordered a special train to take her back to the East on her
way to Europe. It was, indeed, a sore trial to bring matters to an
amicable conclusion; but in this I eventually succeeded. I assured Mdme.
Gerster that Mdme. Patti would have nothing further to do for some
length of time. If Patti sang again Mdme. Gerster declared she would
leave the Company.

At the conclusion of my Denver engagement we left for Cheyenne. The
opera train consisted of eleven elegant carriages; and prior to our
arrival at Cheyenne we were met on the road by two special cars, having
on board Councillors Holliday, Dater, Babbitt, Warren, Irvine, and
Homer, likewise the Hon. Jones, Ford, and Miller, and some forty other
representatives of the Upper and Lower Houses of the great territory of
the West. We were agreeably surprised when the train pulled up. To my
great astonishment both Houses had been adjourned in honour of our
visit. There was, in fact, a general holiday. One carriage contained dry
Pommery and Mumm champagne, intersected with blocks of ice, whilst
another compartment was full of cigars. Both trains pulled up on the
plains, when an interchange of civilities took place and several
speeches were made.

Shortly afterwards we started the train again in the direction of
Cheyenne, where the band of the 9th Regiment, brought from a
considerable distance from one of the military stations, was waiting to
receive us. Mdme. Patti, who was in her own car, insisted upon having it
detached from the train in order not to interfere with the welcome she
considered due to Mdme. Gerster, who was to perform that evening in _La
Sonnambula_, which was the only opera to be given during our visit. At
the conclusion of the reception Gerster was accompanied to the hotel.
Two hours later there was to be a serenade to Mdme. Patti, who at a
given time was drawn into the station. The brass band, being placed in a
circle with the bandmaster in the centre, commenced performing music
which was rather mixed. Mdme. Patti requested me to ask the bandmaster
what they were playing; but on my attempting to enter the circle the
bandmaster rushed at me, telling me with expressive gestures that if I
touched one of his musicians the whole circle would fall down. They had
been on duty during the last thirty-six hours waiting our arrival, and
as they had taken "considerable refreshment," he had had great
difficulty in placing them on their feet. We dispensed with all
ceremony, and the night serenade was struck out of the programme, the
men being sent home.

The opera of _Sonnambula_ was performed that evening, and although ten
dollars a seat were charged, the house was crowded. To my great
astonishment, although Cheyenne is but a little town, consisting of
about two streets, it possesses a most refined society, composed, it is
true, of cowboys; yet one might have imagined one's self at the London
Opera when the curtain rose--the ladies in brilliant toilettes and
covered with diamonds; the gentlemen all in evening dress.

The entire little town was lighted by electricity. The club house is one
of the pleasantest I have ever visited; and the people are most

When the performance was over we all returned to the train, and started
for Salt Lake City.

On our arrival there Mdme. Gerster drove to the theatre. Mdme. Patti and
Nicolini amused themselves by visiting the great Tabernacle, I
accompanying them. On entering this superb building, excellent in an
acoustic point of view, and capable of seating 12,000 persons, the idea
immediately crossed my mind of giving, if possible, a concert there on
our return from San Francisco; but I was unsuccessful in my endeavours
to obtain the use of it. I thereupon resolved that Mdme. Patti should
invite the Mormon Prophet himself, together with as many of the twelve
apostles as we could obtain, to visit her private car, then outside the
station; and a splendid _déjeuner_ was prepared by the cooks.

The next morning the Prophet Taylor came, accompanied by several of his
apostles. Mdme. Patti took great care to praise the magnificent building
she had visited the day previously, expressing a strong desire that she
might be allowed to try her voice there, which led on to my observing
that a regular concert would be more desirable. To this a strong
objection was made by several apostles, who stated that the building was
not intended for any such purpose, but was simply a place of worship.

Mdme. Patti, however, launched into enthusiastic praise of the Mormon
doctrines, and, in fact, expressed a strong wish to join the Mormon
Church. After hearing her sing two or three of her dainty little songs
the Prophet was so impressed that he actually consented to a concert
being given in the Tabernacle the following month. On my suggesting
three dollars for the best seats an objection was instantly made by one
of the apostles, who, having five wives, thought it would be rather a
heavy call upon his purse. It was ultimately settled that the prices
should be only two dollars and one dollar.

We performed the opera of _Lucia_ that evening in Salt Lake Theatre in
presence of all the prominent inhabitants of the lovely city, the
receipts reaching some £750. The Prophet attended.

Starting for the West immediately after the opera, we about thirty hours
afterwards reached Reno, where we stopped to water the engine; and,
although still some 250 miles from San Francisco, the train was boarded
by a lot of reporters, who had been waiting a couple of days to meet the
party, determined if possible to secure an interview with the _Diva_. In
the meantime they busied themselves writing a description of the
magnificent train of boudoir state-rooms until we reached Truckee, where
a considerable portion of the line had been washed away. There had,
moreover, been a snow-slide from some of the great mountains, which
caused a stoppage of nearly twelve hours.

Suddenly, as if by magic, some 1,500 Chinamen arrived and commenced
repairing the road. During this time the reporters had ample time to
interview everybody, as the railway carriages one by one had to be
conveyed over a temporary road which the Chinamen had built.

The whole of Truckee's population came out to meet us, composed of
cowboys, miners, and Indians. Patti was much charmed with a little
papoose carried on one of the Indian women's backs. She placed herself
at the piano and commenced singing nursery rhymes. She likewise whistled
a polka very cleverly to her own accompaniment; which made the papoose
laugh. She thereupon expressed a strong wish to purchase it and adopt
it, having no children of her own. It was only in compliance with
Nicolini's persuasive powers that she ultimately desisted.

On our leaving Truckee a wild shout went up from the Indians, resembling
a kind of war-whoop, in which the whole of the Truckee population

Ultimately we reached Sacramento. Again all the inhabitants came out,
many crying, "God bless her Majesty!" "God bless Colonel Mapleson!" the
crowd, as usual, being largely composed of Indians and Chinese. An
attempt was made to surround Patti's car in order to make her get out
and sing.

Prior to leaving Sacramento other reporters got in, insisting upon
interviewing Patti. I replied--

"Do you think I pay Patti £1,000 a night and spend all my profits buying
these magnificent cars for her and Nicolini to have her interviewed by
newspaper reporters? No, sir, you cannot interview Patti. We have a lot
of beautifully-written interviews already in type in my ante-room, and
you can go and select those you like best. You can see the car,
moreover, with Count Zacharoff. In the hind car you will find some
Apollinaris and rye whisky, and there is a box of cigars in the corner."

"Look here, Colonel," replied one of the reporters, very firmly, placing
his right hand in his hip pocket, "I am no London reporter to be put off
in that kind of way. I have come several hundreds of miles to interview
Patti, and see her I must. Refuse me, and I shall simply telegraph two
lines to San Francisco that Patti has caught a severe cold in the
mountains, and that Gerster's old throat complaint is coming on again.
Do you understand?"

I replied, "Cannot you interview me instead?" feeling appalled at his

"No, sir," replied he; "Patti or perdition!"

I now saw Nicolini, who ultimately consented to the reporter's seeing
the _Diva_. Summoning a swarthy valet, he ordered him to conduct the
journalist to Mdme. Patti's apartments, Nicolini following him.

A few seconds later the reporter was face to face with Patti in her
gorgeous palace car. Nicolini performed the ceremony of introduction,
while the parrot muttered a few "cusses" in French. Patti smilingly
motioned the reporter to be seated, and the long-expected interview was
about to take place, when Nicolini suddenly returned and commenced
ringing the electric bells. In an instant all was confusion. Valets
rushed hither and thither, Nicolini declaring in the choicest Italian
that he had discovered a small draught coming through a ventilator; and
it was not until this had been closed and his adored madame had been
wrapped in shawls that the interview could proceed.

Patti had evidently been interviewed before, for she took the lead in
the conversation from the start. Her first inquiry was about the weather
in California, of which she had heard. She asked whether it was warm and
sunny like her native Spain. She said she was tired of ice and snow, of
Colorado and Montana, and that she was very pleased at being able to
reach San Francisco. At the conclusion of the interview the reporter
left the room, went to the end of the train, and dropped a small parcel
overboard on passing one of the signal boxes. I afterwards learned that
it contained a page of matter which we found in print on our arrival at
San Francisco. He had given a detailed report of all that had occurred
in the train.

In due course we reached San Francisco, where my agent informed me that
the engagement was going to be a great success, two-thirds of the
tickets having been sold for the entire season.

On our arriving at Oakland, opposite San Francisco, the morning papers
were eagerly purchased, and the announcements scanned by Signor Nicolini
and Patti, both of whom expressed amazement at having been brought some
3,000 miles to do nothing. In fact, I myself felt rather for the moment
nonplussed. I nevertheless immediately took the matter up, whispering to
Nicolini to be quiet, and to tell Mdme. Patti to be quiet, as I had
prepared a scheme which I thought she would be pleased with.

I then set to work to think what could be done. On reaching my hotel, it
being Sunday, of course no printing could be attempted. I, therefore,
inserted an advertisement in the paper for the following morning
notifying that, profiting by Mdme. Patti's and Signor Nicolini's
presence on a voyage of pleasure to the Far West, I had persuaded them
to give a performance. I had selected the ensuing Thursday--the only
blank night I had. At the same time, in justice to those who had
subscribed so liberally for the season, I notified that the original
subscribers should have the first choice of the Patti tickets in
priority to the general public, with a discount of 10 per cent. besides.
This contented them, and, in fact, augmented still further the
subscription for the whole season, many joining in simply for the chance
of being able to obtain a ticket for Patti.

When this arrangement had been carried out I met Messrs. Sherman and
Clay, the well-known music sellers, and begged them kindly to dispose of
the few remaining tickets at their shop, on the following Tuesday, so as
not to have any confusion with my regular box-office lettings at the



One of the most extraordinary spectacles ever witnessed in San Francisco
was that which presented itself on the evening of our arrival as soon as
it got buzzed about that some Patti tickets were to be sold the
following Tuesday at Sherman and Clay's.

Shortly after ten o'clock that night the first young man took up his
position, and was soon joined by another and another. Then came ladies,
until shortly after midnight the line extended as far as the district
telegraph office. Some brought chairs, and seated themselves with a pipe
or a cigar, prepared for a prolonged siege. Others had solid as well as
liquid solace in their pockets to pass away the hours. Telegraph boys
were numerous. So were many other shrewd young men who were ready the
following morning to sell their places in line to the highest bidder; a
position in line costing as much as £2 when within thirty from the door
of the office in which the tickets were to be disposed of.

The Adelina Patti epidemic gradually disseminated itself from the moment
of her arrival, and began to rage throughout the city from early the
following morning.

Many ladies joined the line during the night, and had to take equal
chances with the men. Towards morning bargains for good positions in the
line reached as high as £4, a sum which was actually paid by one person
for permission to take another person's place. Numbers of those in the
van of the procession were there solely for the purpose of selling their

The next morning I rose early and took a stroll to admire the city. I
observed a vast crowd down Montgomery Street. In fact, the passage
within hundreds of yards was impassable, vehicles, omnibuses, etc., all
being at a standstill. On inquiring the reason of this commotion I was
informed by a policeman that they were trying to buy Patti tickets,
which Messrs. Sherman and Clay had for disposal.

On forcing my way gradually down the street and approaching Sherman and
Clay's establishment, I saw, to my great astonishment, that there was
not a single pane of glass in any of the windows, whilst the tops of the
best pianos and harmoniums were occupied by dozens of people standing
upon them in their nailed boots, all clamouring for Patti tickets.
Messrs. Sherman and Clay solicited me earnestly either to remove Patti
from the town, or, at least, not to entrust them with the sale of any
more tickets, the crowd having done over £600 of damage to their stock.

I had no further difficulty at the moment with Gerster, who believed
Patti was going to sing but one night. Besides, the sale of tickets had
been very great on her account before Patti's presence in the city had
become known.

About eight o'clock that evening a serenade was tendered to Patti by a
large orchestra under Professor Wetterman; the court-yard of the Palace
Hotel where she was staying being brilliantly illuminated. The six tiers
of magnificent galleries surrounding it were crowded with visitors and
illuminated _a giorno_. As soon as the first strains of the music were
heard Mdme. Patti came from her room with a circle of friends, and was
an attentive listener. After remaining some time she deputed Signor
Arditi to congratulate the orchestra on their brilliant performance, the
favourite conductor receiving quite an ovation as he delivered the

The preparations at the Grand Opera were most elaborate, and the
decorations particularly so. The theatre and passages had been
repapered, flags festooned, and in the centre facing the main door was a
huge crystal fountain, having ten smaller jets throwing streams of eau
de Cologne into glass basins hung with crystal pendants. All over the
vestibule were the rarest tree orchids, violets in blossom and roses in
full bloom; while the corner of the vestibule was draped with the flags
of every nation, among which England, America, Italy, and Hungary

On the opening night the Grand Opera-house presented a spectacle of
magnificence which I may say without exaggeration can never have been
surpassed in any city. The auditorium was quite dazzling with a
bewildering mass of laces, jewels, and fair faces. Every available place
was taken. Outside in the street there must have been thousands of
people all clamouring for tickets, whilst the broad steps of the church
opposite were occupied by persons anxious to catch a glimpse of the
toilettes of the ladies as they sprang out of their carriages into the

The season opened with _Lucia di Lammermoor_, in which Mdme. Etelka
Gerster appeared as the ill-fated heroine. I will not go into details of
the performance, further than to say that the stage was loaded after
every act with the most gorgeous set pieces of flowers, several being so
cumbersome that they had to be left on the stage at the sides in sight
of the audience during the remainder of the opera. The next evening was
devoted to rest after the long and fatiguing journey that we had all
undergone, Mdme. Gerster remaining in her apartments to prepare for her
second appearance the following night.

The next evening was devoted to a performance of _L'Elisir d'Amore_,
when Mdme. Gerster drew another 10,000 dollar house--the floral
picturesqueness of the auditorium of the previous Monday being repeated.

Mdme. Patti was now to appear as "La Traviata." On the day of the
performance it took the whole of the police force to protect the theatre
from the overwhelming crowds pressing for tickets, although it had been
announced that no more were to be had. Long before daylight the would-be
purchasers of Patti tickets had collected and formed into line, reaching
the length of some three or four streets; and from this time until the
close of the engagement, some four weeks afterwards, that line was never
broken at any period of the day or night. A brisk trade was done in the
hiring of camp stools, for which the modest sum of 4s. was charged. A
similar amount was levied for a cup of coffee or a slice of bread and
butter. As the line got hungry dinners were served, also suppers. High
prices were paid to obtain a place in the line, as the head of it
approached the box-office; resulting only in disappointment to the
intending buyer, who was, of course, unable to procure a ticket. Large
squads of police were on duty the whole time, and they were busily
employed in keeping the line in its place, and in defeating outsiders in
their attempts to make a gap in it. Later on it was announced that a
limited number of gallery tickets would be sold, when a rush was made,
carrying away the whole of the windows, glass, statuary, plants, etc.

Ticket speculators were now offering seats at from £4 to £10 each,
places in the fifth row of the dress circle fetching as much as £4,
being 400 per cent. above the box-office price. They found buyers at
rates which would have shamed Shylock. Later in the day fulminations
were launched upon my head, and I was accused of taking part in the
plunder. I therefore determined, as far as possible, to set this right.

At length evening approached, and hundreds of tickets had been sold for
standing room only.

Meanwhile Chief Crowley and Captain Short of the police, on seeing the
aisles leading to the orchestra stalls and dress-circle blocked by the
vast crowd, many of whom were seated on camp-stools which they had
secretly brought with them, procured a warrant for my arrest the
following morning. Several hot disputes occurred about this time in the
main vestibule in consequence of numbers of duplicate tickets having
been issued; and several seatholders were unable to reach their places.
One gentleman challenged another to come and fight it out on the side
walk with revolvers.

To describe the appearance of the house would be impossible. The
toilettes of the ladies were charming. Many were in white, and nearly
all were sparkling with diamonds. In the top gallery people were
literally on the heads of one another, and on sending up to ascertain
the cause, as the numbers were still increasing, the inspector
ascertained that boards had been placed from the top of an adjoining
house on to the roof of the Opera-house, from which the slates had been
taken off; and numbers were dropping one by one through the ceiling on
to the heads of those who were seated in the gallery.

Patti, of course, was smothered with bouquets, and the Italian residents
of the city sent a huge globe of violets, supported on two ladders, with
the Italian and American flags hanging over each side. At the end of
each act huge stands and forms of flowers were sent up over the
footlights and placed on the stage. To name the fashionable people in
the audience would be to go over the invitation lists of the balls given
in the very best houses in the city. It would be useless to describe a
performance of _la Diva_, with which everyone is already familiar.
Galassi, the baritone, made a great success; and in the gambling scene
an elegant ballet was introduced, led by little Mdlle. Bettina de
Sortis. Chief Crowley reported that it would require 200 extra police to
keep order the next day. On going through the tickets in the treasury,
we discovered upwards of 200 bogus ones taken at the door. These
counterfeits were so good, even to the shade of colour, that it was
almost impossible to detect the difference from the real ones; the
public having smashed into the opera as if shot from howitzers. Several
ladies declared that their feet had never even touched the ground from
the time they got out of their carriages; and it was with difficulty
that the tickets were snatched from them as they passed. Many who had
paid for standing room brought little camp stools concealed under their
clothes, and afterwards opened them out, placing them in the main
passage ways. Had any panic occurred, or any alarm of fire, many lives
must have been sacrificed.

Of course the blame for all this was put upon me. The next day there
were low mutterings of discontent all over the city against my
management, whilst the newspapers were unanimous in attacking me, some
of their articles being headed "The Opera Swindle."

The following day I was arrested at half-past two o'clock by Detective
Bowen, on a sworn warrant from Captain Short, for violating Section 49
of the Fire Ordinance of the city and county, in allowing the passage
ways to be blocked up by the use of camp stools and overcrowding, the
penalty for such violation being a fine of not less than 500 dollars,
together with imprisonment for not less than six months.

In obedience to the warrant issued, I entered the police court the next
day, accompanied by General W. H. L. Barnes, the eminent counsel who had
charge of the famous Sharon case, and Judge Oliver P. Evans. On Barnes
asking to see the order for arrest he found that I was described as
"John Doe Mapleson," the explanation being that my Christian name was
unknown. I was charged with a misdemeanour in violating the ordinance of
the fire department, which declares that it is unlawful to obstruct the
passage-ways or aisles of theatres during a performance. After some
consultation a bond was drawn up in due form of law, General Barnes and
Judge Evans being my bondsmen.

A meeting was afterwards held in the court, when the licensing collector
suggested that for the protection of the public, ticket pedlars on the
pavement should be made to take out a licence at an extra charge of 100
dollars each.

Notwithstanding this enormous tax, more licences were issued that
afternoon at the increased rate.

At the next _matinée_ Mdme. Gerster appeared in _La Sonnambula_, when
the house was again crowded.

I now announced a second performance by Mdme. Patti, for the following
Tuesday, in _Il Trovatore_, stating that the box-office would open for
the sale of any surplus tickets on the following Monday at 10. Early on
the morning of the sale, the line, formed between four and five o'clock
in the morning, was gradually increased by new comers, all anxious to
secure tickets; and by 10 o'clock, without exaggeration, it had swelled
to thousands.

I herewith quote the following spirited and characteristic description
of the scene from the _Morning Call_ of March 15th, 1884:--

"To one who has stood on Mission Street, opposite the Grand Opera-house,
yesterday forenoon, and 'viewed the battle from afar,' as it might be
said, it seemed that a large number of people had run completely mad
over the desire to hear Patti sing. Such an excited, turbulent, and, in
fact, desperate crowd never massed in front of a theatre for the purpose
of purchasing tickets. It absolutely fought for tickets, and it is
questionable whether, if it had been an actual riot by a fierce and
determined mob, the scene could have been more exciting or the wreck of
the entrance of the theatre more complete. After the throng had melted
away the approaches to the box-office looked as if they had been visited
by a first-class Kansas cyclone in one of its worst moods. The fact that
tickets were on sale for several performances had much to do with it. It
was a sort of clean-up for last evening and to-day's _matinée_, but
above all for the Patti night on Tuesday. A line began to form as early
as five o'clock in the morning, and it grew and multiplied until at ten
o'clock it had turned the corner on Third Street, while the main
entrance was packed solid with a writhing and twisting mass of humanity,
which pressed close to the glass doors which form the first barrier, and
which were guarded by a lone policeman. He did his best to reduce the
pressure upon himself and upon the doors, but as the time passed and the
box-office did not open the crowd became more noisy and unmanageable,
and finally an irresistible rush was made for the doors. They did not
resist an instant, and gave way as though they had been made of paper.
In the fierce tumult which followed the glass was all broken out of
them, a boy being hurled bodily through one of the panes, with a most
painful result to him, for he fell cut and bruised inside. There was not
an inch of available space between the street and the main entrance that
was not occupied by men, women, or children, indiscriminately huddled in
together. The potted plants were overturned and annihilated under the
feet of the throng; the glass in the large pictures which adorned the
walls was broken, and the pictures themselves dragged to the floor. The
box-office was besieged by a solidly-packed and howling mob, the regular
line entirely overwhelmed, and a grand struggle ensued to get as near
the box-office--which had not been opened--as possible. Then the crowd
itself essayed to get into some sort of order.

"The more powerful forced themselves to the front and started a new line
without any regard for those who had been first in position before the
barriers were overthrown. It twisted itself about the lobby, forming
curves and angles that would have made the typical snake retire into
obscurity for very envy. This line was pressed upon from all sides by
unfortunates who had been left out of the original formation of it. The
air was thick and sultry, the crowd perspired and blasphemed, and the
storming of the box-office became imminent. Just at this juncture
Captain Short arrived with a large squad of police, and under the
influence of a copious display of suggestive-looking locusts [the
truncheons of the American police are made of locust wood] the crowd
sullenly fell back and formed a somewhat orderly line. A line of
season-ticket holders was also formed to purchase tickets for the next
Patti night, and these were admitted through the inner door and served
from the manager's office. In addition the crowd was notified that no
Patti tickets would be sold from the box-office, but that all must go
inside. This produced a yell of anger and turned bedlam loose again, as
it broke up the line. But the police made a grand charge and forced
hundreds outside, against the indignant protests of many who claimed
that they had been in the regular line all the forenoon, only to be
deprived of their rights by the police. The sale which followed seems to
have given more satisfaction than that for the first Patti night."

Prior to the opening of the sale I discovered that some thirty
speculators had somehow got to the inside barrier close to the office
before the _bonâ fide_ public, who had been waiting outside so long. I
found that they had broken a window on the stage; afterwards clambering
up and passing through the lobby of the theatre to the inner barrier,
before the outer doors had been opened. I then saw that they intended to
secure the whole of the tickets offered for sale. I therefore, in
passing a second time, quietly nudged one of them, winked suggestively,
and pointed to the upper circle ticket office; leading the willing dupes
who followed me through a door in the main wall to an inner office. No
sooner had the last one gone through than I had the door locked. I thus
"corralled" between 25 and 30 of these speculative gentry, and kept them
for over two hours, during which time the tickets were disposed of. This
cleared my character with the general body of the public, who at once
saw that I was in no league whatever with the speculators, or they would
have turned King's evidence after my treatment of them.

While I was performing this manoeuvre, the rush and jamb in the main
vestibule became so great that the police officers were obliged to draw
their clubs to maintain order.

On that evening we performed the opera _Puritani_, in which Mdme.
Gerster again sang, to the delight of the numerous audience. About this
time I discovered that the head usher had been in the habit of secreting
a lot of stools and hiring them out to those who were standing at an
extra charge of 12s. apiece. I at once sent for Captain Short, the
esteemed Chief of Police, who said to the usher--

"Have the kindness to ask that lady to get up and take that stool away."

"All right," said the usher. "Please hand me that stool, madam."

The lady responded--

"But you made me pay 12s. for it; at all events, return me my money."

The Captain said--

"Give the lady back her 12s."

The answer was--

"We never return fees."

The Captain then gave instructions for one of his officers to take the
usher off to the Southern Station and lock him up on a charge of

The following morning I was again notified to attend the Police Court.
My counsel, General Barnes, pleaded for a postponement for one week, on
the ground that he was busily engaged in the Sharon case. To this the
prosecuting attorney objected, saying that the outraged public demanded
the speedy settlement of Mapleson, and the case was therefore set for
the following morning.

When the case was called I was not present, being unavoidably detained
at the bedside of one of my bass singers, who had suddenly died of
pulmonary apoplexy. The deceased, Signor Lombardelli, was a great
favourite in the Company.

General Barnes, however, appeared, demanding a postponement of the case,
and intimating that a trial by jury would be demanded.

"If this should be conceded the case will go over until next May or
June," replied the Clerk of the Court, "by which time the accused will
be in Europe."

He therefore protested against the postponement. The Judge said sternly
that it would not be granted, and the case was therefore set for the

On the following morning I came up to the Police Court, which was
crowded. Police Captain Short was first called for the prosecution, and
testified that the Opera-house was a place of amusement, but that it had
been turned into a place of danger every evening since I had been there.
Stools and standing spectators were in the main passages, and in case of
a panic the consequences would have been most disastrous. Officer
O'Connell testified that on the particular night in question there were
57 people standing in one little passage-way having about a dozen small
folding stools amongst them. I was then placed on the witness stand,
when I stated that I was the manager of the Opera Company, but not of
the theatre. I had simply control of the stage, whilst the manager was
responsible for the auditorium, and had provided me with the delinquent
ushers. The box book-keeper was afterwards placed on the stand, who
swore that I had ordered him to sell one-fifth less tickets than the
manager had stated the house would hold. The defence only desired to
make out the point that I was not the responsible manager. The Judge,
however, decided otherwise, and found me guilty.

I was to appear the following morning to hear sentence. A heavy fine was
imposed. But it was ultimately reduced to 75 dollars, which the Judge,
evidently a lover of music, consented to take out in opera tickets.

That evening Patti appeared as "Leonora" in _Il Trovatore_. Standing
room on the church steps opposite the main entrance to the theatre was
again at a great premium, and a force of policemen under Captain Short
was early on duty keeping the vestibule clear of loiterers, and allowing
none but those who intended to witness the opera to be present.

I will not go into details of the performances either of Signor Nicolini
as "Manrico," or of Patti as "Leonora." The representation was one
unbroken triumph, and, as usual, the stage was piled up with set pieces
and flowers.

About this time a report was brought to me as to the examination I had
caused to be made of the bogus tickets, which could only be recognized
after being soaked in water, when it appeared that the real ones
consisted of three plies of cardboard and the bogus ones only of two.

But even after all this explanation, so disappointed and indignant were
those who held the bogus tickets that they insisted, not only upon their
money being returned, of which I had never received a penny, but also on
their travelling and hotel expenses being repaid them. Many had come
hundreds of miles in order to visit the opera.

Having arranged to give a concert on the following Thursday at the
Pavilion, a large building capable of holding some 8,000 or 9,000
people, and in order to prevent a recurrence of the scenes I had just
encountered and the daily trouble experienced throughout this
engagement, I resolved to put up the choice of seats to auction.

The auction took place in the Grand Opera-house, and was attended by
over 500 people, who had first to procure tickets of admission to attend
the sale. A huge diagram was placed on the drop curtain, showing the
seats that were to be sold divided into blocks. The auctioneer, who
occupied the conductor's desk, explained that the whole of the seats
would be placed on sale to the public and that none would be withheld,
the bidders merely to name the premiums they wished to give for the
privilege of purchasing the tickets. The first bidder gave 12s. premium
per seat for the first choice of six seats for the concert, and other
sums varied from 10s. down to 2s. 6d., the premiums alone reaching some
£1,000, in addition to the sale of tickets.

This plan gave great satisfaction to the public, as whatever advance
they then paid on the ticket went into the manager's pocket instead of
the speculators'.

When the great concert took place the vast building was nearly full.
Nine thousand persons had paid from one to five dollars each. The rain
meanwhile was coming down in sheets, and several speculators who had
obtained large numbers of tickets were now left out in the cold--and in
the rain--with their purchases. Inside, at the back of the gallery, a
brisk business was done in telescopes, for such was here the distance
from Patti that, though her voice could be clearly heard, her features
could not be seen.

A subscription was now started for the benefit of the widow of the late
basso, Signor Lombardelli. Patti had contributed 150 dollars, when
Gerster, to show that she was a greater artist, gave 1,000. I
contributed 600; Galassi, Arditi, and the others 100 dollars each.

The following morning Lombardelli's funeral took place, which caused a
great stir in the city. There was a full choral service; the orchestra
and the whole Opera Company taking part in it, including the principal
artists. Not only was San Francisco in full _fête_ at this extraordinary
funeral, but numbers of the Chinese came down from their city (called
"Chinatown") in order to be present.

That evening a great reception was given by the San Francisco Verein in
honour of Mdme. Gerster. The guests commenced to arrive early, and the
entertainment was carried on till midnight. It is to be noted that the
night for the compliment to Gerster was that of the Patti concert at the

On the following evening Gerster appeared as "Margherita" in _Faust_,
the house being again crowded from floor to ceiling. That same night
Patti's admirers gave a grand ball in her honour at the Margherita Club,
for which 500 invitations were issued. An immense floral bower had been
constructed for the occasion, the sides of the room being beds of choice
flowers and roses in full bloom, while four enormous horse-shoes, all of
flowers, adorned each corner of the room. Suspended from the roof was a
great star with the word "Patti" in electric incandescent burners.

The Italian Consul, the Russian Consul, and several officers from the
Russian flagship then in San Francisco Bay were present. The Queen of
Song was escorted into the ballroom by Count Brichanteau, the band
playing the "Patti Valse," composed expressly for the occasion by
Arditi. A formal reception was afterwards held by the members of the
Club; and later on a gorgeous supper was served in the Pavilion, which
had been specially erected, decorated with large Italian and Union
flags. Dancing was kept up until an early hour the following morning.

While the rivalry between Patti and Gerster was at its height it was
made known that General Crittenden, Governor of Missouri, had given
Patti a kiss. Thereupon Mdme. Patti was interviewed, when she spoke as

"I had just finished singing 'Home, Sweet Home' last Thursday evening,
when a nice-looking old gentleman, who introduced himself as Governor
Crittenden, began congratulating me. All of a sudden he leaned down, put
his arms around me, drew me up to him, and kissed me. He said, 'Madame
Patti, I may never see you again, but I cannot help it;' and before I
knew it he was kissing me. When a gentleman, and such a nice old
gentleman, too, and a Governor of a great State, kisses one so quick
that one has not time to see and no time to object, what can one do?"

The following dialogue on the subject between Mdme. Gerster and a
reporter who had interviewed her was afterwards published:--


MODEST REPORTER: "I suppose, Mdme. Gerster, you have heard about that
kissing affair between Governor Crittenden and Patti?"

Mdme. GERSTER: "I have heard that Governor Crittenden kissed Patti
before she had time to resist; but I don't see anything in that to
create so much fuss."

REPORTER (interrogatively): "You don't?"

GERSTER: "Certainly not! There is nothing wrong in a man kissing a woman
old enough to be his mother."



I now received an invitation from the Admiral commanding Her Britannic
Majesty's Pacific Squadron, whose flag-ship, the _Triumph_, had entered
the bay. Several of my leading artists were also invited. The steam
pinnace was sent on shore to take us on board. After visiting the ship
and receiving all possible courtesies from the officers, we entered the
grand saloon, in which an elegant _déjeuner_ had been prepared,
comprising all the delicacies of the season. We had scarcely begun our
repast when an ominous whisper was passed by one of the officers to the
captain of the ship to the effect that most of the band had deserted to
go and play for Mapleson, who had offered them £12 a week each, and it
was therefore impossible that any music could be given during the
luncheon. Not even "God Save the Queen" could be played. The captain, in
lieu of communicating this to the admiral, informed me of it privately.
I thereupon expressed my surprise, as I had heard nothing about it, and
I further gave my word that I would never permit one of the musicians
who had deserted to take part in any performance at my theatre.

With this the captain was satisfied. It was rather hard lines to see the
men on shore who had deserted the ship, and yet be unable to send a
boat's crew to bring them back, after the many months of labour that had
been spent in instructing them.

As the opera business kept on increasing, I determined to give an extra
week in San Francisco, and to put up the privilege of purchasing seats
to auction. Considerable doubt was felt, however, as to the probable
result of this venture, and many declared that their purses and patience
had been so thoroughly exhausted by the enormous drain of the past two
weeks that I had but slender chance of continued patronage for so
high-priced an entertainment.

I will, however, describe the sale. At twelve a.m. I opened the doors of
the theatre, admission tickets being required to admit the purchasers,
so as to keep out the rougher element, as well as the "scalpers." The
auctioneer notified that the choice of every single seat in the house
would be offered on sale. Upon the drop curtain were colossal diagrams
of the different portions of the house, and as fast as each seat was
sold it was erased by the auctioneer's assistant, who was in the
orchestra with a fishing rod and black paint, with which he crossed off
from the diagram each seat as it was sold.

The bids made were for choice of seat and were in addition to the
regular price of the tickets.

The arrangements were most satisfactory. I had no representative present
to guard my interests, but left all to the auctioneer and the public.
The proscenium boxes reached 240 dollars premium for the five nights, on
three of which I guaranteed that Gerster would sing, whilst Patti would
sing on the other two.

Boxes were sold all round the house at an average of 120 dollars
premium, each purchaser calling out from the auditorium the seat he
would prefer, which was accordingly marked off, and a ticket handed to
him by which he could obtain the seat selected on payment at the box
office. Numbers of speculators somehow or another got mixed up with the
public, and thus obtained sundry tickets. The premiums for the five
nights reached £3,000.

Nothing but standing room and the gallery was left for the paying
public. Notwithstanding this, the line I have already told the reader of
still existed, and was as long as ever. This I could not account for,
and on inquiry I found that numbers who had placed themselves in line
never intended purchasing tickets, but waited there only for the
purpose of selling their places. An order was thereupon issued by the
police calling upon those nearest the office to produce their money to
show that they were _bonâ-fide_ purchasers. Those who could not do so
were immediately removed. This difficulty, however, was met by some
enterprising Jews, who lent out money for the day, simply that it might
be shown to the police.

Friday was selected for the benefit and farewell of Gerster in _L'Elisir
d'Amore_. Patti had chosen for her benefit _La Traviata_; which,
however, was changed at the request of some 500 people, who signed a
petition requesting me to substitute _Crispino_.

Whilst occupied one morning in my room on the fourth story at the Palace
Hotel, counting with my treasurers several thousands of pounds, the
atmosphere suddenly became dark. A sort of wind was blowing round the
apartment, and my senses seemed to be leaving me. I could not make out
what it was. The Hotel rocked three inches one way and then three inches
another; the plates and knives and forks jumping off on to the floor,
whilst my money was rolling in all parts of the room. I made a rush for
the door, and then for the street, realizing now that there was an
earthquake. Although it lasted but ten seconds the time appeared at
least half an hour. On leaving the hotel I met the landlord.

"Don't be frightened," he said.

"Well, but I am."

"Nonsense! My hotel is earthquake-proof as well as fire-proof," he said,
handing me a card, on which I found this inscribed: "_The Palace Hotel.
Fire-proof and earthquake-proof._"

He afterwards explained to me that everything employed in the
construction of the building was either wood or iron, no plaster or
stone being used. Indeed, although this hotel is six stories high, with
open corridors looking into the main courtyard the length of the entire
building, it is wound round the exterior with no less than four miles of
malleable iron bands. The proprietor, Mr. Sharon, said it might move
into another street, but could not fall down.

To such an extent had Patti's superstitious feeling with regard to
Gerster been developed that she at once ascribed the earthquake to
Gerster's evil influence. It was not merely a malicious idea of hers,
but a serious belief.

Meanwhile money was no consideration to those amateurs who had it.
Tickets were gold. They were seized with avidity apart from any question
about price. Hundreds were content to wait throughout the night, with
money in their hands, to ensure the possession of even standing room,
whilst thousands who, in their impecuniosity, could not hope to cross
the threshold of the musical Valhalla, where Patti and Gerster were the
divinities presiding, thronged the side walks, and gazed longingly at
the dumb walls of the theatre, and the crowd of idolaters pouring in to

At eight o'clock a.m. a second line of enthusiasts began to occupy the
centre of the road leading to the Grand Opera, although the doors were
not to be thrown open until six hours afterwards. A line was formed down
Mission and Third Street, extending almost to Market Street. Ticket
speculators passed up and down the line, and did a brisk business,
tickets in some instances reaching £20 apiece.

Captain Short again arrived with 60 extra policemen, but he was pushed
out with all his men, the crowd quite overpowering them. The 17 nights'
performances produced £40,000. The receipts of the first Patti night did
not fall far short of £5,000.

On the morning of our departure from San Francisco four young men were
arrested, charged with the wholesale forgery of opera tickets. They had
issued 60 bogus tickets for the opening night alone, and this caused all
the confusion and wrangling. They were proved to have made a purchase of
printer's ink, and to have bought one Patti ticket as a model, from
which they had copied the remainder. They were duly convicted.

We left San Francisco late that evening, being accompanied by Mr. de
Young, the proprietor of the leading newspaper, and his charming wife,
and we arrived in due course at Salt Lake City on Tuesday evening, where
Mdme. Patti dressed in her own railway car, which afterwards conveyed
her to the concert. At the end of the concert she returned to the car,
where a magnificent supper had been prepared for her, and the train then
started for the East.

Meanwhile, the Mormons had been enthusiastic at the idea of their
magnificent Tabernacle echoing with the tones of Adelina Patti.
President Taylor, the Prophet of the Mormon Church, assisted in the
preparations made to receive the great songstress. A special line of
railway had been laid down from the regular main line of Salt Lake City
to the Tabernacle, and on it the special train ran without a hitch up to
the very door of the building. Upwards of 14,000 people were present,
the event being considered one of extraordinary importance throughout
the whole of Utah territory; and the proceeds amounted to nearly £5,000.

We left Salt Lake city after the concert about 1 a.m., and reached Omaha
on the following Friday, when Mdme. Gerster appeared as "Lucia di
Lammermoor." The train consisted as usual of four baggage cars, four
coaches for the principals, four coaches for the chorus and orchestra,
four sleeping cars, including the extra boudoir cars, _La Traviata_, _La
Sonnambula_, and _Semiramide_, also the _Lycoming_, my own private car,
followed by the car of Adelina Patti. The inhabitants were struck by the
elegant style and finish of our equipment, and as the train rolled into
the station curious crowds came to look at it, and also to catch a
glimpse of the two leading stars, Adelina Patti and Etelka Gerster.

Several artists who had to perform that evening left for the town. Mdme.
Patti went for a drive with Nicolini. During her absence a limited
number of notabilities were allowed to inspect her car, which had cost
£12,000. It was without doubt the most superb and tasteful coach on
wheels anywhere in the world. The curtains were of heavy silk damask,
the walls and ceilings covered with gilded tapestry, the lamps of rolled
gold, the furniture throughout upholstered with silk damask of the most
beautiful material. The drawing-room was of white and gold, and the
ceiling displayed several figures painted by Parisian artists of
eminence. The woodwork was sandal wood, of which likewise was the casing
of a magnificent Steinway piano, which alone had cost 2,000 dollars.
There were several panel oil paintings in the drawing-room, the work of
Italian artists. The bath, which was fitted for hot and cold water, was
made of solid silver. The key of the outer door was of 18-carat gold.

On Patti's being interviewed she spoke with unbounded enthusiasm of her
trip to California, and expressed at the same time a wish to sing in
Omaha the following year. One of the most constant companions of the
_Diva_ is the famous, world-renowned parrot, which has mastered several
words and sentences in French and English. On Patti whistling a
particular tune, the bird imitates her exactly. The reporter wished for
its biography, and asked whether it was true that whenever Mapleson
entered the car the bird cried out: "Cash, cash!" The parrot had really
acquired this disagreeable habit.

That evening Mdme. Patti attended the opera, and received a perfect
ovation. At the close of the performance the whole Company started for
Chicago, which we reached the following Sunday, when I received
telegraphic news of the sad state Cincinnati was in. The riots had
assumed terrible proportions, the streets were full of barricades, the
gaol had been burned down by petroleum, and the prisoners released from
it; whilst absolute fighting was taking place in the streets, and
numbers had been killed or wounded.

According to the pictures sent me in an illustrated paper, the militia
were firing upon the populace; the Court House had been destroyed by
fire, as well as the gaol; and the struggle had already been on for over
three days. I therefore telegraphed at once to Fennessy, at Cincinnati,
the impossibility of my coming there, the singers one and all objecting
to move.

To my great regret I was obliged to cancel my Cincinnati engagement, and
we started our train in the direction of New York. On the succeeding
Monday we opened the season, during which we produced _Romeo and
Juliet_, with Patti and Nicolini, and gave performances of _Elisir
d'Amore_, followed by _Semiramide_, in which I was glad to be able to
reinstate Scalchi as "Arsace." She having been thrown out of her
engagement by the collapse of Mr. Abbey, I readily re-engaged her, not
only for that year, but also for the year following.

Mdme. Patti afterwards sailed for Europe, leaving by the _Oregon_, which
was to start early on the Saturday morning. She decided to go on board
the day previously, but as it was Friday she drove about the city until
the clock struck twelve before she would embark. The following day I
shipped off the remainder of my Company.

I myself was compelled to remain behind in consequence of a deal of
trouble which was then gathering, and which began by the attachment of
the whole of the Patti benefit receipts at the suit of the Bank of the
Metropolis. This bank had discounted a joint note of guarantee which the
stockholders of the Academy of Music had given me early in the season to
enable me to defeat the rival house, which I succeeded in doing.

My losses during the New York season having exceeded £1,200 a week, I
was compelled to draw the maximum amount authorized. Nothing at the time
was said about my repaying any portion of the money, although I felt
morally bound, in case of success, to do so. The stockholders had really
acted for the preservation of their own property, my own means having
been already swamped in the undertaking. I worked as economically as I
possibly could to achieve the purpose for which their assistance had
been given; and, in fact, drew some £800 less than I was entitled to.
Judge, therefore, of my surprise when I learned of their harsh course of
proceedings, beginning with what appeared to be the repudiation of their
own signatures.

The Secretary having requested my attendance before the Directors, it
had been hinted to me by friends that I was to be invited to a banquet
at Delmonico's in recognition of the energy and skill with which,
through unheard-of difficulties, I had at last conducted my season to a
successful issue. All, however, that the Secretary had to say to me was
that unless I immediately took up my guarantors' joint note seizure
would be made on the whole of my worldly belongings.

Just at this time most advantageous offers were made to me from the
rival Opera-house, then without a manager. But as I still had an
agreement with the Academy, I did not enter into the negotiation,
explaining my inability to do so, and at the same time relying fully on
the justice and liberality of my own Directors and stockholders.

I felt sadly injured at their sending the Sheriff in on the very night
of Patti's benefit to lay hands on all my receipts in order to squeeze
the guarantee money out of me.

The next day Sheriff Aaron and his satellites took entire charge of the
Academy. They commenced by unhanging all my scenery, and it was only
with difficulty that I got permission to remove a small writing desk
containing a few sheets of paper and half-a-dozen postage stamps. In
vain did I remonstrate with the Directors, urging that if they were
dissatisfied with my management they could easily set me at liberty from
my next year's lease, which would be a great saving to them, inasmuch as
by its terms they had to find the theatre for me free, and pay all the
gas, service, and other expenses. All my approaches were met with
silence, and I was again obliged to decline the tempting offer from the
rival theatre, at which I should have had the use of the magnificent
house and a very heavy subsidy to boot.

As the Metropolitan Opera Directors could wait no longer, they now
opened negotiations with Mr. Gye.

In the meantime the myrmidons of the law, assisted by my regular
scene-shifters and carpenters, set to work removing everything into the
Nilsson Hall adjoining the Academy, of which I held the lease, whilst
other assistants made out an inventory. As there were hundreds of scenes
and thousands of dresses, the work continued for many days.

I met shortly afterwards one of the most prominent men of the Academy
Board of Directors, who informed me that the Bank had not made
application to him, nor, in fact, to any of his friends who had
guaranteed the payment of the advance made on their joint bond; and he
urged me to insist upon the Bank's making direct application to the
signatories of the documents before proceeding to such extremities.

At length I induced the Bank to make the application suggested, and I
must say that all the gentlemen punctually paid up. I afterwards
ascertained that the trouble had been caused by two individuals who were
unwilling to honour their own signatures. All this turmoil and fuss,
however, had given new encouragement to the rival directors, who on
learning of all the bother, and finding that I could not obtain my
release from the Academy, prosecuted their negotiations with Mr. Gye to
manage their Opera-house.

It was not until the third week in May that I was able to take my
departure from New York. Some three or four hundred people met me at the
wharf on my leaving. On the table in the saloons of the steamer were the
most gorgeous flower devices sent by my friends of New York,
Philadelphia, and Boston. One piece was five feet in height; another
consisted of a large crown of roses supported on four rounded arms of
metal, covered with vines and blossoms holding an inscription in the
centre: "J. H. M., the Invincible," worked in forget-me-nots on a
background of red and white carnations. In fact, such magnificent
tributes had scarcely ever been offered even to my prime donne.

A tug followed the steamer up the bay with a band of music on board;
and, to tell the truth, I was very glad to get out of the place in order
that I might have a little relaxation.



After my departure the Directors of the Metropolitan Opera-house,
convinced that they could make no arrangement with me in consequence of
my engagement with the Directors of the Academy, which had still a year
to run, took further steps towards securing Mr. Gye as manager; and it
was proposed that he should open his season at the new theatre on
November 10th, to continue for thirteen weeks. The negotiations were
conducted on his behalf by his agent, Mr. Lavine. The stockholders of
the Metropolitan Opera reserving seventy of the best boxes for
themselves, Mr. Gye was to have the house rent free, together with a
guarantee against loss, and £200 for each performance. This sum was
ultimately raised to £300 for each performance.

Seeing another opera looming in the distance, I at once set to work by
re-engaging Mdme. Adelina Patti on her own terms of £1,000 a night;
likewise Mdme. Scalchi, Galassi, and Arditi, thus forming a very strong
nucleus to start with. I afterwards learned that Gye had been making
overtures to Mdme. Patti, Galassi, and others; but fortunately they had
already signed contracts with me.

The Metropolitan Directors next dispatched their able attorney, George
L. Rives, to Europe for the purpose of completing the arrangements with

Shortly after my return to London I learned that the Royal Italian
Opera, Limited, had gone into liquidation. This, of course, snuffed out
at once Gye's contract with the Metropolitan Opera Directors, who being
now left without an impresario contemplated diverting the grand building
to other purposes. They ultimately, however, resolved to try a German
Opera rather than have no Opera at all, and they dispatched their
energetic secretary, Mr. Stanton, to Europe for the purpose of engaging
artists, Dr. Damrosch being appointed orchestral conductor.

During the summer months I visited various parts of the Continent for
the purpose of obtaining the best talent I could find for the coming
contest. Various meetings were held by my Academy stockholders in New
York when they at length began to realize the justice of my demands for
assistance, as it could not be expected that 200 of the best seats, for
which no payment whatever was to be made, should be occupied for
listening to Mdme. Patti, who was receiving £1,000 a night. After
various meetings, a resolution was passed by which they agreed to give
me a nightly assessment of four dollars a seat for the proscenium boxes,
three for the other boxes, and two for the seats elsewhere, which during
my season it was estimated by them would produce some £6,000; and a
cable was sent me to that effect in order to obviate the trouble we had
all fallen into in the previous year. At the same time the Directors
passed a resolution to keep the theatre closed in case I did not accept
their promised support.

About this time a young singer named Emma Nevada was attracting
considerable attention in Europe, and after some difficulty I succeeded
in adding her name to my already powerful list, which, however, did not
include that of Madame Christine Nilsson, as I had contemplated; that
lady having cried off at the last moment without any valid reason, after
I had accepted all her conditions.

In due course the New York prospectus was issued, and a very fine
subscription was the result, the demand for boxes being particularly

We sailed from Liverpool, and arrived in New York on the 1st November. I
had a few hours only to give preliminary instruction regarding the
commencement of my season when a telegram arrived to the effect that
the _Oregon_, with Mdme. Patti on board, had been sighted off Fire

I at once ordered the military band to go down to the _Blackbird_; but
as no further telegram reached me from Sandy Hook they went on shore for
beer. It was late in the evening when the expected telegram arrived, and
the vessel had to start immediately. The only musicians I had now on
board wherewith to serenade Patti were a clarinet, a trombone, and a big

Stretched from mast to mast was a huge tarpaulin with the word
"Welcome!" on both sides, in letters three feet long. In the lower bay
of quarantine I met the _Oregon_, and as my steamer came alongside a
small group appeared, and I at once recognized Patti. Handkerchiefs were
waved, and three cheers given by my friends on board the _Blackbird_. We
had a ladder with us which just reached from the top of our paddle-box
to about two feet below the sides of the vessel. I was on the point of
clambering up when the captain shrieked out--

"Patti cannot be taken out to-night without a permission from the

I at once tendered a permit I had obtained from the barge office,
allowing Patti to go on shore. I passed it to the captain, who, on
reading it, said--

"That is all right, but the health-officer must give me a permit before
I will let her out of the ship."

I, therefore, had to steam my vessel to quarantine, and it was nearly
two hours before I could find health-officer Smith, through whose kind
assistance I obtained a permit to take Patti off the ship. On my
returning the whole of the passengers gave three hearty cheers as Patti
was let over the side into my boat, followed by Nicolini, the maid, the
parrot, and the diamonds.

Mdme. Patti, Nicolini, the maid, the parrot, and the diamonds duly
arrived at the Windsor Hotel that evening, and the chief of the party
was, of course, interviewed forthwith as to how she had passed the
previous summer.

"Delightfully," was the _Diva's_ reply. "We had lots of Americans
stopping with us at my Castle, and the place grows dearer and dearer to
me every year."

She was very much grieved to hear of poor Brignoli's death, which had
occurred the previous day, and she sent a magnificent wreath to be
placed on his coffin. I attended the funeral on behalf of my Company.

When the arrival of Patti became known in New York great excitement
prevailed. The day afterwards the steamship _Lessing_ arrived from
Hamburg with an entire German Company for the Metropolitan Opera-house.
I now felt quite at my ease, having no anxiety whatever as to the result
of their season.

I opened brilliantly on the Monday following the arrival of Patti, with
her inimitable performance of "Rosina" in _Il Barbiere_.

On Sunday I was invited by Henry Ward Beecher to visit Plymouth Church,
at Brooklyn. On this occasion a number of railway guards and pointsmen
had been asked; and never shall I forget the sermon he preached to them.
It was magnificent, and in every way impressive. At the conclusion of
the service I was invited to Mr. Beecher's house to luncheon, where
there were some twenty of his relations and intimate friends present.

As the water came round he may possibly have observed a distressed look
on my countenance. But certain it is that within a few minutes
afterwards he said he thought he had a bottle of cider which I might
prefer to the beverage then before us; and, although it was labelled
cider, I discovered that the bottle contained something resembling
excellent old "Pommery _sec_."

Two nights afterwards I invited him to my box at the opera, scarcely
hoping that he would come; but shortly after the overture had commenced
I was surprised to find him sitting at my side. He remained there all
that evening, the eye of every one in the audience being fixed upon him.

Shortly afterwards my new prima donna, Mdlle. Emma Nevada, arrived, and
in due course made her first appearance, in _La Sonnambula_, when a
remarkable scene occurred. At the close of the performance the audience,
instead of rushing to the doors as usual, remained, rose to their feet,
and called the prima donna three times before the curtain.

This was followed by a production of Gounod's _Mirella_, in which Emma
Nevada again appeared with brilliant success; and afterwards by _La
Gazza Ladra_, with Patti and Scalchi in the leading _rôles_.

On the 24th November, it being the 25th anniversary of Patti's first
appearance at the New York Academy of Music, great preparations were
made for the purpose of celebrating her silver wedding with the New York
operatic stage.

The opera selected for the occasion was _Lucia di Lammermoor_, being the
same work in which she had appeared exactly 25 years previously on the
Academy boards. Patti's first "Edgardo," Signor Brignoli, was to have
appeared with her. But his sudden death necessitated an alteration of
the original programme, and it was decided to give an opera which the
_Diva_ had never sung in America, namely, _Martha_.

The following account of Patti's _début_, which appeared in the New York
Herald, of November 25th, 1859, will be read with interest:--

                 "DÉBUT OF MISS PATTI.

"A young lady, not yet seventeen, almost an American by birth, having
arrived here when an infant, belonging to an Italian family which has
been fruitful of good artists, sang last night the favourite _rôle_ of
_débutantes_, 'Lucia di Lammermoor.'

"Whether it is from the natural sympathy with the forlorn _fiancée_ of
the Master of Ravenswood which is infused into the female breast with
Donizetti's tender music, or from a clever inspiration that to be
unhappy and pretty is a sure passport to the affections of an audience,
we cannot say. Certain it is, however, that the aspirants for the
ovations, the triumphs, the glories, that await a successful prima donna
almost always select this opera for their preliminary dash at the
laurels. The music affords a fine opportunity to show the quality and
cultivation of the soprano voice, and it is so familiar as to provoke
comparison with first-rate artists, and provoke the severest criticisms
by the most rigid recognized tests.

"All these were duly and thoroughly applied to Miss Adelina Patti a day
or two since by a very critical audience at what was called a show
rehearsal. It was then ascertained that Miss Patti had a fine voice, and
that she knew how to sing. The artists and amateurs were in raptures.
This was a certificate to the public, who do not nowadays put their
faith in managers' announcements, unless they are endorsed. With an
off-night and an opera worn to bits, the public interest in Miss Patti's
_début_ was so great as to bring together a very large audience, rather
more popular than usual, but still numbering the best-known _habitués_
and most critical amateurs. The _débutante_ was received politely but
cordially--an indication that there was not a strong claque, which was
a relief. Her appearance was that of a very young lady, _petite_ and
interesting, with just a tinge of schoolroom in her manner. She was
apparently self-possessed, but not self-assured.

"After the first few bars of recitative, she launched boldly into the
cavatina--one of the most difficult pieces of the opera. This she sang
perfectly, displaying a thorough Italian method and a high soprano
voice, fresh and full and even throughout. In the succeeding cabaletta,
which was brilliantly executed, Miss Patti took the high note E flat,
above the line, with the greatest ease. In this cabaletta we noticed a
tendency to show off vocal gifts which may be just a little out of
place. The introduction of variations not written by the composer is
only pardonable in an artist who has already assured her position. In
the duet with the tenor (Brignoli) and with the baritone (Ferri), and
the mad scene, Miss Patti sang with sympathetic tenderness--a rare gift
in one so young--and increased the enthusiasm of the audience to a
positive _furore_, which was demonstrated in the usual way--recalls,
bouquets, wreaths, etc., etc. The horticultural business was more
extensive than usual.

"Of course we speak to-day only of Miss Patti's qualifications as a
singer. Acting she has yet to learn; but artists, like poets, are born,
not made. The mere _convenances_ of the stage will come of themselves.
She is already pretty well acquainted with them. So far as her voice,
skill, method, and execution are concerned, we are simply recording the
unanimous opinion of the public when we pronounce the _début_ of Miss
Patti a grand success.

"Everyone predicts a career for this young artist, and who knows but the
managers may find in her their long-looked-for sensation?"

On repeating the character two days afterwards, said the same paper,
"the prima donna was twice called before the curtain, and the stage was
literally covered with the flowers thrown before her. The success of
this artist, educated and reared amongst us, with all the vocal gifts of
an Italian, and all the cleverness of a Yankee girl, is made. Everybody
talked of her, wondering who and what she is, where she has been, and so

"She was brought out at the Academy to save the season. The manager had
a good Company, plenty of fine artists, everything required for fine
performances, but the great outside public, always thirsting for
something new, wanted a sensation.

"They have it in 'Little Patti,' who not only pleases the connoisseurs
and is the special favourite of the fair, but who has all the material
for a great popular pet."

The jubilee performance was a brilliant success. At the close of the
opera, after the usual number of recalls, accompanied by bouquets, etc.,
the curtain rose, and at the rear of the stage was an immense American
eagle about to soar, beneath which was the word "Patti," and over it
"1859-1884." The band of the 7th Regiment approached the footlights,
and the musicians played a march that Cappa, the bandmaster, had
composed in honour of Mdme. Patti twenty-five years before. Patti walked
up to him, and said, with a choking voice: "I thank you for your
kindness from the bottom of my heart."

She was afterwards recalled innumerable times, and on reappearing she
brought on with her Mdme. Scalchi. At the close of the opera a carriage
with four milk-white steeds which I had arranged for was standing to
convey its precious burthen to her hotel. Following this we had 100
torch-bearers, for the most part admirers and supporters of the opera.
Mounted police were on each side of Patti's carriage. At the end of the
procession was a waggon full of people letting off Roman candles and
large basins of powder, which, when ignited, made the streets and sky
look most brilliant. The route was up Broadway to Twenty-third Street,
and thence up Madison Avenue to Patti's hotel.

I on this occasion was to have taken the command of the troops as
brigadier. My horse, however, never reached me. It was found impossible
to get it through the crowd. This did not prevent the illustrated papers
from representing me on horseback, and in a highly military attitude.

Later on two other bands arrived, and took their stations under Patti's
windows. This terminated the festivities in honour of the twenty-fifth
anniversary of her first appearance on the American operatic stage.

I may here mention that, as a matter of fact, Adelina Patti did not make
her first appearance on the American stage in 1859. I find, too, that
she sang at Niblo's Saloon in 1855, and subjoin the programme of one of
her concerts given in that year:--

               IN AID OF THE
     _Hebrew Benevolent Societies_,
            AT NIBLO'S SALOON,
    On Tuesday Evening, Feb. 27th, 1855.

                 * * *

The management announces that MRS. STUART, in consequence of the severe
indisposition of her mother, will not be able to fulfil her engagement
this evening; also, that MME. COMETANT cannot appear in consequence of
her severe indisposition. The management have much pleasure in
announcing that the services


Have been secured, in connection with whom the following
          artistes have volunteered:--

              HERR CHARLES WELS,
                    T. FRANKLIN BASSFORD,
                           MR. SANDERSON.

                            * * *


                           PART FIRST.

1 Grand Duet, on "William Tell," Piano and Violin--Mr. Rapetti
and Mr. Wels                                         _Osborne_ and _De Beriot_

2 Grand Cavatina, of Norma, Casta Diva--Signa. Adelina Patti         _Bellini_

3 "La Chasse du jeune Henri," Overture for Piano--Mr. Bassford    _Gottschalk_

4 Aria, from "Don Sebastian"--Sig. Bernardi                        _Donizetti_

5 Ballad, "Home, Sweet Home"--Signa. Adelina Patti                    _Bishop_

6 Grand Duo concertando on airs of "Norma," for Two Pianos--Messrs.
Wels and Bassford                                                       _Wels_

                            * * *

                           PART SECOND.

1 "Coronation March," from the Prophet, arranged and performed
by Mr. Sanderson, his First Appearance in public                   _Meyerbeer_

2 Aria, from the Opera _Le Châlet_--Sig. Bernardi                       _Adam_

3 {a. The Eolian Harp}    Composed and performed by                  _C. Wels_
  {b. Triumphal March}

4 Jenny Lind's Echo Song--Signa. Adelina Patti                        _Eckert_

5 Violin Solo, from _La Sonnambula_                             _Sig. Rapetti_

6 Grand Fantasia, for Two Pianos, performed by Messrs. Bassford
and Wels, composed by                                   _T. Franklin Bassford_

                            * * *

Conductor                                                   Mr. Charles Wels.

                            * * *

The Two Grand Prize Pianos, used on this occasion, are from
the Music Stores of Messrs. Bassford and Brower, and are for sale
at 603, Broadway.

    Doors open at 7 o'clock.    To commence at 8 o'clock.

                    TICKETS ONE DOLLAR

To be had at the Music Store of Messrs. Hall and Son, Bassford
and Brower, 603, Broadway, and Scharfenberg and Louis, and at
the door.

Going still further back, I may add that Adelina Patti made her very
first appearance on the operatic stage in 1850, at Tripler's Hall, New
York; where she sang and acted both. She was seven years old at the

The season continued until the latter part of December.

On my applying to the Academy Directors for an instalment of the £6,000
which had been promised me in accordance with the assessment made, I was
informed by the Secretary that the assessment would only be allowed to
me on Patti nights. This reduced my £6,000 by three-fourths, I having
based my calculations on the amount that had been cabled to me. I in no
way blame the stockholders, who had been most heavily assessed, and had
paid up without a murmur. Some three-fourths of their contributions had
been used for other purposes, including the decoration of the theatre.

Finding the President of the Academy Directors obdurate, I at once
announced the farewell performances of Mdme. Adelina Patti, and shortly
afterwards made arrangements for her appearance, together with that of
the whole Company, at Boston, where I opened towards the close of
December, glad, indeed, to get away from the Academy.

Our success in Boston was very great. Amongst the productions was
Gounod's _Mirella_, in which Nevada, Scalchi, De Anna, and other artists
appeared. Afterwards, of course, came _Semiramide_, with Patti and
Scalchi; one of our surest cards.

We remained at Boston two weeks, concluding, what was then supposed to
be Patti's positive farewell to the Bostonians, with a magnificent
performance of _Linda di Chamouni_.

At the conclusion of a representation of _Mirella_ given the following
morning we started for Philadelphia, where we had a very remunerative
season, the house being crowded nightly to the ceiling.

The American theatres are much better kept than ours. They are dusted
and cleaned every day, so that a lady in America can go to the play or
to the opera without the least danger of getting her dress spoiled;
which in England, if the dress be of delicate material, she scarcely can
do. The American theatres, moreover, are beautifully warmed during the
winter months; so that the risk of bronchitis and inflammation of the
lungs to which the enterprising theatre-goers of our own country are
exposed has in the United States no existence.

Apart from the risk of getting her dress injured by dirt or dust, a lady
has no inducement to wear a handsome _toilette_ at a London Opera-house,
where the high-fronted boxes with their ridiculous curtains prevent the
dresses from being seen. At the American Opera-houses the boxes are not
constructed in the Italian, but in the French style. They are open in
front, that is to say, so that those who occupy them can not only see,
but be seen. As for the curtains, they are neither a French nor an
Italian, but exclusively an English peculiarity. What possible use can
they serve? They have absolutely no effect but to deaden the sound.

An interesting feature in every American Opera-house is the young
ladies' box--a sort of omnibus box to which young ladies alone
subscribe. The gentlemen who are privileged to visit them in the course
of the evening are also allowed full liberty to supply them with
bouquets, which are always of the most delicate and most expensive
kind--costing in winter from £4 to £5 a-piece. The front of the young
ladies' box is kept constantly furnished with the most beautiful flowers
that love can suggest or money buy; and if, as it frequently does, it
occurs to one or more of the young ladies to throw a few of the bouquets
to the singers on the stage, their friends and admirers are expected at
once to fill up the gaps.

Whilst at Philadelphia the head-waiter of the hotel informed me that a
very grand concert was to take place, for which it was difficult to
obtain tickets, but that a prima donna would sing there whom he
considered worthy of my attention. In due course he got me a ticket, and
I attended the concert, which was held in one of the extreme quarters of
the city. On entering I was quite surprised to find an audience of some
1,500 or 2,000, who were all black, I being the only white man present.
I must say I was amply repaid for the trouble I had taken, as the music
was all of the first order.

In the course of the concert the prima donna appeared, gorgeously
attired in a white satin dress, with feathers in her hair, and a
magnificent diamond necklace and earrings. She moreover wore white kid
gloves, which nearly went to the full extent of her arm, leaving but a
small space of some four inches between her sleeve and the top of her
glove. Her skin being black, formed, of course, an extraordinary
contrast with the white kid.

She sang the Shadow Song from _Dinorah_ delightfully, and in reply to a
general encore gave the valse from the _Romeo and Juliet_ of Gounod. In
fact no better singing have I heard. The prima donna rejoiced in the
name of Mdlle. Selika. Shortly afterwards a young baritone appeared and
sang the "Bellringer," so as to remind me forcibly of Santley in his
best days. I immediately resolved upon offering him an engagement to
appear at the Opera-house in London as "Renato" in _Un Ballo in
Maschera_, whom Verdi, in one version of the opera, intended to be a
coloured man; afterwards to perform "Nelusko" in _L'Africaine_, and
"Amonasro" in _Aida_. Feeling certain of his success, I intended
painting him white for the other operas.

After some negotiation I was unable to complete the arrangement. He
preferred to remain a star where he was.

After the final performance of our Philadelphia engagement we started at
about 3 a.m. with the whole Company for New Orleans, our special train
being timed to reach that city by the following Sunday. On arriving at
Louisville the gauge was broken, and the track became narrow gauge,
which necessitated the slinging of every one of my grand carriages to
have new trollies put under them to fit the smaller gauge. This was so
skilfully managed whilst the artists were asleep that they were unaware
of the operation.



On getting down to New Orleans we found a great change in the
temperature, and although it was the month of January the thermometer
stood at about 75°. It had been raining exactly six weeks prior to our
arrival, and only ceased as our train went in, fine weather immediately
afterwards making its appearance.

Our opening opera was _La Sonnambula_ with Nevada, which was followed by
_La Traviata_ with Mdme. Patti. Prior to the last act a panic was caused
in the theatre by the falling of some plaster from the front of the
dress circle. Someone near the exit to the stalls shouted "Fire," a cry
which was repeated by numbers of men in the lobby. Consternation was
seen in the faces of the audience, and a general rush was made for the
doors. The situation was serious in the extreme; but the presence of
mind of some gentlemen present, aided by the equal coolness of several
ladies, had the effect of allaying the general fright.

Many ladies, on the other hand, fainted from excitement, whilst numbers
of persons left the theatre, so that the last act was given with a very
bare house.

"A great deal of excitement," wrote a local journal, "was manifested in
the street, and rumour magnified the incident. It took the shape of a
fearful accident in the minds of some people, and it was some time
before the public was assured that no damage had resulted to life or
limb. One young lady fainted as she was about to enter her carriage in
front of the theatre. She fell to the side walk, slightly cutting her
mouth, and was unconscious for a few minutes. With the assistance of Dr.
Joseph Scott, her friends succeeded in reviving her, and she was placed
in a carriage and driven home. Mr. David Bidwell was this morning waited
upon by the _Item_ reporter, who informed him of the many rumours
regarding the safety of the St. Charles Theatre. Mr. Bidwell said: 'The
whole trouble comes from the fall of a small piece of plastering, three
feet long by one foot and a half wide, in the left part of the theatre,
back to the _parquette_ seats. The plastering at that place had been
disturbed during the Kiralfy engagement by the moving out of some
scenery. I had the spot repaired during the wet weather, and, from the
dampness, the plastering did not hold. As regards the solidity of the
theatre, you can state that it is the strongest building of its kind;
the walls are in places four feet thick. Everything inside is sound and
substantial, having been recently repaired and renovated. Mr. William
Freret, the architect, has just been in here, and made a thorough
inspection. He finds everything in first-class condition, and sound as
can be. The public should not give credence to silly rumours, but listen
to the voice of common sense and reason, and accept this satisfactory

The City Surveyor, with various architects, visited the theatre the
following day to report; but all certified that the building was solid,
and that probably the stamping of so many feet in applauding Patti had
caused the fall of the plaster. However it may have been, my receipts
being so considerably injured, I was compelled, after paying damages to
the manager for not completing the engagement, to remove the Company and
rent the Grand French Opera-house for the ensuing week. When my
announcement was made several ladies called upon me, and a meeting was
convened at one of their houses at which the _élite_ of the city were
present. A number of gentlemen had been invited to tea, and before being
allowed to leave the room each of them was required to subscribe for at
least one box. In this manner the whole of my boxes for the remainder
of the season were disposed of.

I had a deal of trouble in getting the theatre into working order, it
having been closed for a considerable period. The corridors had to be
whitened and the dressing-rooms to be papered, and all the business had
to be conducted in French, as my stage carpenters and _employés_ were
all of that nationality. The manager of the other theatre had refused to
allow any of his staff to assist.

During this time the great New Orleans Exhibition had been opened, to
which thousands of people were attracted. My attention, however, was
drawn to the Woman's Work Department, in great need just then. I
therefore organized a grand benefit _matinée_ on their behalf, which was
promptly responded to by many of the ladies of New Orleans. Many of my
principal artists took part in the concert, and I was assisted by a
splendid Mexican cavalry band. A large sum of money was realized, which
was afterwards handed over to the treasurer of the Woman's Department.

After a performance of _Les Huguenots_ we all left that night for St.
Louis. The temperature was now intolerable, the thermometer marking 75
degrees. But on reaching St. Louis the following Monday afternoon we
were overtaken by a blizzard. It was literally raining ice. The streets
were impassable, it being difficult to stand upright or to move a step;
whilst the thermometer stood 30 degrees below zero (62° below freezing
point)--being a fall of 105 degrees. I need scarcely say everyone caught
sore throat, even to the chorus. One or two of the ballet girls were
blown down and hurt on leaving the train, and it was with considerable
difficulty that I made a commencement that evening, two hours after our
arrival, with a performance of _La Sonnambula_. This was followed by
_Semiramide_ with Patti and Scalchi, and by _Lucrezia_ with Fursch-Madi.
All the artists not taking part in these works were ill in bed during
the week.

Prior to our leaving St. Louis a magnificent banquet was tendered to me
by the Directors of the newly-organized Opera Festival Association of
Chicago. The day originally fixed was the Wednesday during that week;
but it had afterwards to be transferred to Thursday, all the trains to
Chicago being snowed up, whilst several thousands of freight cars
blocked the line for miles. I ventured after the performance on the only
train allowed out of the station for Chicago, where I arrived the
following day, and visited the huge glass building, formerly the
exhibition, where I marked out what I considered would be the dimensions
necessary for the construction of the New Grand Opera-house. In doing so
I must have rather miscalculated my measurements, as I was shortly
afterwards informed that if carried out the theatre would be a mammoth

In the evening I attended the banquet given in my honour, which was
laid for fifty covers in the large room of the magnificent Calumet Club.
The banqueting hall was picturesquely decorated with flowers. The tables
were curved in the form of a huge lyre, bearing the coat of arms of the

At the head of the table, which formed the base of the lyre, sat the
President, Ferd. W. Peck, and at his right hand I was placed as the
guest of the evening. Next to me was the Mayor, and next him the Hon.
Emery A. Stores, the Vice-President of the Association. At President
Peck's left hand sat the Hon. Eugene Carey and George Schneider, the
treasurer of the newly-formed Association. All the city notabilities,
more or less, were present on this occasion. At the conclusion of the
banquet the President rose, introducing me as "The Napoleon: the Emperor
of Opera," giving at the same time a brief outline of the work proposed
to be accomplished. My speech was a very short one. I said: "After
twenty-four years' experience in the rendition of opera I feel that my
greatest success is about to be achieved here in Chicago. Never before
have such opportunities been afforded me. I have this morning been over
the Exposition building with an architect, and have fixed upon a large,
comfortable auditorium. I also visited the hall where the extra chorus
was practising, and I must say I was surprised at its excellence in
every way. Never have I heard a better chorus, even in the Old World."

The Mayor afterwards rose and paid me the highest compliments.

In the small hours of the following morning, when we separated, I went
to the station and thence returned to St. Louis.

At the close of the week we left St. Louis with the whole of the troupe,
some 180 strong, reaching Kansas City late that evening. Most of the
members of the Company went to the Coates House, Mdme. Patti, however,
remaining in her private car, where the following day I paid her a
visit. No sooner had I entered than we were shunted and sent some four
miles down the line, much to the surprise of Nicolini, who had been
speaking to me on the platform but a moment previously. We were detained
a considerable time, and Mdme. Patti experienced a great shock as
suddenly a goods truck, which had got uncoupled, came running down. This
caused a great concussion, which broke most of the glass, and sent
Nicolini's cigars, jams, the parrot, the piano, the table, and the
flowers all pell-mell on to the floor. Mdme. Patti, however, took it in
good part, and, assisted by her maids, commenced gathering up the broken
ornaments and smashed bottles. The floor ran with Château Lafite.

Mdme. Patti visited the opera that evening, the Mayor of the town
conducting her down the passage way to her proscenium box amidst such a
storm of applause as is rarely heard in an Opera-house. Ladies burst
their gloves in their enthusiasm, and men stood on their seats to get a
view of the _Diva_. On reaching the box the audience rose and cried:

After the performance that night the train moved on in the direction of
Topeka, where, through the politeness of the railway officials, I got
Patti's car attached to the San Francisco express, which conveyed her to
her destination in about three and a half days.

The rest of the Company remained in Topeka to give a performance of _Il
Trovatore_, Mdme. Dotti being the "Leonora," Mdme. Scalchi "Azucena," De
Anna the "Count di Luna," and Giannini "Manrico." The success was
immense, the house being full, and the receipts reaching £700.

In connection with Topeka, I must mention rather a curious incident. We
had exhausted our stock of wine in the train, and those artists taking
part in the performance, on entering the hotel near the theatre where it
was proposed to dine, were surprised and annoyed at having water placed
before them; the baritone vowing, with a knife in his hand, that unless
he could have a more stimulating beverage he would refuse to play the
"Count di Luna" that evening.

Inquiry was made high and low, but there was not a drop of wine or
spirits of any kind officially known to be in the town. Going along the
street on my return to the hotel, I met a gentleman with whom I was
acquainted, and through his kindness I was enabled to obtain from a
medical practitioner a prescription. The prescription was in the Latin
language, and the chemist evidently understood its meaning. There was no
question of making it up. He simply handed me three bottles of very good

At the conclusion of the opera, it being a most delightful evening, the
various choristers and others made purchases of all kinds of
comestibles, and it was a most ridiculous thing to observe some going
down with chickens carried by the neck, others with cauliflowers and
asparagus. The "Count di Luna" with a huge ham under his arm, and
"Manrico" with a chain of sausages, took their provisions down to the
cars to be cooked for supper, during which the train started for St.

We reached St. Joseph the following day, where Mdlle. Nevada appeared in
_La Sonnambula_, greatly pleasing the audience, which packed the theatre

We arrived the next afternoon at half-past four at Omaha, where we
remained one day, my advance agent having failed to conclude any
arrangements for our appearance there.

Shortly afterwards we started for Cheyenne, arriving in the Magic City,
as it is called, in about a couple of days; when, to my great
astonishment, no announcement whatever had been made of our visit, my
advance agent again, for some unaccountable reason, having gone on the
road towards San Francisco without notifying even a word.

Our coming there was quite an unexpected event. Arrangements were
immediately made to give a performance. This entailed a delay of a
couple of days, which delighted me, although it caused some loss, as it
enabled me to drive over the beautiful country and visit once more the
charming Club, where I had a right royal welcome from my numerous
friends of the previous year.

At four o'clock the 3rd Cavalry band, in full uniform, came to serenade
me at my hotel.

The opera selected was _Lucia di Lammermoor_, and the receipts came to
some £700.

At the close of the performance we started for Salt Lake City, where we
arrived on the following Thursday. Here, to my great regret, I was
compelled to change the bill in consequence of Mdlle. Nevada's
indisposition, at which the inhabitants and the Press grumbled as if it
were my fault. Reports of course were circulated that she had not
received her salary.

Whilst at Salt Lake City many of the artists and orchestral players
wandered about, visiting various places of interest; and some were
attracted to a restaurant kept by one "Coffee John," in whose window was
exposed a huge turtle, bearing this tragic inscription on its head:
"This afternoon I am to have my throat cut;" whilst on its back was a
ticket for a private box, with the statement that Coffee John had paid
40 dollars for it, and was going to visit the opera that evening.

In order to patronize this enthusiastic amateur several of our principal
artists went in and ordered luncheon. Coffee John was very polite,
promising to applaud them on hearing them sing, and allowing many of
them to go into the kitchen to prepare their own macaroni. The price of
the luncheon was very moderate, so everyone decided to go and dine at
Coffee John's later on.

When dinner was over they asked the waiter how much they had to pay.

"Six dollars a head," said the waiter.

"Corpo di Bacco!" exclaimed one of the artists; "dat is too dear. Where
is Coffee John, our friend, our friend?"

"He has gone to dress for the opera," replied the head waiter, "and I
dare not disturb him."

As there were twelve diners the bill came to 72 dollars, so that Coffee
John, who had paid 40 dollars for his box, occupied it for nothing that
evening, and profited, moreover, largely by the transaction. The waiter
told the astonished artists that his governor had paid 40 dollars to
hear them sing without kicking, and that he expected liberal treatment
in return; finally, he thought the best plan for them would be to pay
their six dollars each and clear out; which they eventually had to do.

Mdlle. Nevada had taken cold at Cheyenne, and contracted what turned out
to be a severe illness; and I lost her services for no less than four
weeks afterwards.

The night before we reached Salt Lake City Mdme. Scalchi's parrot died,
which caused the excellent contralto to go into hysterics and take to a
bed of sickness. I had announced _Il Trovatore_, in which the now
despondent vocalist was to have taken the part of the vindictive gipsy.
This I considered would amply compensate for the absence of Nevada. Only
half an hour before starting for the theatre I was notified by Mdme.
Scalchi's husband that she would be unable to appear that evening. I
insisted, however, upon her going at all events to the theatre, as I
considered the death of a parrot not sufficient reason for disappointing
a numerous public. I threatened at the same time to fine her very
heavily if she refused.

About an hour afterwards the call-boy came down, up to his waist in
snow, to the door of my car--some little distance from the
station--stating that Mdme. Scalchi had again gone into hysterics, and
was lamenting loudly the loss of her beloved bird.

On my arriving at the theatre with another "Azucena," taken suddenly
from the cars (this one was lamenting only that she had not dined), I
found that it wanted but five minutes to the commencement of the
overture. There was Mdme. Scalchi dressed as "Azucena," and it was
impossible even to obtain possession of her clothing, for she was almost
in a fainting condition. At last, however, she divested herself of her
gipsy garments; and she was replaced by my new "Azucena," Mdlle.

After the opera was over we started for San Francisco.

On reaching Ogden early in the morning I received a telegram from San
Francisco notifying Mdme. Patti's arrival there, but adding that she
would not come out in _Semiramide_ in conjunction with Mdme. Scalchi,
though that was the opera announced for my opening night. _La Diva_
wanted a night entirely to herself.

As every seat had been sold for the first performance, and places were
at a high premium, I did not see how it was possible to make any
alteration in the bill. I therefore declined. Towards the latter part of
the following day, at Winnemucca, I got another telegram saying that
Mdme. Patti would appear in _Il Barbiere_. This I declined, knowing that
opera to be, in America at least, most unattractive. Nearly at every
station did I receive telegrams, some of which I answered. At last I
effected a kind of compromise by substituting _Linda_. This change
caused me a loss of some £600 or £800.

On the road I had received a telegram from my auctioneer, the famous Joe
Eldridge, desiring to know if he should reserve any seats or offer the
whole to the public. I replied that not a single seat was to be
reserved; he was to sell all. He took me at my word, and the following
day I received a telegram that not only had he sold the whole of the
pit and dress circle and boxes, but also the whole of the gallery for
every night of the season, and that the premiums on the tickets alone
amounted to something like £15,000 for the two weeks' season; and,
although over 3,000 tickets of admission for every night of the whole
season had been sold, the demand, instead of abating, kept on
increasing. In many cases as much as 150 dollars per seat premium had
been paid. The sale altogether surpassed that of the previous year.

I was afterwards informed by an eye-witness of the indefatigable
exertions Joe Eldridge had gone through on the day of the auction. On
entering the orchestra he first of all gave a graphic description of
each of the different prime donne who were to take part in the season's
performances, explaining also the enormous value the tickets would reach
as soon as the whole of the Company arrived. He then, feeling warm, took
off his hat. After a few lots had been sold he removed his cravat,
afterwards his coat, followed later by his waistcoat and his
shirt-collar, which he threw off into the stalls. Then, as the business
became more exciting, off went his braces. Afterwards he loosened his
shirt, tucking up both sleeves; and he was in a state of semi-nudity
before he got rid of the last lot.

On leaving the theatre after the sale this highly esteemed gentleman, I
regret to say, was attacked by pneumonia, which carried him off in a few
hours. His death was a sad shock to all, for he was a general

The _San Francisco Daily Report_ wrote on the subject:--

"Joe Eldridge arrived in San Francisco in 1849, and after visiting
various parts of the State returned to San Francisco, in the house of
Newhall and Co. About this time he lost his right leg in a very
remarkable manner. He was in the habit of signalling each sale by a
hearty slap of his hand on his right thigh at the word 'gone.' The
constant concussion brought on a cancer, and the leg had to be
amputated. This misfortune, which would have depressed most men, more or
less, for the rest of their lives, had no effect on his energy or his
high spirits. He was a most charitable man, and beloved by all who knew
him, being one of the founders of Mill's Seminary, whilst he was a
pillar of strength at Dr. Stone's first Congregational Church."

One word as to Joe Eldridge's method of doing business. No one could get
such prices as he obtained; and these he often secured by pretending to
have heard bids which had never been made.

"Nine dollars," an intending purchaser would say.

"Ten dollars," Joe would cry.

"I said nine," the bidder would explain.

"Eleven!" shouted Joe. "I know your income, and you ought to be ashamed
of yourself. Twelve!" he would then exclaim, supported and encouraged by
the laughter and applause of the public. "And if you say another word
I'll make it thirteen."

A very different sort of man was the auctioneer by whom poor Eldridge
was succeeded. He called me the spirited "impresio," and sang the
praises of Mdme. Bauermeister, whose name he pronounced "Boormister,"
and Mdme. Lablache, whom he described as the famous "Labiche." Rinaldini
was another of my singers whose name, sadly as he mutilated it, had
evidently taken his fancy. Mdme. Bauermeister, Mdme. Lablache, and
Signor Rinaldini are excellent artists. But it was a mistake to insist
so much on their merits while passing over altogether those of Mdme.
Patti, Mdlle. Nevada, and Mdme Scalchi.

In due course we arrived at San Francisco, where the usual crowd was
awaiting us. During the latter part of the journey one of my _corps de
ballet_ became seriously indisposed, and died the following Tuesday in
St. Mary's Hospital. She was but sixteen years of age, and had been with
me eight years, being one of my Katti Lanner school children. She had
taken cold in the dressing-room at Cheyenne. During the journey, the
train being twenty-three hours late, she received the attention of Dr.
Wixom, Mdme. Nevada's father, also of Dr. Palmer, Mdme. Nevada's present

On the day of the funeral some magnificent offerings were placed on the
coffin, consisting of pillows of violets with the initials of the
deceased, anchors of pansies, lilies, violets, roses, etc., likewise a
beautiful cross of violets and camellias. I attended the funeral
personally, accompanied by my stage manager, Mr. Parry, and seven of
the ballet girls, including a sister of the dead girl, who all carried
flowers. The affair was strictly private, the experience of the previous
year suggesting this on account of the crowd on the former occasion. The
whole of the flowers were afterwards placed upon the grave; and a
celebrated photographer, I. W. Tabor, produced some beautiful pictures
which I sent to London to the family of the deceased, who received them
before the news of her death.

At the conclusion of the funeral, which had been conducted by Mr.
Theodore Dierck, of 957, Mission Street, the spirited undertaker begged
to be appointed funeral furnisher to the Company, he having had charge
of the Lombardelli interment in the previous year, which, he said, "gave
such satisfaction;" and I was not astonished, though a little startled,
on my last visit to find over his shop this inscription:

"Funeral furnisher by appointment to Colonel Mapleson."



For our opening night at San Francisco, as already explained, the opera
substituted at Mdme. Patti's request for _Semiramide_ was _Linda di
Chamouni_. Of course the house was crowded, and the brilliancy of the
occupants of the auditorium baffled all description. An assembly was
there of which the city might well feel proud. The costumes worn by the
ladies were mostly white. The leaders of fashion were, of course, all
present; Mrs. Mark Hopkins, of Nobs' Hill, conspicuously so, as she was
attired in a costume of black velvet, with diamond ornaments, the value
of which was estimated at 200,000 dollars. The best order prevailed. The
majority entering the theatre on the opening of the doors were
accommodated in their various seats without any crushing. Patti was
greeted with even more demonstrativeness than she had hitherto
received. Mdme. Scalchi on entering must have felt proud that she was
none the less welcome for appearing as "Pierotto" in lieu of "Arsace."

Notwithstanding all this there was a coolness about the house in
consequence of Mdme. Patti's having insisted upon this change in the
opera. Consequently numbers of tickets for the first night instead of
being at a premium were sold at a discount. Mdme. Nevada was announced
for the second evening, but, unfortunately, she had not yet recovered
from her Cheyenne cold, which developed gradually almost to pneumonia.
She kept her bed in San Francisco for over three weeks, causing me the
greatest annoyance as well as loss, since I was obliged to engage Mdme.
Patti to sing a great many extra nights beyond her contract, all of
which, of course, I had to pay for. _Il Trovatore_ was consequently
performed the second evening in lieu of _La Sonnambula_. The following
night I brought out _La Favorita_ with Scalchi, De Anna, Giannini, and
Cherubini, which was a great success; followed by _Lucrezia Borgia_, in
which Fursch-Madi pleased the audience.

These changes and disappointments tended to mar the whole engagement.
The following night, however, the opera boom really commenced, the work
being _Semiramide_, which fully justified the anticipations that had
been formed of it. The largest and most brilliant audience ever gathered
in a theatre were there to hear Patti and Scalchi sing in two of the
most difficult _rôles_ in the whole range of opera.

Scalchi fairly divided the honours of the evening with Mdme. Patti; and
in the duets they electrified the audience, who, not content with
encoring each, insisted upon some half-dozen recalls. The stage was
literally strewn with flowers; and the ladies of the audience vied with
one another in the elegance of their toilettes. Not only were all the
seats occupied, but even all the standing room, and the Press
unanimously accorded me the next morning the credit of having presented
the best operatic entertainment in that distant city the world of art
could afford.

A similar audience greeted Patti and Scalchi at the performance of
_Faust_ the following week, whilst on the next Saturday Mdme. Patti
appeared as "Annetta" in _Crispino e la Comare_, which is, without
doubt, her best part.

About this time the auction took place for the second season of two
weeks, which I determined to commence the following Monday. The
particulars of this I have already given.

The proceeds were very handsome, but nothing like those of the previous
sale. I decided, therefore, that all unsold tickets should be disposed
of at the box-office of the theatre in order that the general public
might have an opportunity of attending the opera prior to our departure.

During the following week, being the first of this extra season, Mdme.
Patti appeared in _Semiramide_, _La Traviata_, and _Martha_. At each
performance there were nearly 3,000 persons assembled in the theatre. On
the following Monday, it being our last week, I induced Mdlle. Nevada to
make her first appearance, on which occasion the receipts reached the
same amount as Mdme. Patti's. Mdlle. Nevada, perhaps because she is a
Californian, drew probably the largest audience we had had.

On her entering the stage some 3,000 or 4,000 persons shouted and
applauded a welcome as if they were all going mad. She was hardly
prepared for her reception. She had looked forward for many years to
appearing in her native city and singing a great _rôle_ before the
people amongst whom she had spent her early life; and this was a
momentous occasion for her. The enthusiasm of any other public would
have spurred her on. But she was here so much affected that, although
she sustained herself splendidly, yet after the curtain fell she was
unable to speak.

At the conclusion of the opera she was recalled several times, and large
set pieces of flowers, some six feet in height, were handed up, numbers
of the leading florists having been busy putting them in shape all the
fore part of the day. New dresses were ordered for that occasion, and an
invitation to get a seat in a box was looked upon as a prize.

Long before half-past seven the vestibule of the theatre held a mass of
fashionably-dressed ladies and gentlemen, all waiting to be shown to
their places in order to be present on the rising of the curtain.

During all the first act the singer was critically and attentively
listened to, scarcely with any interruptions; but when the curtain fell
after the duet with "Elvino" the pent-up enthusiasm of the audience
broke loose. Nevada was called out, and with shouts, cries, and every
manner of wild demonstration. Flowers were carried down the aisles,
thrown from the boxes and dress-circle, until the stage looked like the
much-quoted Vallambrosa. Again and again the prima donna was called out,
until she was fairly exhausted. Amongst the set pieces handed up to the
stage was a large floral chair built of roses, violets, and carnations
on a wicker frame, and Nevada, as the most natural thing to do, sat
plumply down in it, whereat the house fairly howled with delight. On the
back of the chair were the words, "Welcome home!"

The following night _Aida_ was performed with the great cast of Patti,
Scalchi, De Anna, and Nicolini, when the largest receipt during the
whole engagement was taken. To describe that evening would be
impossible; it would exhaust all the vocabulary. The gratings along the
alley-way were wrenched off by the crowd, who slid down on their
stomachs into the cellars of the theatre to get a hearing of Patti and

On this day we discovered the "Chinese swing," of which so much was said
in the papers, and which had, doubtless, been in operation throughout
the season. In the alley-way leading to the theatre is a lodging-house
facing a sort of opening into the building used for ventilation. An
ingenious fellow had rigged up a swing, and so adjusted it that he could
toss people from his house on to the roof of the theatre to the
ventilation hole. Once there, the intruder passed downstairs through the
building, got a pass-out check on leaving it, which he immediately sold
for two dollars, and then repeated the swing act again. We arrested one
man who had performed the trick four times. The police had to cut the
ropes and take the swing away.

So many devices were resorted to for entering the theatre without
payment that I had to put it during this performance in a state of
siege, as it were, and to close the iron shutters, as people came in
from ladders through the windows of the dress-circle unobserved in many

The following evening Mdlle. Nevada made her second appearance,
performing the character of "Lucia" in Donizetti's opera, when the
receipts were almost equal to those of the first night. Mdme. Patti
performed the next night _Il Trovatore_ to similar receipts. The next
day I produced Gounod's _Mirella_, when the Grand Opera-house was again
crowded brimful, people considering themselves lucky when they could get
standing room without a view of the stage or a glimpse of the singers.
The following morning was devoted to a performance of _Faust_, in which
Patti took her farewell as "Margherita."

Just at this time a strange complaint was made against me by a body of
"scalpers," who accused me of having put forward Adelina Patti to sing
on a night for which Nevada had been originally announced. This I had,
of course, done simply from a feeling of liberality towards my
supporters. No one could reasonably accuse me of paying £1,000 a night
to Mdme. Patti with the view of injuring the scalpers. They had,
however, got more tickets into their hands than they were able to
dispose of at the increased rates demanded by them. They, therefore,
banded together, employed a lawyer to proceed against me for damages,
and as a preliminary procured an order laying an embargo on my receipts.

The Sheriff's officers dropped into the gallery pay-box through a
skylight on to the very head of the money-taker, who was naturally much
surprised by this visitation from above; and they at once seized two
thousand dollars.

It was very important for me not to let this money be taken, as it would
have been impounded; and being on the point of taking my departure for
Europe I should have been obliged to go away without it.

The only thing to do was to find securities--"bondsmen," as the
Americans say. It was already nearly four o'clock (I was giving a
so-called _matinée_ that afternoon), and at four the Sheriff's office
closed. I insisted on the money being counted, and one of the Sheriff's
officers who was employed in counting it proposed in the most obliging
manner to do the work very slowly if I would give him 50 dollars. This
generous offer I declined, though it would have had the effect of giving
me more time to find bondsmen. I soon, however, discovered seated in the
theatre two friends who I knew would stand security for me. But it was
necessary to find a Judge who would in a formal manner accept the

The performance was at an end, and fortunately there was at this moment
a Judge on the stage in the act of making a presentation to Mdme. Patti,
doing so, of course, in a set speech.

I did not interrupt the oration; but as soon as it was over, and whilst
Mdme. Patti was weeping out "Home, Sweet Home" as if her heart would
break, I presented to the Judge my two bondsmen. I at the same time took
from my waistcoat pocket and handed to him my ink pencil, and he at once
signed a paper accepting the bondsmen, together with another ordering
the release of the sequestrated funds.

Armed with these documents, I drove post haste to the Sheriff's office,
and got there at two minutes to four, just as the last bag of silver was
going in. All the bags were now got out and heaped together in my
carriage. The story was already known all over San Francisco. An
immense crowd had assembled in front of the Sheriff's office, and as I
drove off bearing away my rescued treasure I was saluted with
enthusiastic cheers.

When a year later I returned to San Francisco I thought the case would
possibly be brought to trial; but the lawyer representing the "scalpers"
told me that he had been unable to get any money out of them, and that
if I would give him a season ticket he would let the thing drop. The
thing accordingly dropped.

On reaching Burlington on the Thursday morning following I was desirous
of having a general rehearsal of _L'Africaine_, which was to be
performed on the second night of the Chicago Opera Festival, and which
had not been given by my Company during the previous twelve months. I
could not rehearse it at Chicago, lest the public should think the work
was not ready for representation. I resolved, therefore, to stop the
train at Burlington in order to rehearse it at a big hall which I knew
was there available. But lest news should get to the Chicago papers that
the Company had stayed at Burlington merely for the purpose of
rehearsing _L'Africaine_, I determined, if possible, to give a public
performance, and on seeing the manager of the theatre, arranged with him
for one performance of _Faust_. For five hours I rehearsed _L'Africaine_
in the hall, and in the evening we had a most successful representation
of _Faust_ at the theatre. Dotti was the "Margherita," Scalchi
"Siebel," Lablache "Martha," Del Puente "Valentine," Cherubini
"Mefistopheles," and Giannini "Faust." There was no time for putting
forward announcements by means of bills, and the fact that a performance
of _Faust_ was to be given that evening was made known by chalk
inscriptions on the walls. The receipts amounted to £600. Patti honoured
the performance with her presence in a private box, and a somewhat
indiscreet gentleman, Dr. Nassau, paid her a visit to remind her that it
was over twenty-nine years since she had sung under his direction at the
old Mozart Hall, "Coming through the Rye," "The Last Rose of Summer,"
Eckert's "Echo Song," and "Home, Sweet Home." He substantiated his
statements by one of the original programmes which he had brought
purposely to show her. She received him coldly.

We left Burlington immediately after the night's performance, reaching
Chicago the following Sunday morning, when I immediately paid a visit to
the large Opera-house that had been constructed, and was astonished at
its surpassing grandeur.

A vast deal had, indeed, been done, and still had to be done in the few
remaining hours to complete it for the reception of the public, the
building being one of the most stupendous, and the event one of the most
brilliant Chicago had ever known. It was impossible to realize the
magnitude of the task which had been undertaken, or the splendid manner
in which it had been performed, the auditorium being probably one of the
finest ever constructed for such a purpose. An increased chorus had been
organized of 500 voices, whilst the orchestra had been augmented by a
hundred extra musicians. A new drop curtain had been painted. The
scaffolding was being removed from the ceiling, revealing decorations
both brilliant and tasteful. The opening of the proscenium measured no
less than 70 feet, with an elevation of 65 feet at the highest point of
the arch, and a projection of 20 feet in front of the curtain. There
were two tiers of proscenium boxes, and between the main balconies,
which rose to a height of 30 feet, extending over and above the dress
circle, there was a further space of 50 feet for standing accommodation
in case of overcrowding. To ensure proper warmth the great auditorium
was closed in, and all parts of the building supplied with steam pipes
for heating, upwards of four miles in length. Amongst the features of
the hall were two beautifully-arranged promenades or grand saloons, one
decorated in the Japanese and the other in the Chinese style.
Dressing-rooms for ladies and gentlemen had been constructed all over
the building. The acoustic properties were simply perfect;
sounding-boards, stage drop deflectors, and other scientific inventions
being brought to bear.

The advance sale of seats on the first day of the opening reached over
$50,000. In consequence of the vast size of the building new scenery
had to be painted, which I entrusted to Mr. Charles Fox, with a numerous
staff of assistants; this alone costing £6,000. Each scene was nearly
100 feet wide.

The house after the opening of the doors presented a surprisingly
brilliant and attractive appearance, looking, in fact, like a permanent
Opera-house. The orchestra was in excellent form, and numbered 155
musicians, under the direction of Arditi. The opera performed was
_Semiramide_. The stage band and chorus numbered some 450, and there
were 300 supernumeraries; so that when the curtain rose the effect was
most magnificent. The audience was worthy of the occasion. There must
have been over 5,000 people seated and some 4,000 or 5,000 standing.
There were 80 ushers to attend to the occupants of the stalls; and at
the commencement of the overture there was not one vacant seat. At the
close of each act many of the vast audience repaired to the promenade
and refreshment-rooms, to be recalled to their places by six cavalry
trumpeters who came on the stage to sound a fanfare prior to the
commencement of each act.

A leading daily paper wrote, the following morning:--

"The promises made by the Festival Association have been fulfilled to
the letter, and the great temple of Art stood ready for the thousands
for whom it was built. Not a single pledge made in reference to this
building but what has been discharged, and the Manager is entitled to
the thanks, and, indeed, the gratitude of the refined and music-loving
classes of this community for the very thorough and self-sacrificing way
in which all essentials and minor details of comfort and convenience
have been achieved."

On the second night _L'Africaine_ was performed, when a similar
gathering attended. The audience was just as brilliant as on the
previous evening, everyone being in full evening dress. Mdme.
Fursch-Madi gave an effective interpretation of the title _rôle_, De
Anna as "Nelusko" created quite a sensation, and Cardinali was an
admirable Vasco di Gama.

On the third evening Gounod's _Mirella_, an opera never before heard in
Chicago, was chosen for the first appearance of Mdlle. Nevada, and given
with immense success, the part of the gipsy being taken by Mdme.
Scalchi. This was followed on Thursday night by _Linda di Chamouni_, in
which Mdme. Patti and Mdme. Scalchi appeared together. The _Semiramide_
night had been thought a great one, but the audience on this occasion
consisted of probably 2,000 more. Where they went to or where they stood
it was impossible to say. Certain it is that 9,000 people paid for
seats, irrespective of those who remained standing.

On the following evening Mdlle. Nevada appeared as "Lucia," and scored
another triumph; whilst Patti and Scalchi drew 11,000 persons more for
the morning performance. This was really a day for memory. The
attendance consisted mostly of ladies, all tastefully, and often
elaborately, dressed in the very latest fashion. Weber's _Der
Freischütz_ was performed in the evening, which terminated the first
week of the Festival.

The second week we opened with _La Sonnambula_ to an audience of some
8,000 persons, the next night being devoted to the presentation of
Verdi's _Aida_, with the following great cast:--

    "Aida"     ...  ...   ...   Patti.
    "Amneris"  ...  ...   ...   Scalchi.
    "Amonasro" ...  ...   ...   De Anna.
    "Rhadames"      ...   ...   Nicolini.

Some 12,000 people attended this performance. The disagreeable weather
did not seem to keep anyone away, and the streets were blocked with
carriages for many squares, as far as the eye could reach. I was assured
afterwards by an inspector that but for the aid of the rain, which came
down in sheets, it would have been impossible to cope with the vast
crowds who still poured in, attempting to enter the building.

About this time a complaint came to me from behind the scenes that Mdme.
Patti and Mdme. Scalchi were unable to force their way from their
dressing-rooms on to the stage, the wings and flies being crowded with
some 2,000 persons, who during the first act had been joining in the
applause of the singers with the audience in front. Together with these
were some 500 supernumeraries with blackened faces, in oriental garb,
chasing round to try to find their places, others with banners arranging
their dresses. At length, with the aid of the police, Mdme. Patti was
enabled to leave her dressing-room, but was surrounded immediately by
crowds of ladies with pens and ink and paper, requesting autographs just
as she was going on to sing her _scena_.

The boxes of the house were filled to overflowing, some containing as
many as twelve persons. The flowers on the arm-rests in front were of
the most expensive kind.

The march in the third act was really most impressive. There were 600
State Militia on the stage, each Company marching past in twelves, the
rear rank beautifully dressed, the wheels perfect. The _finale_ of the
act, with the military band and the 350 extra chorus, together with the
gorgeous scenery and dresses, was something long to be remembered. Well
might the audience cheer as it did on the fall of the curtain.

The following night _Rigoletto_ was given, then _Il Trovatore_, and the
night after that _Lohengrin_.

At the close of the second act of _Lohengrin_ there came a call from all
sides of the house, and I was compelled to appear before the curtain,
when I addressed the audience in the following words:--

"Ladies and gentlemen,--I am rather unprepared for the flattering
compliment which you pay me in thus calling for me. I assure you that I
join with you in my appreciation of the successful termination of this
opera season, and I can bestow nothing but the most cordial thanks for
the liberal support which the people of Chicago have given their Opera
Festival. It is an evidence of their taste, and I hope will prove the
forerunner of many more similar meetings. (Applause.) There are several
persons who deserve special mention and thanks, but I shall have to be
content simply with testifying to the earnestness of purpose with which
all have laboured who were in any wise connected with the Festival. I
therefore thank them all. It is no small thing to present thirteen
different operas in two weeks' time, yet the attendance and
manifestations of appreciation on the part of the audience will justify
me in claiming that success has crowned my efforts; and the knowledge
that we have given you all we promised and have satisfied you repays us
for all our work."

President Peck likewise came forward and thanked the people of the city
for their generous attendance at the first Opera Festival. It had been a
success in every respect, and the management had done its best to
accommodate and please the public.

A leading journal, in giving a review of the Opera Festival, said:--

"The Great Operatic Festival is now over, and only the memories of its
magnificence and importance are left. The last note has been sung at the
Chicago Operatic Festival, without doubt the greatest musical
undertaking that has ever been accomplished anywhere. In no great city
of Europe or America could 190,000 people have been able to attend the
opera in two weeks. In the first place, the accommodations of even the
largest Opera-houses are not such that 10,000 people could be present at
any one performance. The Operatic Festival Association have been
untiring in their earnest endeavours to present all the operas in the
best possible manner. Each performance has been given as announced, and
the casts have been uniformly good. Thirteen operas have been produced,
all of which were mounted in a manner never before equalled. Many of the
stage pictures, as in _Semiramide_, _Mirella_, _L'Africaine_, _Aida_,
and _Faust_, have been simply superb, and will be long remembered for
their beauty. The pictorial charm of the scene on the banks of the Nile
in _Aida_ was also most poetic. The processions, and the way in which
they were controlled, indicated that the stage manager was a man of
taste and ability."

Prior to my departure, 18th April, 1885, my attendance was requested by
the Mayor, Mr. Carter H. Harrison, at the City Hall, when I was amply
repaid for all the labour I had bestowed upon the Festival by the
magnificent presentation which was then made me, and which I value more
than anything of the kind I have ever received. It was nothing less
than the freedom of the City of Chicago--a compliment I can say with
safety that has never been paid to any other Englishman, and what is
more, is never likely to be. Chicago, as everyone at all connected with
America must know, will within a very few years be the first city in the
United States, and probably in the world.

The success of the Chicago Festival was due in a great measure to the
personal efforts of Ferdinand W. Peck, the President, from whom I
immediately afterwards received a notification to attend the final
committee meeting, when the following testimonial was presented to me,
magnificently engrossed on parchment:--

                   At a Meeting of the
                 held April 18th, 1885,
      The following Resolution was unanimously adopted:
       That the Chicago Opera Festival Association
       Recognizes the satisfactory manner in which
  has fulfilled his obligations under his contract with
                  this Association,
   And they desire to express their high appreciation
 of his liberality in the presentation of all the operas
    produced, without which the grand success of the


     could not have been achieved. In attestation of
    the above the Officers and Board of Directors have
        hereunto subscribed their names:

    FERD. W. PECK, _President_,
    WILLIAM PENN NIXON, _Vice-President_,
    LOUIS WAHL, _Second Vice-President_,
       A. A. SPRAGUE,           }
       GEORGE M. BOGUE,         }
       EUGENE CAREY,            }
       HENRY FIELD,             }     _directors_.
       R. T. CRANE,             }
       JOHN R. WALSH,           }
       GEORGE F. HARDING,       }
    GEORGE G. SCHNEIDER, _Treasurer_.
    S. G. PRATT, _Secretary_.


   "_Tendered to Col. J. H. Mapleson by the Musicians
         and Citizens of the City of Chicago._

"SIR,--Now since the last note has died away, and lingers only in the
ear of memory to warm and cheer the heart, and the great musical triumph
of our city, the Chicago Opera Festival, is over, we extend to you in
these words what we had expected to say to you amid music and song, had
not the manifold duties that engrossed your time rendered us unable to
do so.

"It is, indeed, as musicians, lovers of music, and citizens that we can
cordially thank you in the name of the mighty people of that great and
haughty city, the Queen of the North and the West. For this city, whose
history has been the wonder of the world, whose greatness and energy in
all things in which it engages are acknowledged by all, now yields this
tribute to you, sir, as the one by whose direction, management,
enterprise, and energy the greatest musical success ever given within
its walls was accomplished.

"We might say more, but in our city's characteristic mode we express by
deeds far better than by words. For two weeks our citizens night after
night were turned away from the vast temple of music under your control,
for the halls were crowded by others. They brought with them a hope that
blossomed into unexpected realization, and the keen business men and
tired toilers of the city lived a new life and shook the very ground
with their applause.

"Never had music received such homage here. Again, we thank you for what
you have done, and while we say farewell we also bid you welcome, for we
hope to see you year after year in some vast Opera-hall in which ten
thousand people can be seated, as proposed to be erected by some of our
citizens, where you may win new laurels to your fame in your
heaven-inspired mission of procuring and giving music for the people.

"With congratulations we remain--

    FREDK. AUSTIN, 1st Regt.    |
      Military Band Leader,     |
    A. ROSENBECKER, Drct.       |
      1st Regt. Grand Orchestra,|
    ALBERT KLEIST, Pres. of     |   Committee on
      C. Musical Sy.,           |=> Address and
                                |   Resolutions.
    E. B. KNOX, Col. 1st Rgt.   |
      Inf. I.R.G.,              |
    GEO. W. LYON, P.,           |
    CHAS. N. POST,              |

  Done at Chicago, April 21st, 1885."

This may be the place to mention, what I am reminded of whenever I have
to speak of America, the cordial, lavish hospitality with which English
visitors are received in that country. Apart from the favour shown to me
by railway and steamboat companies, who, so far as I was personally
concerned, carried me everywhere free, the committees of the leading
clubs offered me in all the principal cities the honours and advantages
of membership. Not only was I a member of all the best clubs, but I was,
moreover, treated in every club-house as a guest. This sometimes placed
me in an awkward position. More than once I have felt tempted, at some
magnificent club-house, to order such expensive luxuries as terrapin and
canvas-back duck; but unwilling to abuse the privileges conferred upon
me, I condemned myself to a much simpler fare. It seemed more becoming
to reserve the ordering of such costly dishes for some future occasion,
when I might happen to be dining at a restaurant.

It must be admitted that in many of the conveniences of life the
Americans are far ahead of us, and ahead are likely to remain; so averse
are we in England to all departures from settled habits, inconvenient,
and even injurious as these may be. Every opera-goer knows the delay,
the trouble, the irritation caused by the difficulty, when the
performance is at an end, of getting up carriages or cabs. This
difficulty has, in the United States, no existence.

When the opera-goer reaches the theatre an official, known as the
"carriage superintendent," presents a large ticket in two divisions,
bearing duplicate numbers. One numbered half is handed by the "carriage
superintendent" to the driver. The other is retained by the opera-goer,
who on coming out at the end of the representation exhibits his number,
which is thereupon signalled or telegraphed to a man on the top of the
house, who at once displays it in a transparency lighted by electricity
or otherwise. The carriages are all drawn up with their hind wheels to
the kerbstone, so that the approach to the theatre is quite clear. The
illuminated number is at once seen, and the carriage indicated by it is
at the door by the time the intending occupant is downstairs in the

It is astonishing how easily this system works.



THE public are under the impression that the closest intimacies are
contracted between vocalists in consequence of their appearing
constantly together in the same works. Under the new system, by which
the prima donna stipulates that she shall not be called upon to appear
at any rehearsal, this possible source of excessive friendship ceases to
exist. It now frequently happens that the prima donna is not even
personally acquainted with the singers who are to take part with her in
the same opera; and on one occasion, when _Il Trovatore_ was being
performed, I remember the baritone soliciting the honour of an
introduction to Mdme. Patti at the very moment when he was singing in
the trio of the first act. The "Manrico" of the evening was exceedingly
polite, and managed without scandalizing the audience to effect the
introduction by singing it as if it were a portion of his _rôle_.

To show that the stipulation I have just spoken of is made in the most
formal manner, and to give a general idea of the conditions a manager is
expected to accept from a leading prima donna, I here subjoin a copy of
the contract between Mdme. Patti and myself for my season at Covent
Garden in 1885:--

     "THE ENGAGEMENT contracted in London Sixth day of June 1885 BETWEEN
     JAMES HENRY MAPLESON Operatic Manager, henceforward described as
     Mr. Mapleson and ADELINA PATTI, Artiste Lyrique, henceforward
     described as Madame Patti.

     "Article 1.--Mr. Mapleson engages Madame Patti to sing and Madame
     Patti engages to sing at a series of Eight Operatic Representations
     in Italian or high class Concerts to be given under his direction
     from Sixteenth June and ending the Sixteenth July One thousand
     eight hundred and eighty five in London in such manner that two of
     such Representations or Concerts (as the case may be) may be given
     in each week of such period and so that an interval of at least two
     clear days may elapse between each Representation or Concert unless
     the contracting parties otherwise agree.

     "Article 2.--Mr. Mapleson engages to pay to Madame Patti or her
     representative for such series the sum of Four thousand pounds and
     for all additional Representations or Concerts the sum of Five
     hundred pounds each; such payment to be made in advance in sums of
     Five hundred pounds each before 2 o'Clock in the afternoon of the
     day on which a Representation or Concert is to be given.

     "Article 3.--The repertoire to comprise the Operas of _Martha_,
     _Traviata_, _Trovatore_, _Lucia di Lammermoor_, _Il Barbiere di
     Seviglia_, _Crispino_, _Rigoletto_, _Linda_, _Carmen_ and _Don
     Giovanni_; and thereof 'Il Barbiere,' 'La Traviata,' 'Martha' and
     'Zerlina' in _Don Giovanni_ shall be assigned exclusively to Madame
     Patti during the entire Operatic Season. The Airs to be sung at the
     Concerts (if any) are to be selected by Madame Patti.

     "Article 4.--The selection from such Repertoire of the Opera to be
     given at her re-entrée shall be selected and be fixed exclusively
     by Madame Patti; but with that exception the choice therefrom of
     the Operas to be given at the several representations shall be
     Tuesdays and Saturdays, and the days of the week on which Concerts
     (if any) shall be given shall be fixed by the mutual agreement of
     the contracting parties; and Mr. Mapleson engages to adhere thereto
     except in case of sudden, necessary change through the illness of
     other principal Artistes in the cast of the chosen Opera.

     "Article 5.--Madame Patti shall be free to attend Rehearsals, but
     shall not be required or bound to attend at any.

     "Article 6.--Madame Patti will at her own expense provide all
     requisite costumes for the Operas selected.

     "Article 7.--Mr. Mapleson engages that Madame Patti shall be
     announced daily during the series of Representations or Concerts in
     a special leaded advertisement among the Theatrical Advertisements
     over the Clock as well as in the Operatic Casts or Concert
     Programmes in all Journals in which he may advertise his Operas or
     Concerts and likewise that her name shall appear in a separate line
     of large letters in all Announce Bills of Operas or Concerts in or
     at which she is to appear and that such letters shall be at least
     one third larger than those employed for the announcement of any
     other Artiste in the same Cast or Programme.

     "Article 8.--Madame Patti is not to be at liberty to sing elsewhere
     during this engagement except at State Concerts.

     "Article 9.--In the event of Madame Patti not appearing in Opera or
     at Concert on the day for which she may have been announced to sing
     owing to her indisposition such intended appearance shall be
     treated as postponed if such indisposition be of a temporary
     character, and for every such non-appearance a substituted
     Representation or Concert shall be given before the Sixteenth July
     One thousand eight hundred and eighty five, but if such
     indisposition continues during a period longer than two succeeding
     Operatic or Concert nights provided by the first Article the
     number of non-attendance nights shall be counted off the Eight
     agreed for Representations or Concerts as if Madame Patti had
     actually appeared thereat. In the case of such postponement the
     payment of the Five hundred pounds shall be postponed until the
     morning of the day on which the substituted Representation or
     Concert shall be given; but in the case of counting off the day as
     wholly gone no salary shall be payable by Mr. Mapleson therefor;
     but beyond such postponement or deduction from payment, as the case
     may be, he shall have no ground of complaint nor claim for
     non-attendance or otherwise. And he engages to announce her
     indisposition or withdraw her name from all advertisements and
     other announcements of performance at the earliest time and with
     all due diligence and publicity.

     "Article 10.--In the event of an Epidemic of Cholera, Small pox,
     Fever or other contagious or deadly disease breaking out within the
     range of the London Bills of Mortality Madame Patti shall be at
     liberty to cancel this Engagement by notice in writing as provided
     in the Twelfth Article, and thereupon she shall be no longer
     required nor bound to continue the Representations or Concerts, and
     thereupon the Two thousand pounds deposit in the Eleventh Article
     mentioned, and no more, shall be repayable to him if he shall have
     duly performed his several engagements herein.

     "Article 11.--Mr. Mapleson, as a preliminary obligation
     performable by him (and on performance of which Madame Patti's
     obligations under her engagements herein depend) hereby engages to
     deposit the sum of Two thousand pounds Cash with Messrs.
     Rothschild, at their Counting-house in New Court, St. Swithin's
     Lane, London, on or before the Tenth June One thousand eight
     hundred and eighty five to the credit of Madame Patti, as part
     guarantee for Mr. Mapleson's fulfilment of this engagement. Such
     Two thousand pounds are to be applied by Madame Patti as payment
     for the last four actual Representations or Concerts, or (as the
     case may be) retained by her as her own property for and on account
     of damages sustained by her through the nonperformance of this
     engagement by Mr. Mapleson.

     "Article 12.--Should Mr. Mapleson fail to make such deposit in full
     by the day named Madame Patti shall be at liberty at any time
     afterwards, and notwithstanding any negotiation, withdrawal of
     notice, waiver, extension of time for depositing, or acceptance of
     part payment of such Two thousand pounds to put an end to this
     Engagement by lodging with Mr. Mapleson's Solicitors, Messrs. J.
     and R. Gole in London, a letter signed by her, announcing her
     determination of this Engagement; and thenceforth this Engagement
     shall be at an end except so far as regards the Agreement next
     following, that is to say, That on such failure and determination
     Mr. Mapleson shall, and he hereby agrees to pay to Madame Patti on
     demand the sum of Four thousand pounds as and for compensation to
     her for expenses incident to this Engagement and for loss of time
     in procuring other engagements of an equal character.


About the sum payable per night to Mdme. Patti by the terms of the above
agreement I say nothing. Five hundred pounds a night was only half what
I had paid her in the United States; and soon afterwards at Her
Majesty's Theatre I myself offered to give the famous vocalist six
hundred and fifty per night. The sting of the contract lies for the
manager, pecuniarily speaking, in the clause which empowers the singer
to declare herself ill at the last moment, while guaranteeing her
against all the consequences sure to arise from her too tardy apology.
The manager has suddenly to change the performance, and, worse by far,
to incur the charge of having broken faith with the public; for however
precisely the certificate of indisposition may be made out, there are
sure to be some knowing ones among the disappointed crowd who will
whisper, as a great secret known to them alone, that the prima donna has
not been paid, and that the certificate is all a sham.

What an unfair clause, too, is that by which, if the manager does not
pay in advance to the prima donna at the exact time prescribed the whole
of the sum payable to her for all the performances she binds herself to
give, he will by such failure render himself liable for the entire sum
without the prima donna on her side being called upon to sing at all.

The clause liberating the prima donna from attending rehearsals will be
condemned by all lovers of music. During the three or four years that
Mdme. Patti was with me in America she never once appeared at a
rehearsal. When I was producing _La Gazza Ladra_, an opera which
contains an unusually large number of parts, there were several members
of the cast who did not even know Mdme. Patti by sight. Under such
circumstances all idea of a perfect _ensemble_ was, of course, out of
the question. It was only on the night of performance, and in presence
of the public, that the concerted pieces were tried for the first time
with the soprano voice. The unfortunate contralto, Mdlle. Vianelli, had
never in her life seen Mdme. Patti, with whom, on this occasion, she had
to sing duets full of concerted passages. At such rehearsal as she could
obtain Arditi did his best to replace the absent prima donna, whistling
the soprano part so as at least to give the much-tried contralto some
idea of the effect.

In addition to the clauses in the prima donna's written engagement,
there is always an understanding by which she is to receive so many
stalls, so many boxes, so many places in the pit, and so many in the
gallery. How, it will be asked, can such an illustrious lady have
friends whom she would like to send to the gallery? The answer is that
the distinguished vocalist wishes to be supported from all parts of the
house, and that she is far too practical--high as may be the opinion she
entertains of her own talents--to leave the applause even in the
smallest degree to chance.

There are plenty of great singers--though Mdme. Patti is not one of
them--who carry with them on their foreign tours a _chef de claque_ as a
member of their ordinary suite. Tenors are, at least, as particular on
this score as prime donne; and if one popular tenor travels with a staff
of eight, his rival, following him to the same country, will make a
point, merely that the fact may be recorded in the papers, of taking
with him a staff of nine.

Signor Masini, the modest vocalist who wished Sir Michael Costa to come
round to his hotel and learn from him how the _tempi_ should be taken in
the _Faust_ music, went not long since to South America with a staff
consisting of the following paid officials: A secretary, an
under-secretary, a cook, a valet, a barber, a doctor, a lawyer, a
journalist, an agent, and a treasurer. The ten attendants, apart from
their special duties, form a useful _claque_, and are kept judiciously
distributed about the house according to their various social positions.
The valet and the journalist, the barber and the doctor are said to have
squabbles at times on the subject of precedence.

The functions of the lawyer will not perhaps be apparent to everyone.
His appointed duties, however, are to draw up contracts and to recover
damages in case a clause in any existing contract should seem to have
been broken. The hire of all these attendants causes no perceptible hole
in the immense salary payable to the artist who employs them; and the
travelling expenses of a good number of them have to be defrayed by the
unfortunate manager.

Only an oriental prince or a musical _parvenu_ would dream of
maintaining such a suite; and soon, I believe, the following of a
vocalist with a world-wide reputation will not be considered complete
unless it includes, in addition to the other gentlemen who wait upon the
Masini's and the Tamagno's, an architect and surveyor.

It will perhaps have been observed that by one of the clauses of Mdme.
Patti's engagement the letters of her name are in all printed
announcements to be one-third larger than the letters of anyone else's
name; and during the progress of the Chicago Festival, I saw Signor
Nicolini armed with what appeared to be a theodolite, and accompanied by
a gentleman who I fancy was a great geometrician, looking intently and
with a scientific air at some wall-posters on which the letters
composing Mdme. Patti's name seemed to him not quite one-third larger
than the letters composing the name of Mdlle. Nevada. At last,
abandoning all idea of scientific measurement, he procured a ladder,
and, boldly mounting the steps, ascertained by means of a foot-rule that
the letters which he had previously been observing from afar were indeed
a trifle less tall than by contract they should have been.

I can truly say, "with my hand on my conscience," as the French put it,
that I had not ordered the letters to be made a shade smaller than they
should have been with the slightest intention of wounding the feelings
or damaging the interests either of Mdme. Adelina Patti or of Signor
Nicolini. The printers had not followed my directions so precisely as
they ought to have done.

In order to conciliate the offended prima donna and her irritated
spouse, I caused the printed name of that most charming vocalist, Mdlle.
Nevada, to be operated upon in this way: a thin slice was taken out of
it transversely, so that the middle stroke of the letter E disappeared
altogether. When I pointed out my revised version of the name to Signer
Nicolini in order to demonstrate to him that he was geometrically wrong,
he replied to me with a puzzled look as he pointed to the letters
composing the name of Nevada: "Yes; but there is something very strange
about that E."

To return to my narrative. At the conclusion of the great Chicago
Festival, we left, in the middle of the night, for New York, and reached
it on Monday morning, where we opened with _Semiramide_ to as large an
audience as the Academy had ever known. On the Friday following, on the
occasion of my benefit, the receipts reached nearly £3,000, the house
being crowded from floor to ceiling.

At the close of the opera I was called before the curtain, and on
quitting the stage, with Adelina Patti on my right and Scalchi on my
left, I was met by Chief Justice Shea, who approached me and said--

"Colonel Mapleson, a number of our citizens who represent significant
phases of social life and important business interests in this
metropolis desire to testify in a public and notable manner that they
understand and laud the superb success which has followed your efforts
to establish Italian Opera in this city. It is seldom that public men
are understood. It is very seldom that they are offered an
acknowledgment beyond the few earnest friends that cluster around them.
Those citizens to whom I refer recognize that your career amongst us has
not been a mere chance success, but the result of patience, energy, and
the intelligent courage which comes of ripe experience. They think this
an apt occasion on which publicly to express the sincerity of that
opinion. Sir, allow me on their behalf to offer you this memorial."

I was then handed a magnificent ebony case, fitted with a crystal glass,
containing the following:--A valuable repeater watch set in diamonds, a
gold chain with diamond and ruby slides, diamond and ruby charm in the
shape of a harp, a pair of large solitaire diamond sleeve buttons, a
diamond collar stud, a horse-shoe scarf pin (nine large diamonds), three
diamond shirt studs, a gold pencil-case with a diamond top and a plain
gold pin with a single diamond; the whole being valued at £1,300.

The ebony case and crystal glass I still possess. The contents, together
with everything else, went to keep the Company together during the
disastrous retreat from Frisco of the following year, as to which I will
later on give details.

I thanked the Chief Justice briefly for the gift and the public for
their patronage, and with difficulty left the stage amidst ringing
cheers and waving of pocket-handkerchiefs: I say with difficulty,
because at that critical moment, as I was picking up a bouquet, the
buckle of my pantaloons gave way; and as my tailor had persuaded me, out
of compliment to him, to discard the use of braces, it was only with
great difficulty that I could manage to shuffle off the stage,
entrusting meanwhile some of the jewellery to Patti and some to Scalchi.

At New York, as previously at Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco,
lively complaints were made of the vanity and levity of my tenor,
Cardinali, who was an empty-headed, fatuous creature unable to write his
own name or even to read the love-letters which, in spite, or perhaps in
consequence of his empty-headedness, were frequently addressed to him by
affectionate and doubtless weak-minded young ladies. Cardinali possessed
a certain beauty of countenance; he had also a sloping forehead, and a
high opinion of his powers of fascination.

At San Francisco he got engaged to a young lady of good family, who was
one of the recognized beauties of the city. A date had been fixed for
the marriage, and the coming event was announced and commented upon in
all the papers. The marriage, however, was not to take place forthwith;
and when my handsome tenor got to Chicago he was much taken by one of
the local blondes, to whom he swore undying love.

At Philadelphia he got engaged to another girl, who became furiously
jealous when she found that he was receiving letters from his Frisco
_fiancée_. Not being able to decipher the caligraphy of the former
beloved one, he entrusted her letters for reading purposes to the
chambermaids or waiters of the hotel where he put up.

At New York Cardinali formed an attachment to yet another girl, who
fully responded to his ardour. He used to get tickets from me in order
that he might entertain his young women in an economical manner at
operatic representations; and one day, when he had taken the girl whom
he had met at New York to a morning performance, he asked permission to
leave her for a moment as he had to speak to a friend. This friend
turned out to be a lady with whom he had arranged to elope, and the
happy pair left for Europe by a steamer then on the point of starting.
He did not, as far as I know, change his partner during the voyage, and
I afterwards lost sight of him.

We remained at New York a week, giving six extra performances, and left
the following Sunday for Boston. There, too, we stayed a week,
terminating the season on the 2nd May, on which day Mdme. Patti sailed
for Europe, followed by the Company. These frequent voyages across the
Atlantic were my only rests. They greatly invigorated me, bracing me up,
as it were, to meet the fresh troubles and trials which were sure to
welcome me on my arrival.

It was a most fortunate thing that the Directors of the Royal Italian
Opera Company, Covent Garden, Limited, had thought proper to dispense
with my services the previous year by reason of my having, in
conjunction with their own general manager, engaged Mdme. Patti.
Otherwise I should have been obliged to hand them £15,000, being half
the net profit of this last American tour, to which, by the terms of our
agreement, they would have been entitled.

I ascertained on my return that for want of £2,000 the Company had



On my return to London I opened Covent Garden for a series of Italian
Opera performances, in which Mdme. Patti was the principal prima donna,
and but for Mdme. Patti's twice falling ill should certainly have made
some money.

On the opening night I was notified as late as seven o'clock that Mdme.
Patti would be unable to appear in "La Traviata," having taken a severe
cold. This was a dreadful blow to me. On inquiry I found that madame's
indisposition arose from a morning drive she had taken on the previous
day over some Welsh mountains during the journey from her castle to the
station. Signor Nicolini, either from fear of the bill at the Midland
Hotel, where they were to put up, or from some uncontrollable desire to
catch an extra salmon, had exposed _la Diva_ to the early morning air;
an act of imprudence which cost me something like a thousand pounds.

The season nevertheless promised to be unusually successful. But within
a few days I met with another misfortune, _la Diva_ having taken a
second cold, of which I was not notified until seven p.m. There was
scarcely time to make the news public before the carriages were already
setting down their distinguished burdens before the Opera vestibule.

I had no alternative but to introduce a young singer who, at a moment's
notice, undertook the difficult part of "Lucia di Lammermoor." I allude
to the Swedish vocalist, Mdlle. Fohström, who afterwards made a very
successful career under my management. Of course, on this occasion she
was heavily handicapped, as people had gone to the theatre only for the
purpose of hearing Mdme. Patti; whose two disappointments caused me
considerable loss.

I ended my season about the third week of July, when Mdme. Patti
appeared as "Leonora" in _Il Trovatore_, renewing the success which
always attends her in that familiar impersonation.

On this night, the final one of the season, Mdme. Patti concluded her
25th consecutive annual engagement at Covent Garden. Numbers of her
admirers formed themselves into a committee for the purpose of
celebrating the event by presenting her with a suitable memorial, which
consisted of a very valuable diamond bracelet. At the termination of
the opera I presented myself to the public, saying--

"Ladies and Gentlemen,--Whilst the necessary preparations are being made
behind the curtain for the performance of 'God Save the Queen,' I crave
your attention for a very few moments. My first reason for doing so is,
that I desire to tender my sincere thanks for the liberal support you
have accorded my humble efforts to preserve the existence of Italian
Opera in this country. When I state to you that I had barely ten days to
form my present Company, including the orchestra and chorus, I feel sure
you will readily overlook any shortcomings which may have occurred
during the past season. My second reason is to solicit your kind consent
to present to Mdme. Patti in the name of the Committee a testimonial to
commemorate her twenty-fifth consecutive season on the boards of this

The curtain then rose, and disclosed Mdme. Adelina Patti ready to sing
the National Anthem, supported by the band of the Grenadier Guards, in
addition to the band and orchestra of the Royal Italian Opera. This was
the moment chosen for the presentation of a superb diamond bracelet,
subscribed for by admirers of the heroine of the occasion. Its
presentation was preceded by my delivery of the following address from
the Committee of the Patti Testimonial Fund:--

"Madame Adelina Patti,--You complete this evening your 25th annual
engagement at the theatre which had the honour of introducing you, when
you were still a child, to the public of England, and indirectly,
therefore, to that of Europe and the whole civilized world. There has
been no example in the history of the lyric drama of such
long-continued, never interrupted, always triumphant success on the
boards of the same theatre; and a number of your most earnest admirers
have decided not to let the occasion pass without offering you their
heartfelt congratulations. Many of them have watched with the deepest
interest an artistic career which, beginning in the spring of 1861,
became year after year more brilliant, until during the season which
terminates to-night the last possible point of perfection seems to have
been reached. You have been connected with the Royal Italian Opera
uninterruptedly throughout your long and brilliant career. During the
winter months you have visited, and have been received with enthusiasm
at Paris, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, and all the principal
cities of Italy and the United States. But you have allowed nothing to
prevent you from returning every summer to the scene of your earliest
triumphs; and now that you have completed your twenty-fifth season in
London, your friends feel that the interesting occasion must not be
suffered to pass without due commemoration. We beg you, therefore, to
accept from us, in the spirit in which it is offered, the token of
esteem and admiration which we have now the honour of presenting to

The National Anthem, which followed, was received with loyal cheers, and
the season terminated brilliantly.

After the performance an extraordinary scene took place outside the
theatre. A band and a number of torch-bearers had assembled at the
northern entrance in Hart Street, awaiting Mdme. Patti's departure. When
she stepped into her carriage it was headed by the bearers of the
lighted torches; and as the carriage left the band struck up. An
enormous crowd very soon gathered; and it gradually increased in numbers
as the procession moved on. The carriage was surrounded by police, and
the procession, headed by the band, consisted of about a dozen carriages
and cabs, the rear being brought up by a vehicle on which several men
were standing and holding limelights, which threw their coloured glare
upon the growing crowd, and made the whole as visible as in the daytime.
The noise of the band and of the shouting and occasional singing of the
very motley gathering, which was reinforced by all sorts and conditions
of persons as it went along, awakened the inhabitants throughout the
whole of the long route, which was as follows: Endell Street, Bloomsbury
Street, across New Oxford Street and Great Russell Street, down
Charlotte Street, through Bedford Square by Gower Street, along Keppel
Street, Russell Square, Woburn Place, Tavistock Place, Marchmont
Street, Burton Crescent, Malleton Place to Euston road, halting at the
Midland Railway Hotel, where Mdme. Patti was staying. Along the whole of
this distance the scene was extraordinary. The noise, and the glare of
the coloured lights, and the cracking of fireworks which were let off
every now and then, aroused men, women, and children from their beds,
and scarcely a house but had a window or door open, whence peered forth,
to witness the spectacle, persons, many of whom, as was apparent from
their night-dresses, had been awakened from their sleep. Not only were
these disturbed, but a number of horses were greatly startled at the
unusual sound and noise. The procession, which left Hare Street just
before midnight, reached the Midland Hotel in about half an hour, almost
the whole distance having been traversed at a walking pace. When Mdme.
Patti reached the Hotel she was serenaded by the band for a time, and
more fireworks were let off. The great crowd which had assembled
remained in Euston Road outside the gates, which were closed immediately
after the carriages had passed through.

My season having thus terminated, I at once started for the Continent in
order to secure new talent for the forthcoming American campaign.

For my New York season of 1885-6, after some considerable trouble, I
succeeded in forming what I considered a far more efficient Company than
I had had for the previous five years; except that the name of Adelina
Patti was not included, she having decided to remain at her castle to
take repose after her four years' hard work in America. I subjoin a copy
of the prospectus:--

             _Season_ 1885-86.

Madame Minnie Hauk, Madame Felia Litvinoff, Mdlle. Dotti, Mdlle. Marie
Engle, Madame Lilian Nordica, Mdlle. de Vigne, Mdlle. Bauermeister,
Madame Lablache, and Mdlle. Alma Fohström.


Signor Ravelli, Signor de Falco, Signor Bieletto, Signor Rinaldini, and
Signor Giannini.


Signor de Anna and Signor Del Puente.


Signor Cherubini, Signor de Vaschetti, Signor Vetta, and Signor


Signor Arditi.


Madame Malvina Cavalazzi.

The following were the promised productions:--

For the first time in New York Massenet's famous opera MANON: words by
MM. H. Meilhac and Ph. Gille. Mr. Mapleson has secured the sole right of
representation, for which M. Massenet has made several important
alterations and additions. "The Chevalier des Grieux," Signor Giannini;
"Lescaut," Signor Del Puente; "Guillot Morfontaine," Signor Rinaldini;
"The Count Des Grieux," Signor Cherubini; "De Bretigny," Signor
Caracciolo; "An Innkeeper," Signor de Vaschetti; "Attendant at the
Seminary of St. Sulpice," Signor Bieletto; "Poussette," Mdlle.
Bauermeister; "Javotte," Mdme. Lablache; "Rosette," Mdlle. de Vigne; and
"Manon," Mdme. Minnie Hauk. Gamblers, croupiers, guards, travellers,
townsfolk, lords, ladies, gentlemen, &c., &c. The action passes in 1721.
The first act in Amiens; the second, third, and fourth in Paris. The
last scene, the road to Havre.

Also Vincent Wallace's opera, MARITANA. For the first time on the
Italian stage, by special arrangement with the proprietors. The
recitatives by Signor Tito Mattei. "Don Cæsar de Bazan," Signor Ravelli;
"The King," Signor Del Puente; "Don Josè," Signor De Anna; "Il
Marchese," Signor Caracciolo; "La Marchesa," Mdme. Lablache;
"Lazarillo," Mdlle. De Vigne; and "Maritana," Mdlle. Alma Fohström.
Mdme. Malvina Cavalazzi will dance the Saraband.

Likewise Auber's FRA DIAVOLO. "Fra Diavolo," Signor Ravelli; "Beppo,"
Signor Del Puente; "Giacomo," Signor Cherubini; "Lord Allcash," Signor
Caracciolo; "Lorenzo," Signor De Falco; "Lady Allcash," Mdme. Lablache;
and "Zerlina," Mdme. Alma Fohström.

Ambroise Thomas' opera, MIGNON, will be also presented. "Mignon," Mdme.
Minnie Hauk; "Wilhelm," Signor Del Falco; "Lothario," Signor Del Puente;
"Laertes," Signor Rinaldini; "Frederick," Mdlle. De Vigne; "Giarno,"
Signor Cherubini; "Antonio," Signor De Vaschetti; and "Filina," Mdlle.
Alma Fohström."

The list of singers, which I give above _in extenso_, would have done
honour to any theatre in Europe. But, alas! the magic name of Patti not
being included had at once the effect of damaging seriously the
subscription. In addition to this, a strong leaning showed itself on the
part of my New York supporters towards the German Opera at the
Metropolitan House; while a newly-formed craze had been developed for
Anglo-German Opera, or "American Opera," as it was denominated. The
prospectus of the latter setting it forth as a "national" affair,
everyone rushed in for it, and considerable sums of money were
subscribed. Its projectors rented the Academy of Music where I was
located. The upshot of it was that a considerable number of intrigues
were forthwith commenced for the purpose, if possible, of wiping me
entirely out. I will mention a few of them in order that the reader may
understand the position in which I was placed. Just prior to leaving
England, and after I had completed my Company, I was informed by the
Directors that I should be called upon to pay a heavy rental for the use
of the Academy, my tenancy, moreover, being limited to three evenings a
week and one _matinée_.

Having made all my engagements, I was, of course, at their mercy, and it
was with the greatest possible difficulty that I could even open my
season, as they began carpentering and hammering every time I attempted
a rehearsal. However, I succeeded in making a commencement on the 2nd of
November with a fine performance of CARMEN, cast as follows:--

"Don José," Signor Ravelli; "Escamillo (Toreador)," Signor Del Puente;
"Zuniga," Signor De Vaschetti; "Il Dancairo," Signor Caracciolo; "Il
Remendado," Signor Rinaldini; "Morales," Signor Bieletto; "Michaela,"
Mdlle. Dotti; "Paquita," Mdlle. Bauermeister; "Mercedes," Mdme.
Lablache; "Carmen" (a Gipsy), Mdme. Minnie Hauk.

The incidental divertissement supported by Mdme. Malvina Cavalazzi and
the Corps de Ballet.

This was followed by an excellent performance of _Trovatore_, in which
Mdlle. Litvinoff, a charming Russian soprano from the Paris Opera, made
a successful appearance, supported by Lablache, De Anna, the admirable
baritone, and Giannini, one of the favourite tenors of America, who
after the _Pira_ was encored and recalled four times in front of the
curtain. I afterwards introduced Mdlle. Alma Fohström, who had made such
a great success during my London season at the Royal Italian Opera,
Covent Garden.

On the occasion of my attempting a rehearsal two days afterwards of
_L'Africaine_, I found the stage built up with platforms to the height
of some 30 feet, which were occupied by full chorus and orchestra.

Remonstrance was useless, the Secretary of the Academy being "out of the
way," whilst the conductor, Mr. Theodore Thomas, was closed in and
wielding the _bâton_ with such vigour that no one could approach him. I
said nothing, therefore. In spite of formidable obstacles, the march and
the procession in the fourth act of the opera had to be rehearsed under
the platform, and, as good luck would have it, the opera went

Rehearsals of _Manon_ had now to be attempted; but whenever a call was
put up, so surely would I find another call affixed by the rival Company
for the same hour; and as they employed some 120 choristers, who had
about an equal number of hangers-on in attendance on them, the reader
can guess in what a state of confusion the stage was.

The public has but little idea of the difficulties by which the career
of an opera manager is surrounded. An ordinary theatrical manager brings
out some trivial operetta which, thanks in a great measure to scenery,
upholstery, costumes, and a liberal display of the female form divine,
catches the taste of the public. The piece runs for hundreds of nights
without a change in the bill, the singers appearing night after night in
the same parts. The _maladie de larynx_, the _extinction de voix_ of
which leading opera-singers are sure now and then, with or without
reason, to complain, are unknown to these honest vocalists; and if by
chance one of them does fall ill there is always a substitute, known as
the "understudy," who is ready at any moment to supply the place of the
indisposed one.

The public, when it has once found its way to a theatre where a
successful operetta or _opéra bouffe_ is being played, goes there night
after night for months, and sometimes years, at a time. The manager
probably complains of being terribly over-worked; but all he has really
to do is to see that some hundreds of pounds every week are duly paid in
to his account at the bank. To manage a theatre under such conditions is
as simple as selling Pears' Soap or Holloway's Pills.

The opera manager does not depend upon the ordinary public, but in a
great measure upon the public called fashionable. His prices are of
necessity exceptionally high; and his receipts are affected in a way
unknown to the ordinary theatrical manager. Court mourning, for
instance, will keep people away from the opera; whereas the
theatre-going public is scarcely affected by it. The bill, moreover, has
to be changed so frequently, so constantly, that it is impossible to
know from one day to another what the receipts are likely to be.

What would one give for a prima donna who, like Miss Ellen Terry or
Mrs. Kendal, would be ready to play every night? Or for a public who,
like the audiences at the St. James's Theatre and the Lyceum, would go
night after night for an indefinite time to see the same piece!

Finally, at a London Musical Theatre the prima donna of an Operetta
Company, if she receives £30 or £40 a week, boasts of it to her friends.
In an Italian Operatic Company a seconda donna paid at such rates would
conceal it from her enemies.



To return to my difficulties at the New York Academy of Music, I was at
length compelled to rehearse where I could; one day at the Star Theatre,
another at Steinway Hall; a third at Tony Pastor's--a Variety Theatre
next door to the Academy.

In the midst of these difficulties I caught a severe cold and found
myself one morning speechless. I was surprised that afternoon to find a
bottle of unpleasant sticky-looking mixture left with the hall-keeper,
accompanied by a letter strongly recommending it from an admirer, who
had heard, with sorrow, that I had taken cold. Not liking the smell of
it, I sent it to an apothecary's for analysis, when it was found to
contain poison. Fortunately I had not tasted it.

Finding myself so heavily handicapped, I decided, pending the
preparation of _Manon_, to get ready Auber's _Fra Diavolo_, which had to
be rehearsed under the same difficulties. I, however, succeeded in
producing it on the 20th November, and an excellent performance we gave.
Fohström was charming as "Zerlina," and in the _rôles_ of the two
brigands, Del Puente and Cherubini were simply excellent. I have seen
many performances of _Fra Diavolo_ in London with Tagliafice and
Capponi, whom I considered admirable; but on this occasion they were
fairly surpassed in the brigands' parts by Del Puente and Cherubini. The
part of "Fra Diavolo" was undertaken by Ravelli, and the scenery and
dresses were entirely new; the former having been painted on the roof of
the theatre, either late at night or early in the morning, with the
finishing touches put in on the Sundays.

The majority of my stockholders were careful to remain away, thus
leaving a very bare appearance in the proscenium boxes. They, too, were
siding with the enemy, or had not quite recovered from the three-dollar
assessment which they had been called upon to pay for Patti the previous
year. All these intrigues, however, marked in my mind the future
downfall of the Academy and its stockholders, the house being now
"divided against itself."

I will quote from the _Evening Post_, a paper hostile to my enterprise,
a criticism on the _Fra Diavolo_ performance:--

"_Fra Diavolo_, as presented at the Academy last evening, was by far the
most enjoyable performance given by Mr. Mapleson's Company for a long
time. There was an element of brightness and buoyancy in the acting and
singing of all the principals that admirably reflected the spirit of
Auber's brilliant and tuneful score. Next Monday, when the season of
German Opera opens at the Metropolitan with _Lohengrin_, there will be
doubtless hundreds who will be unable to secure seats. All such we
earnestly advise to proceed straight to the Academy next Monday, where
_Fra Diavolo_ will be repeated; not only because they cannot fail to
enjoy this performance, since it is an entertaining opera entertainingly
interpreted, but because Mr. Mapleson ought to be encouraged, when he
undertakes to vary his old repertory.... Ravelli sang admirably last
evening, and so did Fohström, who acted her part with much grace and
dainty _naïveté_. Lablache, Del Puente, and Cherubini were unusually
good and amusing. The Academy, we repeat, ought to be crowded on Monday

The production of _Fra Diavolo_ gave great satisfaction. Meanwhile, I
made another attempt to continue my rehearsals of _Manon_. Not only was
I excluded from the stage by the hammering and knocking of this new
Anglo-German Opera Company, but they turned one of the corners of the
foyer into a kind of business office, where their chatterings greatly
interrupted my rehearsals with pianoforte. These, at least, I thought,
might be managed within the theatre.

On ordering an orchestral rehearsal at Steinway Hall the following
morning I was surprised to find that Mr. Thomas and his orchestra had
actually gone there before me; and I had to dismiss my principal
singers, chorus, and orchestra for a couple of hours, when with
difficulty I was enabled to make a short rehearsal.

This went on day after day much to my annoyance. The Directors now began
troubling me to pay the rent; to which I replied that I would willingly
do so as soon as they performed their portion of the contract by
allowing me to rehearse.

About this time I was challenged to meet the Rev. H. Haweis, author of
_Music and Morals_, in a discussion on Wagner to be held at the
Nineteenth Century Club, at which a great number of the fashionables of
New York were present. After a brief introductory address, Mr.
Courtlaudt Palmer, President of the Club, introduced the Rev. Mr.
Haweis. His paper was a running series of anecdotes about Wagner, many
of them keeping the audience in a continual laugh. He then made an
onslaught on Italian Opera, assuring the audience that its days were
numbered, that Wagner for the future was the one composer of dramatic
music, and that every support should be given to his works now being
represented at the Metropolitan Opera-house.

When he had concluded I rose and said, "You have told us much about
Wagner, but nothing about his music. I trust I am not unparliamentary
when I say that if he is to be judged by the effect of his works on the
public--works that have now been for years before the world--Wagner is
an operatic failure, and that what the Rev. Mr. Haweis has told us about
his operas is sheer nonsense. One question he puts to me is: 'Did I ever
lose money by Wagner?' I say emphatically, 'yes.' I once brought over
all the material for his trilogy, the _Ring des Nibelungen_, from Munich
to London, where it was to have been produced (according to one of the
conditions of the agreement) under the supervision of Wagner himself.
The master did not come; but his work was produced under a conductor of
his own choice, and when the series had been twice given about six
thousand pounds had been lost.

"My time will come yet. I labour under many difficulties now; but when
New Yorkers are tired of backing German and American Opera, and will
only subsidize me with one per cent. of the millions they are going to
lose, I will return and give them Italian Opera."

I remember an interesting and, I must admit, not altogether inexact
account of my production of the _Ring des Nibelungen_ being given in the
_Musical Journal_ of New York.

"The series," wrote the American journalist, "was given under the
special patronage of the Prince of Wales, who loyally remained in his
box from the rising to the going down of the curtain, although he
confessed afterwards that it was the toughest work he had ever done in
his life. When Wotan came on the darkened stage and commenced his little
recitative to an accompaniment of discords the Prince took a doze, but
was awakened half-an-hour later by a double forte crash of the
orchestra, and, having fallen asleep again, was startled by another
climax fifteen minutes afterwards, when he found Wotan still at it,
singing against time. At the end of five weeks Mapleson's share of the
losses was 30,000 dollars; and the Prince told him confidentially that
if Wotan appeared in any more operas he should withdraw his patronage."

By dint of perseverance, together with the aid of various managers, I
succeeded in producing Wallace's _Maritana_. I first performed it over
in Brooklyn, where it met with the most unqualified success, nearly
every piece of music being encored, while Ravelli roused the audience to
frantic enthusiasm by a finely-delivered high C from the chest at the
conclusion of "Let me like a soldier fall." On a third encore he sang it
in English. I then returned to the New York Academy with this opera,
thus fulfilling the second of my promises in the prospectus.

It wanted now but nine days to the conclusion of my season, and as I had
given to the public, despite the grumbling and cavilling, all the
singers announced in my prospectus, I strained every nerve to produce
the last of my promised operas, which caused more difficulty than all
the others put together. This was _Manon_, which I succeeded in placing
on the stage with entirely new scenery and dresses, and with a
magnificent cast.

Glad indeed was I to shake the dust off my feet on leaving the Academy,
where during a course of some eight or nine years I had given the New
York public every available singer of eminence, including Adelina Patti,
Etelka Gerster, Albani, Fursch-Madi, Scalchi, Campanini, Aramburo,
Mierzwinski, Galassi, De Anna, Del Puente, Foli, and other celebrities.
I confess I was not chagrined when I gradually saw after a couple of
seasons had passed the downfall of the Anglo-German-American Opera
Company, which from the very beginning had failed to benefit musical art
in any way. Not a single work by an American composer was given, the
repertory being entirely made up of translations of German operas. I
also read without any deep regret of the total break-up of the Academy
with all its belongings. It is now the home of a "variety show."

This New York season of 1885 was a most disastrous one financially, as
it necessitated my closing for nearly a fortnight in order that the
promised productions should all be given. It was with great difficulty
that I could start the tour, as every combination seemed to be against

However, I opened at Boston with _Carmen_ early in January, 1886, to a
crowded house; the other performances of that week being _Fra Diavolo_,
_Manon_, _Maritana_, _Traviata_, and _Carmen_ for a _matinée_, the
receipts of which exceeded even those of its performance on the previous

During the second week _Faust_, _Don Giovanni_, _Rigoletto_, _Martha_,
etc., were performed. We left the next day for Philadelphia, where we
remained until the middle of the following week. From there we went on
to Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburg, Chicago, opening in the last-named
city very successfully with a performance of _Carmen_; when a violent
scene occurred during the third act from which may be said to date the
disastrous consequences which followed throughout the whole of the
route; one paper copying from another, with occasional exaggerations, so
that in every town we visited the public expected a similar disturbance.
Hence a general falling off in the receipts.

It was in the middle of the third act, when "Don José," the tenor
(Ravelli), was about to introduce an effective high note which generally
brought down the house, that "Carmen" rushed forward and embraced
him--why I could never understand. Being interrupted at the moment of
his effect, he was greatly enraged, and by his movements showed that he
had resolved to throw Madame Hauk into the orchestra. But she held
firmly on to his red waistcoat, he shouting all the time, "_Laissez
moi, Laissez moi!_" until all the buttons came off one by one, when she
retired hastily to another part of the stage. Ravelli rushed forward and
exclaimed, "_Regardez, elle a déchiré mon gilet!_" and with such rage
that he brought down thunders of applause, the people believing this
genuine expression of anger to be part of the play.

Shortly afterwards, on the descent of the curtain, a terrible scene
occurred, which led to my receiving this letter the following morning:--

                      "Palmer House, Chicago,

                        "February 9th, 1886.


"The vile language, the insults, and threats against the life of my wife
in presence of the entire Company, quite incapacitate her from singing
further, she being in constant fear of being stabbed or maltreated by
that artist, the unpleasant incident having quite upset her nervous
system. She is completely prostrate, and will be unable to appear again
in public before her health is entirely restored, which under present
aspects will take several weeks. I have requested two prominent
physicians of this city to examine her and send you their certificates.
Please, therefore, to withdraw her name from the announcements made for
the future.

"As a matter of duty, I trust you will feel the necessity to give ample
satisfaction to Miss Hauk for the shameful and outrageous insults to
which she was exposed last night, and Mr. Ravelli can congratulate
himself on my absence from the stage, when further scenes would have

"I fully recognize the unpleasant effect this incident may have on your
receipts, more especially so should I inflict upon him personally the
punishment he deserves.

"I am, dear Colonel Mapleson,

"Very truly yours,

"(Signed)        E. DE HESSE WARTEGG."

The following day I received this, other epistle:--

                                   "February 10th.


"My client, Baron Hesse Wartegg, has applied to me for advice concerning
the indignities which Signor Ravelli, of your troupe, has offered to
Mdme. Minnie Hauk on the stage. Signor Ravelli has uttered serious
threats against the lady, and has on several occasions in presence of
the public assaulted her and inflicted bodily injuries, notably on
Monday evening last, during the performance of _Carmen_. My client
wishes me to invoke the protection of the law against similar
occurrences, as Mdme. Hauk fears that her life is in imminent danger.
Under these circumstances I am compelled to apply to the magistrates for
a warrant against Signor Ravelli, in order that he may be bound over to
keep the peace. The law of this State affecting offences of this
character is very severe, and should the matter be brought to the
cognizance of our courts, Miss Hauk will not only have ample protection,
but Mr. Ravelli will be punished. It is her desire, however, to avoid
unpleasant notoriety, which would doubtless reflect on your entire
troupe, and on your undertaking to execute a bond for 2,000 dollars to
guarantee the future good conduct of Ravelli I shall proceed no further.
I respectfully invite your immediate attention to this, and beg you will
favour me with an early reply. Should I fail to hear from you before
to-morrow evening I shall construe your silence as a refusal to secure
proper protection for Miss Hauk and proceed accordingly.

"Miss Hauk and her husband are actuated by no other motives but those
which are prompted by the lady's own safety. Please favour me with an
early answer.

"Very respectfully yours,

      "(Signed)        WILLIAM VOCKE,

           "Attorney for Miss Minnie Hauk."

I had no option but to give the bond.

That evening Signor Arditi, on leaving the theatre, caught a severe
cold, which confined him to his bed, developing afterwards into an
attack of pneumonia. The assistant conductor, Signor Sapio, was attacked
by a similar malady; also Mdlle. Bauermeister, who was soon indeed in a
very dangerous condition.

The following evening Mdlle. Fohström appeared as "Lucia di Lammermoor,"
and met with very great success.

With much persuasion I induced Miss Hauk to reappear as "Carmen",
replacing Ravelli by the other tenor, De Falco.

During the ensuing week Arditi's condition became worse and worse. As we
were engaged to appear the following evening at Minneapolis we were
compelled to leave him behind as well as various other members of the
Company, who were also indisposed. Prior to my departure I saw the
doctor, who informed me that he considered Arditi's case hopeless; on
which I prepared a cable for his wife asking what was to be done with
his remains. This I left confidentially with the waiter.

I managed to get with the remnants of my Company to Minneapolis, where a
severe attack of gout developed itself, which confined me to my bed; I
in turn being left behind whilst the Company went on to St. Paul.

On the Company leaving St. Paul I managed to join the train on its road
to St. Louis, where we remained a week. On the last day of our stay
there I was pleased to see Arditi again able to join the Company, though
in a very delicate state. Mdme. Hauk arrived at St. Louis the last day
we were there. The following week we performed in Kansas City, where for
the opening we gave _Carmen_ with Minnie Hauk, followed by _Faust_ with
Mdme. Nordica as "Margherita." The following night at Topeka we played
_Lucia di Lammermoor_ with Fohström.

During these lengthened journeys across the Continent to the Pacific
Coast the whole of the salaries ran on as if the artists were performing

As a rule we all travelled together; but occasionally, when the distance
between one engagement and the next was too great, and the time too
short, we separated. Sometimes one town in which we performed was four
or five hundred miles away from the next. In that case the train was
either divided into two or into three pieces, as the case might be. For
instance, when we left for Chicago the engineer saw that he was unable
to get to that city in time for our engagement the same evening. He
therefore telegraphed back to Pittsburg, and the railroad officials
there telegraphed on to Fort Wayne to have two extra locomotives ready
for us. Our train was then cut into three parts, and sent whizzing along
to Chicago at a lively rate, getting there in plenty of time for the
evening's performance. It was wonderful, and nothing but a great
corporation like the Pennsylvania Railroad Company could accomplish such
a feat. By leaving at two o'clock in the morning we arrived at four the
same afternoon at our next destination, in ample time to perform that
evening; my hundred and sixty people having travelled a distance of four
or five hundred miles with scenery, dresses, and properties.

We afterwards visited St. Joseph and Denver, opening at the latter with
_Carmen_ on a Saturday at the Academy of Music. Early the next morning
we decided to give a grand Sunday concert at the Tabor Opera-house; but
as no printing could be done, and no newspapers were published, the
announcements had to be chalked upon the walls. With some difficulty we
got a programme printed towards the latter part of the day, but
notwithstanding this short announcement, so popular was the Company that
the house was literally packed full. We played at Cheyenne the following
evening, afterwards visiting Salt Lake City, where we presented
_Carmen_. The irascible Mr. Ravelli again showed temper, and by doing so
caused great inconvenience. I replaced him by one of the other tenors of
the Company.

Of course I was blamed for this. Ravelli, however, had declared himself
to be indisposed, and I at once published the certificate signed by Dr.

The opera went exceedingly well.

Immediately after the performance we started for San Francisco, where we
arrived the following Sunday afternoon, opening with _Carmen_ on the
Monday night before a most distinguished audience. Signor Ravelli
performed "Don José," but in a very careless manner, omitting the best
part of the music. He made little or no effect, whilst Minnie Hauk, who
had not recovered from her previous fatigues, obtained but a _succès

Meantime a sale of seats by auction, which had been held, was an entire

The second evening Mdlle. Fohström made a most brilliant success. The
third night was devoted to Massenet's _Manon_, in which Miss Hauk did
far better than on the opening night. The following evening we performed
_La Traviata_, in which Mdme. Nordica made her appearance, Signor
Giannini undertaking the _rôle_ of "Alfredo." During this time great
preparations were being made for a production of _L'Africaine_. The
whole of the scenery and dresses, even to the ship, had been brought to
the Pacific coast, at a considerable outlay; no less than £900 being
paid for overweight of baggage through transporting this costly vessel
across the plains.

The performance was a fine one, and the work was rendered admirably
throughout, the great ballets and the processions gaining immense

In the meantime a great deal of unpleasantness was going on in the
Company, which greatly crippled my movements, besides diminishing my
nightly receipts.

Although Ravelli, who was really the cause of all the trouble, had been
ill for nearly three weeks, he refused to sing any more unless his full
salary were paid him for the whole of the time. This, of course, I
refused, and law proceedings were the consequence.

De Anna, the baritone, had an engagement for the whole six months of our
American tour; and there was a clause in his contract which provided
that during the interval of eight days, about the latter part of
December, whilst the Company was idle, the salary should be suspended.
But on our resuming the tour Mr. De Anna immediately notified me that
unless I paid him for those eight days he would stop singing. This was
the commencement of my trouble with him. Prior to our arrival his salary
was handed to him, half in cash, and half in a cheque payable at San
Francisco. He presented his cheque at the bank before the money had been
placed there, and notified me that in consequence of non-payment he
refused to sing that evening. Thereupon the treasurer went down to his
hotel with the money, which was only a small amount of some £50 or £60.
But he refused to accept it and surrender the cheque. The money was
again tendered to him, and again refused.

De Anna, following suit with Ravelli, immediately inserted an
advertisement in the daily papers setting forth that the part of
"Nelusko" in _L'Africaine_ was one of the most arduous _rôles_ in the
_répertoire_ of a baritone, and that he alone was capable of performing
it; while he at the same time respectfully informed the public that he
did not intend to do so.

In the production of _L'Africaine_, however, Del Puente undertook the
_rôle_ of "Nelusko," and met with signal success, so that the
recalcitrant baritone was left out in the cold and not missed. This
tended still further to rouse his ire, and he resorted to a series of
daily statements of some kind or other with the view of discrediting the

It was, indeed, a trying matter to me. The baritone, De Anna, refused to
sing, and Ravelli was in bed with a bad cold; so, too, was Mdlle.
Fohström. News, moreover, arrived from Minneapolis that Mdme. Nordica's
mother, who had been left there, was at the point of death. Nordica
insisted on rushing off at a moment's notice to make the journey of five
days in the hope of reaching her while she was yet alive; and the rest
of the Company were in open rebellion.

The season, however, despite these almost insurmountable difficulties,
was a complete artistic success; and the Company I presented to my
supporters in San Francisco was one that would have done honour to any
European Opera-house. But, again, the name of _la Diva_ being missing,
the patronage accorded me was of a most scanty kind. The wealthy and
luxurious inhabitants of the suggestively named "Nobs' Hill" remained
carefully away.

I managed, however, to give the twenty-four consecutive performances
promised, together with three Sunday concerts, the penultimate
performance being devoted to my benefit.



San Francisco, or Frisco, as the inhabitants pleasantly call it, is at
the end of the American world; it is the toe of the stocking beyond
which there is no further advance. For this reason many persons who go
to Frisco with the intention of coming back do, as a matter of fact,
remain. It is comparatively easy to get there, but the return may be
difficult. It is obviously a simpler matter to scrape together enough
money for a single journey than to collect sufficient funds for a
journey to and fro; and the capital of California is full of
newly-settled residents, many of whom, having got so far, have found
themselves without the means of retracing their steps.

At the period of the operatic campaign conducted by me--which,
beginning most auspiciously, ended in trouble, disaster, and a retreat
that was again and again on the point of being cut off--contending
railway companies had so arranged matters that access to San Francisco
was easier than ever. The war of rates had been carried on with such
severity that the competing railway companies had at last, in their
determination of outstripping one another, reduced the charge for
carriage from Omaha to Frisco to a nominal sum per head. £20 (100
dollars) was the amount levied for conveying a passenger to Frisco
direct; but on his arrival at the Frisco terminus £19 was returned to
him as "rebate" when he gave up his ticket.

The rates from Frisco to New York had also been considerably reduced;
and it was not until, after a series of pecuniary failures, we were on
the point of starting that, to our confusion and my despair, they were
suddenly raised. I had a force of 160 under my command, with an unusual
proportion of baggage; and this hostile move on the part of the railway
companies had the immediate effect of arresting my egress from the city.

Ravelli, possibly at the suggestion of his oracular dog (who always gave
him the most perfidious counsel), had laid an embargo on all the music,
thus delaying our departure, which would otherwise have been effected
while the railway companies were still at war. They seemed to have come
to an understanding for the very purpose of impeding my retreat.
Ravelli suffered more than I did by his inconsiderate behaviour, for he
was entirely unable, with or without the aid of his canine adviser, to
look after his own interests.

It must be understood that in America a creditor or any claimant for
money, _bonâ-fide_ or not, can in the case of a foreigner commence
process by attaching the property of the alleged debtor. This may be
done on a simple affidavit, and the matter is not brought before the
Courts until afterwards.

All the foreigner can do in return is to find "bondsmen" who will
guarantee his appearance at a future period, or, in default, payment of
the sum demanded; and it has happened to me when I have been on the
point of taking ship to be confronted by a number of claimants, each of
whom had procured an order empowering him either to arrest me or to
seize my effects. I used, therefore, on my way to the steamer, or it
might be the railway station, to march, attended by a couple of
"bondsmen" and a Judge. The "bondsmen" gave the necessary security, the
Judge signed his acceptance of the proffered guarantee, and I was then
at liberty to depart.

Once, as I have already shown, I had to suffer attachment of my receipts
at the hands of a body of "scalpers," who, when I had liberated the
money through the aid of two friendly "bondsmen" and a courteous Judge,
abandoned their claim; though when next year I returned to Frisco they
could, of course, had it not been absolutely groundless, have pressed
it before the proper tribunal.

Among other extraordinary claims made upon me immediately after the
affair of the "scalpers" was one for 400 gallons of eau de Cologne. Some
such quantity had, it was alleged, been ordered for fountains that were
to play in front of the Opera-house; but the dealers, in lieu of eau de
Cologne, had furnished me chiefly with water of the country. They swore,
however, that I really owed them the money they demanded, and an
attachment was duly granted.

It was through the treachery, then, of the dog-fearing Ravelli that our
misfortunes in Frisco were brought to something like a crisis. In
seizing the music in which the whole Company had an interest the
thoughtless tenor was, of course, injuring himself and preparing his own
discomfiture. The effect of his action was in any case to stop for a
time my departure. We had evacuated the city, and now found ourselves
blocked and isolated at the railway station. The railways would not have
us at any price but their own. The hotel keepers were by no means
anxious for our return, and some of the members of my Company had a
healthy horror of running up hotel bills they were unable to pay. This
may in part at least have been inspired by the following notice which,
or something to the same effect, may be found exhibited in most of the
Western hotels:--

       *       *       *       *       *

    _An Act to Protect Hotel and Boarding-house Keepers._

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the
     State of Missouri as follows:--

"Section I.--Every person who shall obtain board or lodging in any hotel
or boarding-house by means of any statement or pretence, or shall fail
or refuse to pay therefor, shall be held to have obtained the same with
the intent to cheat and defraud such hotel or boarding-house keeper, and
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and upon conviction thereof
shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by
imprisonment in the county gaol or city workhouse not exceeding six
months, or by both (such) fine and imprisonment.

"Section II.--It shall be the duty of every hotel and boarding-house
keeper in this State to post a printed copy of this Act in a conspicuous
place in each room of his or her hotel or boarding-house, and no
conviction shall be had under the foregoing section until it shall be
made to appear to the satisfaction of the Court that the provisions of
this section have been substantially complied with by the hotel or
boarding-house keeper making the complaint.

"Approved March 25th, 1885."

       *       *       *       *       *

I had, counting principals, chorus, ballet, and orchestra, 160 persons
under my care, and by the terms of the hotel notice just reproduced the
penalties incurred by my Company, had they quartered themselves upon
innkeepers without possessing the means of paying their bills, would
have amounted in the gross to £16,000 in fines and eighty years in
periods of imprisonment. It was evidently better to bivouac in the open
than to run the chance of so crushing a punishment.

A deputation of the chorus waited upon me, saying that as their artistic
career seemed to be at an end, it would be as well for them to take to
the sale of bananas and ice creams in the streets; whilst others
proposed to start restaurants, or to blacken their faces and form
themselves into companies of Italian niggers.

Some of the female choristers wished to take engagements as cooks, and
one ancient dame who in her early youth had sold flowers on the banks of
the Arno thought it would be pretty and profitable to resume in Frisco
the occupation which she had pursued some thirty or forty years
previously at Florence.

All these chorus singers seemed to have a trade of some kind to depend
upon. In Italy they had been choristers only by night, and in the day
time had followed the various callings to which now in their difficult
position they desired to return. All I was asked for by my choristers
was permission to consider themselves free, and in a few cases a little
money with which to buy wheelbarrows. I adjured them, however, to remain
faithful to me, and soon persuaded them that if they stuck to the
colours all would yet be right. For forty-eight hours they remained
encamped outside the theatre. Fortunately they were in a climate as
beautiful as that of their native land; and with a little macaroni,
which they cooked in the open air, a little Californian wine, which
costs next to nothing, and a little tobacco they managed to get on.

             _From the "Morning Call."_

"The scene outside the Grand Opera-house looked very much like Act 3
from _Carmen_--about 100 antique and picturesque members of Mapleson's
chorus and ballet, male and female, were sitting or lying on their
baggage where they had passed the night. As these light-hearted and
light-pursed children of sunny Italy lay basking in the sun they helped
the hours to pass by card playing, cigarette smoking, and the exercise
of other international vices. One could notice that there was a sort of
expectant fear amongst them seldom seen in people of their class."

What above all annoyed them was that they were not allowed to go to
their trunks, an embargo having been laid not only on my music, but on
the whole of the Company's baggage. One of them, Mdme. Isia, wished to
get something out of her box, but she was warned off by the Sheriff, who
at once drew his revolver.

The Oakland steamer was ready to carry us across the bay to the railway
station as soon as we should be free to depart. But there were
formalities still to go through and positive obstacles to overcome. At
last my anxious choristers, looking everywhere for some sign, saw me
driving towards them in a buggy with the Sheriff's officer. I bore in my
hand a significant bit of blue paper which I waved like a flag as I
approached them. They responded with a ringing cheer. They understood me
and knew that they were saved.

How, it will be asked, did the Company lose its popularity with the
American public to such an extent as to be unable to perform with any
profitable result? In the first place several of the singers had fallen
ill, and though the various maladies by which they were affected could
not by any foresight on my part have been prevented, the public, while
recognizing that fact, ended at last by losing faith in a Company whose
leading members were invalids.

One of the St. Louis papers had given at the time a detailed account of
the illnesses from which so many members of my Company were suffering.

"An astonishing amount of sickness," said the writer, "has seriously
interfered with the success of the Italian Opera. Fohström and Dotti
sang during the engagement, but both complained of colds and
sore-throats, and claimed that their singing was not near as good as it
usually is. Minnie Hauk had a cold and stayed all the week in St. Paul.
Mdlle. Bauermeister could not sing on account of bronchitis. Signor
Belasco was compelled to have several teeth pulled out, and complained
of swollen gums. Mdme. Nordica was sick, without going into particulars.
Signor Rigo was sick after the same fashion. Signor Sapio was attacked
by quinsy at Chicago, and returned to New York. Signor Arditi, the
musical conductor, was confined to his bed with pneumonia. Mdme.
Lablache had a bad cold and appeared with difficulty. Many of the
costumes failed to appear because Signor Belasco, the armourer, was
taken sick en route, and held the keys of the trunks."

The illness from which so many of the members of my Company were
suffering might, in part at least, be accounted for by their reckless
gaiety at St. Paul. The winter festival was in full swing, and the
ice-palace and tobogganing had charms for my vocalists, which they were
unable to resist. They went sliding down the hill several times every
day. The ladies would come home with their clinging garments thoroughly
wet. They caught cold as a matter of course, and the sport they had had
sliding down hill took several thousand dollars out of my pocket.

Minnie Hauk was nearly crazy on tobogganing; so was Nordica. Signori
Sapio and Rigo tried heroically to keep up with the ladies in this
sport, and were afterwards threatened with consumption as a reward for
their gallant efforts.

But it was above all the conflict between Ravelli and Minnie Hauk in
_Carmen_ that did us harm, for the details of the affair soon got known
and were at once reproduced in all the papers. It has been seen that Mr.
von Wartegg found it necessary to bring Ravelli before the police
magistrate and get him bound over on a very heavy penalty to keep the
peace towards Mdme. von Wartegg, otherwise Mdme. Minnie Hauk; and the
case, as a matter of course, was fully reported.

What could the public think of an Opera Company in which the tenor was
always threatening to murder the prima donna, while the prima donna's
husband found himself forced to take up a position at one of the wings
bearing a revolver with which he proposed to shoot the tenor the moment
he showed the slightest intention of approaching the personage for whom
he is supposed to entertain an ungovernable passion? "Don José" was,
according to the opera, madly in love with "Carmen." But it was an
understood thing between the singers impersonating these two characters
that they were to keep at a respectful distance one from the other.
Ravelli was afraid of Minnie Hauk's throttling him while engaged in the
emission of a high B flat; and Minnie Hauk, on her side, dreaded the
murderous knife with which Ravelli again and again had threatened her.
Love-making looks, under such conditions, a little unreal. "I adore you;
but I will not allow you under pretence of embracing me to pinch my

"If you don't keep at a respectful distance I will stab you!"

Such contradictions between words and gestures, between the music of the
singers and their general demeanour towards one another, could not
satisfy even the least discriminating of audiences; and the American
public, if appreciative, is also critical.

With some of my singers ill in bed, others quarrelling and fighting
among themselves on the public stage, my Company got the credit of being
entirely disorganized, and at every fresh city we visited our receipts
became smaller and smaller. The expenditure meanwhile in salaries,
travelling expenses, law costs, and hotel bills was something enormous.
The end of it all was that at San Francisco we found ourselves defeated
and compelled to seek safety in flight.

We did our best at one final performance to get in a little money with
which to begin the retreat; and I must frankly admit that the
hotel-keepers on whom the various members of my Company were at this
time quartered did their very best to push the sale of tickets, for in
that alone lay their hope of getting their bills paid.

It has been seen that at one time I was threatened with a complete
break-up: my forces seemed on the point of dispersing.

I succeeded, however, in keeping the Company together with the exception
only of Ravelli, Cherubini, and Mdlle. Devigne, who afterwards started
to give representations on their own account, and soon found themselves
in a worse plight than even their former associates who had the loyalty
and the sense to remain with me. After much aimless rambling they
turned their heads towards New York, which, in the course of two months,
they contrived by almost superhuman efforts to reach.

Before leaving, Ravelli, as I have shown, dealt me a treacherous blow by
getting an embargo laid on my music as if to secure him payment of money
due, but which was proved not to be owing as soon as the matter was
brought before the Court. That there may be no mistake on this point I
will here give exact reproductions of Ravelli's claim as set forth in
due legal form, and of my reply thereto. Apart from the substance of the
case, it will interest the reader to see that an American brief bears
but little resemblance to the ponderous document known by that name in
England. An American lawyer sets forth in plain direct language what in
England would be concealed beneath a mass of puzzling and almost
unintelligible verbiage. I may add that law papers in America are not
pen-written but type-written, being thus made clear not only to the
mind, but also to the eye. In America a lawyer arrives in Court with a
few type-written papers in the breast-pocket of his coat. In England he
would be attended by an unhappy boy groaning beneath the weight of a
whole mass of scribbled paper divided into numerous parcels, each one
tied up with red tape.

I will now give the documents in the case of Ravelli against Mapleson,
which, after being heard, was dismissed, but which, in spite of the
admirable rapidity of American law proceedings, caused me several days'
delay, and, as a result, incalculable losses; for apart from the sudden
rise in the railway rates I missed engagements at several important
cities along my line of march.

  "_Superior Court City and County of San Francisco_,
                    _State of California_.

  "LUIGI RAVELLI, Plaintiff, v. J. H. MAPLESON,


"Plaintiff above named complains of defendant above named, and for cause
of action alleges:

"That between the 4th day of February 1886, and the 4th day of April
1886 the Plaintiff rendered services to the defendant at said
defendant's special instance and request, in the capacity of an Opera

"That for said services the said defendant promised to pay plaintiff a
salary at the rate of twenty-four hundred dollars per month.

"That said defendant has not paid the said salary or any part thereof,
and no part of the same has been paid, and plaintiff has often demanded
payment thereof.

"Wherefore plaintiff demands judgment against the defendant for the sum
of forty-eight hundred dollars and costs of suit and interest.

              "Attorneys for Plaintiff."

  _"State of California, City and County of San

"LUIGI RAVELLI being duly sworn says that he is the Plaintiff in the
above entitled action. That he has heard read the foregoing complaint
and knows the contents thereof. That the same is true of his own
knowledge except as to the matters therein stated on his information and
belief and as to those matters he believes the same to be true.

                         "LUIGI RAVELLI

"Sworn to before me this 10th day of April 1886.

                        "SAMUEL HERINGHIE,

                           "Dep. Co. Clerk."

In reply to the above my attorney and friend, the invincible General W.
H. L. Barnes, put in the following "answer and cross complaint":--

  "_In the Superior Court of the State of California in
      and for the City and County of San Francisco._

  "LUIGI RAVELLI, Plaintiff, v. J. H. MAPLESON,

"Now comes J. H. Mapleson defendant in the above entitled action by W.
H. L. Barnes his attorney and for answer to the complaint of Luigi
Ravelli the plaintiff in the above entitled action respectfully shows to
the Court and alleges as follows:

"The defendant denies that between the 4th day of February A.D. 1886
and the 4th day of April 1886 or between any other dates plaintiff
rendered services to the defendant at defendant's special instance or
request or otherwise in the capacity of an opera singer or otherwise
except as hereinafter stated.

"Defendant denies that for said alleged services or otherwise or at all
this defendant promised to pay plaintiff the salary of twenty-four
hundred dollars per month or any sum except as is hereinafter stated.

"Defendant admits that he has not paid the said plaintiff for his
alleged services since the 4th day of February A.D. 1886; but he denies
that the same or any part thereof is due to plaintiff from the

"And further answering the defendant alleges and shows to the Court as

"That heretofore to wit on or about the 22nd day of July A.D. 1885 at
the City of London, England, the plaintiff Luigi Ravelli and this
defendant made and entered into a contract in writing in and by which it
was agreed substantially as follows:--

"1st: That said Ravelli engaged as primo tenore assoluto for
performances in Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States with the
defendant, said engagement to begin at the commencement of the season
about the 1st of November A.D. 1885 and to close at the end of the
American season, the salary of said plaintiff to be twenty-four hundred
dollars per month payable monthly. The said Ravelli agreed to sing in
Concerts as well as in Operas, but not to sing either in public nor in
private houses in the Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland, or the United
States during 1885-6 without the written permission of the defendant.
The said plaintiff also agreed in and by said contract to conform
himself to the ordinary rules of the Theatre, and to appear for
rehearsals, representations, and concerts at the place and at the
precise time indicated by the official call, and in case the said
plaintiff should violate said undertaking, the defendant had the right
to deduct a week's salary from the compensation of the plaintiff, or at
his option to entirely cancel the said agreement as by said contract now
in the possession of the defendant, and ready to be produced as the
Court may direct, reference being thereunto had may fully and at large

"And the defendant further says that after the making of said contract,
said plaintiff commenced to render services as an Opera singer under
said contract, and so continued down to about the 8th day of February
1886 at which time this defendant was in the City of Chicago, State of
Illinois, and was then and there with his Opera Company engaged in
giving representations of Operas, and the like at the Columbia Theatre
in said City. That on the night of said day, and while the Opera Company
of this defendant was engaged in giving a representation of the Opera
known as _Carmen_ in which Madame Minnie Hauk assumed the _rôle_ of
'Carmen,' and the said Ravelli the _rôle_ of 'Don José,' the said
Ravelli while on the stage, and in the presence of the audience
violently assaulted said Madame Minnie Hauk and threatened then and
there to take her life, and shouted at her the most violently insulting
epithets and language; that his conduct caused said Madame Minnie Hauk
to become violently ill, and she so continued, and from time to time was
unable to perform, thereby compelling this defendant to change the
operas he had proposed and advertised to give, causing great public
disappointment, and great pecuniary loss to this defendant.

"And the defendant further says that from about the 8th day of February
1885 to and until the 20th of February 1885 plaintiff refused to perform
any of the parts set down for him to sing, or to attend rehearsals, or
to obey calls as they were sent to him, and generally conducted himself
in a brutal and insubordinate manner. That on the 20th of February at
said City of Chicago this defendant with great difficulty persuaded him
to act and sing in the part of 'Arturo' in the Opera of _I Puritani_,
but before said last named day, he had been regularly and formally
notified and called to the rehearsals of the Opera of _Mignon_, and to
rehearse, and sing the part of 'Guglielmo,' and he refused so to do, and
tore up the calls, or notices sent to him therefor, and threw them in
the face of defendant's messenger. The said Ravelli was announced to
the public to sing the _rôle_ of said 'Guglielmo' in said opera of
_Mignon_ in all advertisements and notices for the 19th day of February
A.D. 1885, but wholly refused and neglected so to do, and also neglected
and refused to appear and sing in the _rôle_ of 'Don José' in _Carmen_,
announced in bills and advertised for February 20th, 1885.

"That after this defendant had as aforesaid persuaded said Luigi Ravelli
to sing in the part of _I Puritani_, he continued to sing until the 13th
March, at which time this defendant was with his Company at the City of
Denver, in the Territory of Colorado, at which time and place he again
without reason or excuse neglected and refused to sing in a public
concert advertised and given in said City by this defendant.

"That thereafter and until the 6th of April 1885 said Ravelli was
insubordinate, disrespectful, and self-willed in all his relations with
this defendant, and falsely pretended to be unable to sing with the
exception of two occasions, and on each of such occasions, without
permission of this defendant, and without notice, he wilfully omitted
the various principal airs and songs in the presence of the public who
had paid to hear him sing the same, thereby causing this defendant great
annoyance and loss by reason of the disappointment of the public, and
the ill-will of the public towards this defendant caused thereby. That
during the past four weeks during which this defendant has been with his
said Company in the City and County of San Francisco the said Ravelli
has repeatedly wilfully broken his contract, disappointed the public and
greatly injured this defendant in his enterprise in business. He has
sung only twice during all said period, and on his first appearance
wilfully and maliciously omitted to sing a principal part of the music
set down for him to sing, thereby disappointing the public, interrupting
and injuring the representation and inflicting great injury and loss on
this defendant.

"That on the 10th of April last the said Luigi Ravelli was duly called
to rehearsal, and to sing certain music selected by himself, and which
he had requested this defendant to insert in the Concert programme for
April 11th, but refused to rehearse or sing at said concert although
this defendant had caused to be prepared said music and the band parts
thereof to be written out, and arranged to suit the pleasure and caprice
of said plaintiff.

"That said Ravelli not only refused to sing, but then and there declared
he would sing no longer for this defendant, and falsely and maliciously
inserted advertisements and notices in certain of the public newspapers
of San Francisco, which notices and publications were greatly to the
injury of this defendant.

"That all of which doings of said plaintiff were in breach of his
contract with this defendant, and greatly to this defendant's damage,
and to his damage in the sum of five thousand dollars.

"And this defendant further says that he has repeatedly condoned the
violations by said plaintiff of said contract with this defendant and
his violence and brutality towards persons of the Company other than
this defendant in the hope that he will ultimately come to his senses,
and behave himself as he should; but that all this defendant's
forbearance towards him has been of no effect, and has led only to
repeated and further violations of his contract.

"Wherefore this defendant alleges that all and singular the said acts
and doings of said Ravelli have constituted, and are so many breaches of
his said contract with this defendant and that the same have been to the
damage of this defendant over and above the amount of salary to which
the said Ravelli would have been entitled had he properly conducted
himself in the respects aforesaid, the full sum of five thousand

"Wherefore the defendant demands that the said complaint be dismissed,
and that he may have and recover of the plaintiff as damages for the
breach of his said contract with this defendant the sum of five thousand
dollars, together with the costs of the action and disbursements
incurred in defending this action.

                    "W. H. L. BARNES,

               "Attorney for Defendant."

   "_State of California, City and County of San Francisco_.

"J. H. MAPLESON being duly sworn deposes and says that he is the
defendant in the above entitled action, that he has read the foregoing
answer and cross-complaint and knows the contents thereof; that the same
is true of his own knowledge except as to those matters which are
therein stated on his own information and belief and that as to those
matters that he believes it to be true.

                                  "J. H. MAPLESON.

"Subscribed and sworn to before me this 16th day of April A.D. 1886.

[Illustration: SEAL.]

                                  "GEO. F. KNOX,
                                    "Notary Public."

The suit having been promptly terminated in my favour (General Barnes
wins all his cases, even when they are not quite as good as mine was) I
had to pay a few dollars for law expenses, and the embargo on the music
and baggage was raised. But we could not start on our long journey with
something like ten dollars among the whole one hundred and sixty of us,
and I had still many difficulties to contend with before I could make a
start. In London or Paris I should have begun by parting with my
valuable jewellery, but this I could not do in an American city without
everyone getting at once to know of it. That jewellery cannot pass from
hand to hand without some reasonable proof of ownership being given is
undoubtedly an excellent thing, though it did not suit my particular
case. In England we are such lovers of liberty that a low-class
pawnbroker or a receiver of stolen goods is free to purchase or to
accept as a pledge whatever may be offered to him without asking
inconvenient questions, or troubling himself in any way as to how the
property came into the hands of the person anxious to dispose of it. In
America the vendor or pledger of any article of value must give his real
name and address, and at the same time brings as reference some
respectable person, whose name and address must also be given. This
reminds me (if for a few moments I may be allowed to depart from the
thread of my story) that in America spirits cannot legally be sold to
anyone under the age of fifteen, nor under any circumstances to women.
In England we are so wonderfully free that women and children may buy
penn'orths of gin at any public-house; and one enterprising publican is
said to have made a large fortune by establishing in his drink-den a
metal counter low enough to suit the convenience of small children.

I was obliged to leave a fifty-pound ring at one hotel as security for
the payment of a singer's bill, and, oddly enough, when this ring was
afterwards forwarded me in a registered letter to New York it was seized
at the moment of my opening the packet by a creditor, or rather a
claimant, who, for a pretended debt, had procured an attachment against
my effects; so that it was not until after I had gone through several
formalities that I could get it finally into my possession.

I remember a case in which an American manager, whose receipts had been
attached, made a point of putting the money, as it was paid at the
doors, into his pockets, which in a very short time were laden with
coin. To attach the money that a man carries in his pockets a special
order known as a "garnishee" is necessary; and the attachment of money
carried on the person cannot be obtained unless the bearer admits that
he has it about him, or can be proved on sworn evidence to have made
such an admission within the hearing of another person.

When an attachment has once been obtained the order of attachment can be
sent on by telegraph to be enforced, wherever the person against whom it
has been granted possesses property. On the other hand, as a
counterbalancing advantage, a manager may pledge his receipts by
telegraph, and one man may at any time send money to another by the same
means at quite a nominal charge. Deposit the money at a telegraph
office, and the clerk telegraphs to the office of the place where your
correspondent is staying that a sum equal in amount to the one deposited
is to be forthwith paid. Our post-office orders are issued at usurious
rates, and within limited hours. One cannot, however, but foresee the
day when we shall be reasonable enough in this, as in so many other
matters of practical life, to imitate the Americans.

It was absolutely necessary for me at the last moment to part with a
certain amount of jewellery, and this I contrived to do without, I
hope, attracting too much attention. I was spared the annoyance of
seeing the details of each separate sale recorded in the newspapers.

I calculated that the losses caused to me by Ravelli's preposterous
conduct amounted to at least 10,000 dollars. At some of the cities along
the great line of railway, where I had engaged to give performances, I
was unable, having lost the dates that had been fixed, to get others;
and at one city, where the manager gave me another date, he stopped the
whole of the receipts; which he said were due to him as damages for the
injury done to him by not performing on the evening originally

On the morning of our departure--our escape, I may say--from the city
where, a year before, we had been so prosperous, and whence I had borne
away not a small, but a very considerable fortune, I was awakened about
one o'clock in the morning by a Chinaman, a negro, and several Italian
choristers, all crying out for money. But I satisfied every claim before
I left; and I was more astonished than delighted to find myself
complimented on having done so by one of the San Francisco papers, in
which it was pointed out that I could easily have saved myself the
trouble and pain in which I had been involved by taking a ticket and
travelling eastward on my own account, leaving the Company to take care
of themselves in the Californian capital.

I was not in a position to give gratuities to all who, in my opinion,
deserved them. But John O'Molloy, the gasman of the Opera-house, had
stood by me manfully in all my troubles; and I could not leave without
making him a small present. In doing so I rendered the poor fellow a
truly tragic service; inasmuch as, for the sake of the twenty-five
dollar note which I gave him, he was the same evening robbed and

On the whole, though in the midst of my difficulties I had been worried
a little by interviewers, the San Francisco papers gave me good words at
parting. One of them explained my pecuniary failure not by the scandal
which Ravelli's conduct had caused, but by my having played to popular
prices, instead of the exceptionally high ones which I had charged when
the year before Patti was singing for me, and receiving at the time
payment at the rate of £1,000 a night.

"Opera," said the journal in question, "is regarded as a luxury, to
enjoy which its votaries are willing to pay liberally. High prices are
its illusion, and when put down to current rates the romance of the
thing is destroyed. Mapleson did not appear to understand this, and his
deficiency of the knowledge has caused him to leave us almost a bankrupt
by his San Francisco venture. It is admitted on all hands that he had a
splendid troupe, but the fact of his performing to what are known as
popular prices, and complications arising with certain members of his
troupe, seem to deprive him of his usual success."

"By the way," said a writer in the paper called _Truth_, "I notice that
Mapleson is said to be indebted to Ravelli for 6,000 dollars, though an
artist notoriously never permits an impresario to owe him more than a
few performances. [It was proved in Court that I owed him nothing.] At
home, as everybody knows, in their own country they receive in about a
year as much as they are paid in a month in America, the streets of
which the average Italian singer imagines to be paved with gold coins.
As to the success or failure of the venture of the impresario they are
supremely indifferent, but pertinaciously continue to demand the utmost
farthing, no matter how badly things may be going. Lyric artists are, as
a rule, the most grossly ignorant people on all subjects, except their
own special art, and money. They are intensely conceited and abominably
selfish, and regard an impresario as their natural prey. The sums that
Ravelli has received from Mapleson in the last few years are beyond
question sufficient to maintain the tenor in comfort and luxury for the
rest of his life. Yet the moment he fails to receive his _quid pro quo_
he refuses to render his services, denouncing his manager as a swindler,
and abandons him at a moment when by loyalty and a little patience he
could have aided in relieving the ill-fortune which must inevitably be
anticipated in operatic affairs. Of course on general commercial
principles the labourer is worthy of his hire; but in operatic matters
the hire is, as a rule, so entirely out of proportion to the services
rendered, and the conditions of the enterprise so unlike any other
venture, that a little latitude certainly ought to be allowed."

I found on my arrival at Chicago that one of the Chicago papers had, at
the beginning of my troubles, published the following telegram from its
correspondent at San Francisco:--

"Mapleson is fighting his last week of opera at San Francisco in the
teeth of dissensions, his first tenor having published a card to the
purport that Mapleson had not fulfilled his obligations with him, and
that he would not sing unless he published an announcement over his own
name. The _San Francisco Chronicle_, the leading paper, therefore calls
on all music lovers to rally in force for Mapleson's benefit on the
16th. The absurd prices Mapleson pays his operatic cut-throats makes the
opera business a ruinous one. Covered with trophies and a due proportion
of scars from his many campaigns, Mapleson will march his forces into
Chicago to-morrow, Sunday, bivouacing for the night at the Chicago
Opera-house, where his principal members will be heard in a sacred

"The different performances given, notwithstanding all these operatic
troubles, have been of that high standard which Mapleson alone has ever
presented to us. Mapleson remains with us another week. Such
performances as he has given are in but few places to be found. No Opera
Company existing to-day has a better troupe of singers. There appears to
exist a general impression among certain of the newspapers that Colonel
Mapleson is operatically dead, and entirely out of the hunt. By his
advent here, he proves to the public that he is still on deck."

My plan of retreat was well devised, and with a little good luck might
have been thoroughly successful. As it was, it at least enabled us,
without too much delay, to reach New York, and from New York to take
ship for Liverpool.

Unable to command the railroad in a direct way from Frisco to New York,
I determined to undertake a series of engagements at certain selected
points all along the line. If the first of these proved successful I
should be in a better position for my second encounter. It was certain
in any case that at each fresh city I should be able to levy
contributions; and with the money thus raised I could lay in a new stock
of provisions and continue my advance by rail in the direction of New
York, ready to stop at the first city whose population and resources
might make it worth my while to do so.

Going back a little I must here explain that before leaving San
Francisco, in order that Mdme. Minnie Hauk might be fresh for the
proposed performance at Omaha, I had sent her on two days in advance--a
distance of not more than 1,867 miles; whilst Mdme. Nordica was placed
at another strategical point 2,500 miles away, at Minneapolis. She had
to attend her sick mother, but was prepared to rejoin us when called
upon to do so. Mdlle. Alma Fohström, not having sufficiently recovered
from her late indisposition, was left behind at San Francisco, 2,400
miles from the scene of my next operations.

From Louisville, Kentucky, I telegraphed Mdme. Minnie Hauk to come on at
once to play _Carmen_ for the second night of our season; and she
arrived in good time. She sang the same evening.

Mdme. Nordica received orders to join us at Indianapolis, where she was
to appear in _La Traviata_, which she duly did the following Friday;
whilst Mdlle. Alma Fohström, now recovered, was brought on from San
Francisco to Cincinnati, a distance of some 2,500 miles, to perform in
_Lucia di Lammermoor_. She also arrived punctually, and sang the same

I mention this small fact to show what can be accomplished with a little
discipline. The reason why Mdme. Minnie Hauk was sent on to Omaha
beforehand was in order that, by announcing her arrival in that city, I
might give confidence to the public, it having been reported that my
Company was broken up. Hence there was no booking; though had we
arrived punctually for the opera on the promised date, my receipts,
which I had already pledged to the Railway Company to get out of San
Francisco, would certainly have been not less than £500 or £600. Mdme.
Minnie Hauk, moreover, would have been saved a détour of some 2,400

Altogether I lost about £2,000, as I missed Omaha on the Friday,
Burlington on the Saturday, Chicago on the Sunday, and my first
performance in Louisville on the Monday.

Notwithstanding my all but insurmountable difficulties the performances
never stopped, an announced opera was never altered, and the whole of
the promised representations actually took place in each city; the press
notices, which I still preserve, being unanimous as to the excellence of
the representations.

I may mention that the travelling on these lines averages some 25 miles
an hour only, there being several very steep gradients on the road. In
some instances the train goes up over 3,000 feet in 57 miles, and down
again; whilst the height of several mountains traversed by the train
reaches from 7,000 to 8,000 feet.



When the Company started for the steamer which was to ferry us across to
the railway station, further trouble arose in consequence of the
increased sums demanded (now that the rates had been got up) for the
Pullman cars which I had ordered for the principal artists; amounting to
a considerable sum. But this difficulty was ultimately surmounted, and
we left early on Wednesday evening for Omaha, where we were due on the
Friday following.

My private car, moreover, had been let, and I was forced to engage an
ordinary Pullman, with no facilities whatever for cooking or even
heating water. Hasty purchases had now to be made of wine, coffee, etc.,
and a few tins of preserved meats; and a start was made for Omaha.

I was obliged to make arrangements not only for provisioning my
principal artists, but also for cooking their food. I bought, when we
were on the point of starting, a couple of hams and some cans of tinned
meat, wine, and several gallons of whisky; the latter being intended not
for internal consumption, but simply for cooking purposes. I found that
there was no kitchen in the train, and I was obliged to improvise one as
best I could. Del Puente, besides being an excellent singer, is a very
tolerable second-rate cook; and I appointed him to the duty of preparing
the macaroni (which I must admit he did in first-rate style), and of
acting generally as kitchenmaid and scullion. I myself officiated as
_chef_, and saw at the close of each day that the eminent baritone
washed up the plates and dishes and kept the kitchen utensils generally
in good order.

Early every morning I prepared the coffee for breakfast; and I believe
no better, and certainly no hotter coffee was ever made than that which
one day just before the breakfast hour I upset, through a jolt of the
train, over my unhappy legs.

The fresh invigorating air of the mountains and of the spacious plains
may have had something to do with it; but to judge from results, I may
fairly say that my cooking was appreciated. My eight principal artists
were, moreover, in charming temper. All professional jealousy and
rivalry had been forgotten, except perhaps on the part of Del Puente,
who did not quite like the secondary position which I had assigned to
an artist who had previously refused all but leading parts.

At most of the principal stations we were able to purchase eggs,
chickens, tomatoes, and salad. There was generally, moreover, a cow in
the neighbourhood; and wherever we had an opportunity of doing so we
laid in a supply of fresh milk.

While on the subject of cows, I must say a word as to the cruel fate
which these unhappy beasts meet with at the hands of the railway people.
In front of every train there is a "cow-catcher," which, when a cow gets
on the line, shunts the wretched animal off and at the same time breaks
its legs. I begged the driver more than once to stop the train and put
the mutilated animal out of its misery with a revolver shot, but it was
not thought worth while.

When a cow is destroyed by the "cow-catcher" the owner can claim from
the railway company half its value; and it is said that in bad times
when cattle are low in the market, or worse still, unsaleable, they are
driven on to the line with a view to destruction. I have often in a
day's journey perceived hundreds of the bleached skeletons of the
animals killed outright by the "cow-catcher," or maimed and left to die.
An inspector, appointed by the railway company, passes from time to time
along the line and, after settling up, marks in the left ear and at the
tip of the tail the dead beasts for which the company has paid. The
former owner disposes of the carcasses and hides; the latter alone
possessing appreciable value. The former are left on the ground to
become food for the crows; though the Indians will sometimes cut away
portions of the meat when they come upon a beast which is still fresh.

During our eight days' journey I acted not only as cook, but also as
butler; and our various wines, all of Californian growth, were
excellent. They cost from 8d to 10d a bottle, and I was not alone in
regarding them as of excellent quality. Singers are not great wine
drinkers, but they are accustomed to wines of the first quality; and I
may say in favour of the wines of California that they were appreciated
and bought for conveyance to Europe by artists of such indubitable taste
as Patti, Nilsson, and Gerster. The cost of carriage renders it
impossible to send the wines of California to Europe for sale. But
someday, when, for instance, the Panama Canal has been cut, there will
be a market for them both in England and on the Continent. They are, of
course, of different qualities. But the finest Californian vintages may
be pronounced incomparable. I remember once being entertained in company
with some of my leading artists by Surgeon-General Hammond, at his house
in Fifty-eighth Street, New York, when some Californian champagne was
served which we all thought admirable. Our facetious host disguised it
under labels bearing the familiar names of "Heidsieck" and
"Pommery-Greno;" and we all thought we were drinking the finest vintages
of Epernay and of Rheims. Then under the guise of Californian champagne
he gave us genuine Pommery and genuine Heidsieck; the result being that
we were all deceived. The wine labelled as French, but which was in fact
Californian, was pronounced excellent, while the genuine French wines
described as of Californian origin seemed of inferior quality.

On arriving at Cheyenne I found it would be impossible to reach Omaha in
time to perform _Carmen_, which was announced for the following evening;
or Burlington, where _Lucia_ was billed for the Saturday; or Chicago for
our Sunday concert, for which every place had been taken. All had to be
abandoned. Our special train was consequently diverted off to the right
in the direction of Denver, where I telegraphed to know if they could
take us in for a concert the following Sunday. On receiving a negative
reply, I telegraphed to Kansas City, where my proposition was accepted.
I consequently wired the Kansas manager the names of the artists and the
programme containing the pieces each would sing. Through the
manipulation of the telegraph clerks scarcely one of the artists' names
was spelt right, whilst the pieces they proposed to sing, as I
afterwards found, were all muddled up together.

In due course our party reached Denver, where we took half an hour's
stop for watering the train and obtaining ice for the water tanks in the
different cars, after which we started on our road to Kansas City.

Shortly after leaving Denver one of my sergeants belonging to the corps
of commissionaires--several of whom I had brought from London--was taken
ill and reported to be suffering from sunstroke received many years
previously in India.

During our brief stoppage at Denver one of the other sergeants had
purchased him some medicine which he was in the habit of taking. About
two o'clock in the morning he became very violent, and it was found
necessary to cut the bell-cord running through the carriage in order to
tie him down. I then gave orders to the sergeant-major to place him in a
bed and have him watched by alternate reliefs of the other sergeants,
changing every two hours.

About four in the morning, in the midst of a terrific thunderstorm,
accompanied by torrents of rain, I was alarmed by the sudden entry of
the sergeant-major, stating that the invalid under his charge had opened
the window and taken a header straight out.

There was great difficulty in stopping the train in consequence of the
absence of the bell-cord; but we ultimately succeeded in doing so.
Numbers of us went out to look for the poor man's remains, the vivid
flashes of lightning assisting us in our search. As the water on each
side of the railway was several feet deep, and as the sergeant was
nowhere to be found on the line, we concluded after three hours' search
that he must be drowned, and again started the train, leaving word at
the first station of the misfortune that had happened.

In consequence of this delay we did not reach Kansas City until
half-past ten at night, when a portion of the public met us to express
in rather a marked manner their extreme disapprobation. It was
afterwards explained to me that nearly every seat in the house had been
sold, and that had we arrived in time we should have taken at least
£800, which, in my straitened circumstances, would have been of
considerable assistance.

We prosecuted our journey straight through to Louisville, Kentucky. But
here, too, we failed to arrive at the proper time. The train being so
many hours late, we did not reach our destination till eleven o'clock at
night, when the audience, who had been waiting some considerable time,
had gone home very irate. Minnie Hauk having rejoined us the following
evening we played _Carmen_ to but a moderate house, in consequence of
the public having lost all confidence in the undertaking. In settling up
with the manager he deducted the whole of my share of the receipts,
stating that they would partly compensate him for the losses incident to
our non-arrival the first night, as well as on the previous night, and
for the general falling off in the receipts caused by these mishaps. We
afterwards went to the station to take the train for Indianapolis; but
on arriving there I found that the Sheriffs had seized and attached, not
only all the scenery, properties, dresses, and everybody's boxes, but
the whole of my railway carriages; and it was only with the greatest
possible difficulty, by giving an order on the next city, that I got the
train released. I had, of course, to pay the Sheriff's costs, which were
exceedingly heavy.

On arriving at Indianapolis very meagre receipts awaited us, these being
absorbed entirely by the railway people on the order which I had given
from Louisville. There were likewise sundry claims from San Francisco.
During the whole of my stay in Indianapolis I was unable to obtain even
a single dollar from the management. I, however, arranged by
anticipating the coming week's receipts to clear up all my liabilities
and get under way for Cincinnati, where the results of our engagement
were something atrocious. The theatre was almost empty nightly, the
public, by reason of the threatened riots, being afraid to go out in the

I was now forced, in order to meet the large demands for railway fares,
to drop at successive stations scenery, costumes, and properties. At one
place an immense box, containing nothing but niggers' wigs, mustachios,
and beards, made by Clarkson, of London, passed from my hands into
those of the Sheriffs, who held an attachment against it. When I found
it necessary to part at one station with _L'Africaine_, at another to
separate myself from _William Tell_, and at a third to cast away the
whole of _Il Trovatore_ and a bit of _Semiramide_, I felt like the
Russian mother who, to secure her own safety, threw her children one
after the other to the wolves.

I cannot, however, say that the wolves of the law are worse in America
than in other countries. They bear the same honoured names that one is
accustomed to among the members of the profession in happy England. I
was interested, moreover, to learn that the Levys, the Isaacs, the
Aarons, and the Solomons of the United States are all related to the
Levys, Isaacs, Aarons, and Solomons of our own favoured land. I had so
much to do with them, from the beginning of the retreat from Frisco
until my arrival at New York, and the eve of my departure for Europe,
that they ended by treating me as their friend, and made me free of
their guild. They entertained me also at dinner, and gave me a badge;
and when my health was drunk I was assured that in future I should be
treated like a brother: for, said the speaker, referring to the fact
that I myself was now a Sheriff, "Dog doesn't eat dog."

To return to my story, contracts having been given out for repairing the
roads and repaving the city, in consequence of some league amongst the
various contractors all the streets had been left unpaved at the same
time; and as soon as every paving stone was up a general strike took
place. It was impossible for a carriage to pass along anywhere without
getting upset by the hillocks of stones. Suddenly we heard that the
anarchists were rising, and now the city was filled with State militia
accompanied by numerous Gatling guns for the purpose of clearing the
streets. These things in combination so injured the business of the
Opera that the theatre was empty every night. In many instances
choristers were afraid to go through the streets to fulfil their duties.

We were now rejoined by Mdlle. Fohström, also by Mdme. Nordica; but all
looked very unpromising. Our previous mishaps had been so much written
about, telegraphed, and in every way exaggerated by the various papers,
that all confidence seemed to have been withdrawn from us, and it was
with the greatest possible difficulty we could carry through our

As if in imitation of the paviours of Cincinnati, portions of my Company
now began to strike. First the band struck, then the chorus, then the

One night, when _Lucia di Lammermoor_ was being played, a delegation of
choristers notified me that unless all arrears were paid up they would
decline to go on the stage. Argument was useless. The notification was
in the form of an ultimatum. The choristers would not even wait until
the close of the performance for their money, but insisted upon having
it there and then.

I therefore had to begin the opera with the entrance of "Enrico,"
leaving out the small introductory chorus, which was not missed by the
public. We thus got through the first act; also the first scene of the
second act. The curtain was now lowered just before the marriage scene;
and negotiations were again attempted, but still without success. I felt
it necessary to improvise a chorus for the grand wedding scene, and it
consisted of the stage-manager, the scene-painter, several of the
programme-sellers, the male costumier, the armourer and his assistants,
together with several workmen, ballet girls, etc., who, elegantly
attired in some of my best dresses, had a very imposing effect. I gave
strict instructions that they were to remain perfectly silent, and to
act as little as possible; at the same time telling the principal
singers to do their very best in the grand sextet.

The result was an encore and general enthusiasm. Everyone, too, was
called before the curtain at the close of the act, and one of the
leading critics declared that the _finale_ was "nobly rendered."

Finding how well I could do without them the chorus now came to terms.

A concert was given on the following Sunday night which closed the
engagement. The whole of the receipts had been absorbed by lawyers,
sheriffs, railway companies, and the keepers of the hotels at which the
principal members of the troupe put up. The hotel-keepers, moreover, had
seized all the boxes. The train was drawn up at the station; but after
waiting two hours the engine was detached and taken away into the sheds.

In the meantime dark groups of choristers were congregated in different
parts of the city, and things did, indeed, look gloomy. During the night
I succeeded in paying the different hotel bills; and ultimately in the
small hours of the morning the train was got together and started for
Detroit, I remaining behind to make arrangements for paying off the
remaining attachments.

On the Company's arriving at Detroit it was discovered that Minnie
Hauk's boxes containing her Carmen dresses had been left behind. As they
could not possibly reach her in time I had to arrange by telegraph to
have new dresses made for her during the afternoon. It took the whole of
my time to release the fifty or sixty attachments that had been issued
against the belongings of the various members of the Company, and I
arrived in Detroit early the following morning with the things which I
had at last triumphantly released. The whole of a Pullman car was filled
with the various articles I had set free, including the _Carmen_
dresses, sundry stacks of washing, various dressing bags, and piles of
ballet girls' petticoats, beautifully starched.

Our artistic success in Detroit was great, and, after performing three
nights, we left after the last performance for Milwaukee.

We passed from Detroit to Milwaukee, where but a few days beforehand the
mob had been fired upon, with some eighteen killed and several wounded.
The whole town was in a state of alarm; neither Fohström's "Lucia" and
"Sonnambula," nor Minnie Hauk's "Carmen," nor Nordica's "Margherita" in
_Faust_ could attract more than enough cash to pay the board bills and
fares to Chicago, for which city we left early the following morning.

The scenes that had taken place there must be fresh in the mind of

Bombshells had been thrown by the Anarchists; numbers of people had been
killed, and the public of Chicago was in the same frame of mind with
regard to the opera as so many of the previous cities. It preferred to
remain indoors.

Our musical operations were seriously interfered with by the strike,
which was promptly responded to by a lock-out. The clothing
manufacturers closed their shops, throwing but of employment nearly
2,000 superintendents--"bosses," as the Americans call them--and 25,000
hands. The hands had demanded ten hours' pay for eight hours' work, with
20 per cent. advance on trousers, and 25 per cent. on vests and coats.
The "bosses" demanded an advance of from 35 to 50 per cent. on all kinds
of work; and it was resolved by the employers not to reopen until all
the firms had made a successful resistance to these claims on the part
of the workmen. The metal manufacturers and furniture makers had been
threatened in like manner by their men; and they also refused to yield
to the strikers. At the same time from 30,000 to 40,000 men were on
strike at Cincinnati, where the suburbs were occupied by a whole army of
troops. It now appeared that the disturbances at Chicago were closely
connected with those at Cincinnati. Some of the Socialists on strike
were armed, to the number of 600 or 700, with effective rifles, and they
controlled the manufacture of dynamite shells. The shells which the
rioters had been using at Chicago had been made at Cincinnati, and it
was said that the Chicago Socialists had on hand for immediate use a
supply of these infernal machines. At Milwaukee, some seventy or eighty
miles from Chicago, nineteen Anarchists and Socialists had just been
arraigned on a charge of riot and conspiracy "to kill and murder." In
the streets of Chicago placards were posted on the walls announcing that
groups of more than three persons would be dispersed by force; so that a
husband and wife proceeding in company with two of their children to
hear _Il Trovatore_ or _Lucia di Lammermoor_ ran the risk of being fired
into by Gatling guns.



We opened our Chicago season with a grand concert prior to the
commencement of the regular performances in order to let the public know
that all the Company was present in the city after the conflicting
reports that had been circulated.

Notwithstanding all our recent reverses, my Company was intact, except
that the refractory tenor Ravelli had been replaced by Signor Baldanza,
and the basso Cherubini by Signor Bologna. Here, again, in Chicago, my
usual stronghold for Italian Opera, the reports of our troubles had been
exaggerated and enlarged upon, so that the general public had lost all
confidence, notwithstanding the fact that, through Mrs. Marshall Field's
influence, a party of the most distinguished citizens had secured the
whole of the boxes for the entire season.

The Chicago engagement was expected to recoup us for our losses in the
West. But, unfortunately, this hope was not realized; and in consequence
of the wild reports that got into general circulation, and, of course,
into the newspapers, the Company began to clamour for their pay. I
referred them to Mr. Henderson, the Manager of the Chicago Opera-house;
and his office was crowded daily with prime donne, chorus people,
dancers, musicians, property men, bill-board men, and supernumeraries,
all demanding money. "Lucia" was begging for dollars and cents;
"Manrico" insisted on having at least three meals a day; while the
"Count di Luna," who shared his rival's apartments, protested that
unless he had a pint of good wine before he went on he could not get out
his F's with due effect in _Il Balen_.

Mr. Henderson proclaimed his managerial life a burden, but made no other

Of the orchestral players the drum was the noisiest; though the hautboy
and the piccolo were every whit as emphatic. It was a united and
determined strike, the keynote of which was, "No pay no play."

Only two weeks' pay was owing to them, and it was agreed that Mr.
Henderson, the Manager, should give them one week's salary on account.
But when the musicians assembled to receive it they suddenly, through
the persuasiveness of one of their body, insisted upon having all
arrears paid up; otherwise they would not enter the orchestra.

Finding they were obdurate and would not take the money that was offered
them, I was forced to seek musicians from among the various musical
societies of the city, and called a rehearsal as soon as I was ready.
After the new orchestra had been brought together, a hasty rehearsal was
ordered for 7.30 that evening; and not long after the opening of the
doors the public was regaled with the sounds of my new orchestra, who
were practising underneath the pit, from which they were separated only
by a very thin flooring.

On Arditi's notifying Signor Bimboni, the accompanist and
under-conductor, that he would require him to assist on the piano in the
orchestra, Bimboni replied: "Bless you! I have struck too."

Nothing discouraged, though somewhat wrath, Arditi succeeded in
unearthing an accompanist, who struggled bravely with the pianoforte

During the performance, Parry, our stage manager, met Bimboni near the
stage door, and reproached him sharply for deserting his post. This
altercation led to blows. Bimboni struck out wildly, and soon went down
with a black eye and a bruised face as a souvenir of the encounter.

The chorus, finding that I had provided another orchestra, and had
threatened to find other choristers, gave in; and I must say we
succeeded in giving a very excellent performance, despite all

The next day all was again serene, and I was enabled to continue my
representations until the close, finishing up the season with success.
The Chicago engagement concluded with a benefit tendered to me by most
of the prominent citizens. They thus showed their appreciation of my
efforts as a pioneer; for I was the first manager who had introduced
into their city grand opera worthy of the name.

Amongst the signatures to the document embodying this fact were the
following well-known names:--The Hon. Carter H. Harrison, Judge Eugene
Carey, Marshall Field, Ferd. W. Peck, J. Harding, Professor Swing,
George Boyne, Irving Pearce, A. A. Sprague, George Schneider, John R.
Walsh, J. McGregor Adams, George F. Harding, S. S. Shortball, J. Russell
Jones, Edson Keith, C. M. Henderson, Hon. J. Medill, Potter Palmer, John
B. Drake, N. K. Fairbank, T. B. Blackstone, A. S. Gage, &c.

On being called before the curtain I thanked the public for the liberal
support they had given to my undertaking; also the press for the
encouraging notices which it had published daily, notwithstanding all my
troubles. These had been fully made known to everyone by means of the
daily papers, which really took more interest in my affairs than I did

In regard to the strike of my orchestra, an account of which was
published in the _Inter-Ocean_, Mr. David Henderson, manager of the
Chicago Opera-house, said to an interviewer:--"The new orchestra played
this evening in a satisfactory manner. The Musical Union held a meeting
during the day, and decided, I am told, that the members of the
Colonel's orchestra did wrong in taking the stand in the matter of wages
that they did; that is, in demanding from me back salaries. After the
meeting several of them expressed a desire to come back; but I only took
those needed--five or six in all. The rest are out of employment. The
orchestra is now better than before, and everything is going along
smoothly. At the conclusion of the engagement of the Company, Sunday
night, a number of the principals and of the chorus and executive staff
will return with Colonel Mapleson direct to London. I ought to add that
since the beginning of the engagement he has not touched one cent of the
box-office receipts. I have distributed the money as equitably as I
could, giving to each artist, on present and past salaries, as much as
the receipts would permit. I have learned that the Colonel is not as
much in arrears to his Company as newspaper reports led the public to
believe. Some of the leading people have been, as near as I can
ascertain, only behindhand some three or four performances, before
coming to Chicago. The orchestra that left, I understand, have two
weeks' salaries due to them, that were incurred during the past eight
weeks since the Colonel's bad business in California, and through the
lengthened voyage. The best proof of the belief on the part of his
company that the Colonel intends doing what is right by its members is
the willingness with which every one of them has consented to appear at
his benefit, Saturday evening, without compensation."

"The Mapleson Opera Company," wrote the Tribune, "with the Colonel's
trials and tribulations, have pretty well filled the public eye the past
week. Outside of the Columbia Theatre, with the McCaull people there has
been nothing to talk about but the Colonel. There are times when
Mapleson, unconsciously, perhaps, appeals to sympathy. He is the only
living man to-day with nerve enough to go into the business at all, who
can govern and control the average opera singer. The latter is the most
trying beast on earth. Male or female, Italian or Greek, German or
'American,' they are all alike. A more obstreperous, cantankerous, and
altogether unreasonable being than an opera singer it is hard to find in
any other walk of life. The Italian contingent of the guild is the worst
to get along with. The Italian singer is rapacious, improvident,
ungrateful, and wholly inconsiderate of his manager. At the same time he
is a vain fool whom a word of flattery will move. Mapleson speaks
Italian fluently, and hence when trouble arises he seeks the complainer,
gives him a lot of Tuscan taffy, and the idiot goes off and sings as if
nothing had happened. The Mapleson season at the Chicago Opera-house has
had its difficulties, yet it has scored successes. The leading people
have stood by the Colonel. He has had trouble with the orchestra, but
that was quickly remedied. Yesterday Giannini, whom Mapleson picked up,
as it were, out of the gutter in New York, where the Milan Company
dropped him, and to whom he has since paid thousands of dollars, whether
he earned it or not, made a strike just before the _matinée_. Giannini
wanted 600 dollars. Mapleson offered 400 dollars. Giannini refused it,
and would not sing. Then the Colonel began to talk Italian in his
charming way, and the result was that the tenor went back, dressed, and
sang, and that, too, without a 'cent,' and did it with meekness. _La
Sonnambula_, which gave Mdlle. Fohström her last chance to appear, drew
a good house at the _matinée_, and the Colonel's benefit in the evening
was a gratifying tribute. There were no more breaks, and the audience
showed a warm appreciation throughout. The programme was just what
Colonel Mapleson's admirers wanted. Last night's performance ended the
season. From here the company scatters. The principals seek their homes
in Europe, and the Colonel travels post-haste to London, where he is to
superintend the Patti appearance in June. Mapleson is disgusted with his
present season's experience, but he is by no means disheartened. He
threatens to come back at an early period."

At the end of some three weeks we learned that Sergeant Smith, the
commissionaire who jumped out of the window in his shirt, had been
discovered comfortably asleep and unhurt. Some difficulty was
experienced in marching him along in the costume in which he then was to
the hospital, whither it was thought prudent first to take him until
some clothing could be provided. Whilst he was detained there a lady who
had come to visit a sick gardener recognized the sergeant as having
crossed on the same boat with her some six months previously. He readily
accepted her offer of the vacant place, and forthwith began work; and it
was only after many inquiries as to how the missing body had been
disposed of that we discovered the man was still alive. On this being
made known several articles came out in various journals, some giving
the life of Sergeant Smith, and saying where and how he had won his
numerous medals, whilst others expatiated generally on the valour and
endurance of the British army.

In due course the gallant sergeant joined the main body and donned his

While we were at Chicago another Opera Company, calling itself the
Milan Grand Italian Opera Company, was giving performances, and an
amusing incident happened during a representation of _Lucia_. The
audience was waiting for the appearance of the heroine in the third act.
But they waited and watched in vain. The chorus stood in mute amazement,
while the musicians in the orchestra looked somewhat amused. The
audience stamped their feet and clapped their hands, while the gallery
hissed repeatedly. The curtain was rung down, and there was a wait of a
few minutes, when finally Signor Alberto Sarata, the manager of the
Company, appeared on the stage, and said that Miss Eva Cummings, who had
been singing the part of "Lucia," had suddenly become ill, and was quite
unable to continue her performance. The opera would, therefore, go on
without her. He had scarcely finished speaking when "Lucia" herself came
on to the stage, and declared that she was in perfect health, and that
she wanted her salary. This announcement was received with mingled
cheers and hisses.

The prima donna bowed gracefully first to one side of the house, then to
the other, and was about to follow the manager, who had already left the
stage, when she found that the curtain was held fast by invisible
forces. From one exit she went to the other, but still was unable to
escape from the presence of the public.

"I will get off this time, anyhow!" she exclaimed, and with a rush
pushed the curtain back. The invisible forces still resisted; but after
a time "Lucia" succeeded in making her way to the wings.

Then the curtain went up, and "Edgardo" began to bewail the death of a
"Lucia" who had not died.

Towards the close of our Chicago engagement attachments, writs,
summonses, etc., began to fall thick and fast, which had to be dealt
with speedily in order to ensure our departure.

I therefore made arrangements for a farewell Sunday concert in order to
raise the wind for the purpose.

I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without tendering my sincere
thanks to my esteemed and valued friend, President Peck, who very kindly
came to the rescue by affording me the monetary assistance I required to
enable us to get out of the city.

As fast as one attachment was released another came on. The last one I
got rid of about 2 a.m., and left the theatre satisfied that all was
serene. On seating myself at the Pacific Hotel, with a view to supper, I
was called to the door, and notified that the waggons I had seen
properly started had all been arrested and were at the corner of
Dearborn Street. Placing down my knife and fork I hastened off; and by
the aid of my friend Henderson, who gave bonds, the attachment was
released. Meanwhile the whole of the Company was on the qui vive for the
entraining order, the steam having been up some ten hours and the train
not yet started.

At the station I came across the remnants of the Milan Opera Company
which had been stranded some fortnight previously, and whose members
were supplicating aid towards getting to New York. I thereupon had the
great pleasure of affording them all a free passage in my train; and
after sundry salutations from my numerous friends who came to see me off
we took our departure. The Company reached Jersey City very early the
following Tuesday morning, and went straight on board the boat which was
to sail late that afternoon. I meanwhile crossed over into New York,
where I attended at the Inman Steamship Office, and arranged for them to
give a passage to my Company and to take an embargo on my belongings for
their protection, as well as mine.

I must here set forth that every year on entering the port of New York
the Customs authorities had charged me duty at the rate of some 50 per
cent. on all my theatrical costumes, scenery, and properties, although
the majority of them had originally been manufactured in the United
States. Explanation was useless. The tax was invariably levied, though I
always paid it under protest. I maintained that the things which
accompanied me were tools of my profession, and were entitled under the
State law to enter free; but inasmuch as I did not wear the clothing
myself, it was contended that the property could not be so entered. To
be free of duty the costumes, it was argued, must be the personal
property of each performer. Mdme. Sarah Bernhardt on entering the United
States brought some thousands of pounds worth of beautiful dresses,
which were seized, she refusing to pay the amount of import duty
claimed. Her case was heard, and it was decided from Washington that her
dresses, since she wore them herself, were the tools of her profession
or trade, and must be allowed to enter free. My case was different. But
I instituted law proceedings against the United States, which, in
consequence of various delays, lasted some four or five years. A
decision was at last given in my favour. An order was, in fact, issued
to refund me the duty I had previously paid, together with 6 per cent.

On leaving the Inman Company's office I met my attorney, who informed me
that the money that I was entitled to in the action I had won against
the United States was payable to me on demand. This was, indeed, good
news, and through my attorney's indefatigable exertions I was enabled to
obtain the final signature of the Customs House authorities to the
cheque which had been drawn to my order, and through his kindness to get
it cashed.

I had, before leaving Chicago, received a letter from the ticket
speculator Rullmann, to whom I was indebted upon a libretto contract,
suggesting I should embark at Jersey City to avoid difficulties at New
York. Angelo also recommended this course, saying that at New York there
would be a plant put upon me, in order to delay my departure. As I was a
resident of New York, and stood well there, I decided to start from that
city; and it was a good thing I did so, as I afterwards learned that
preparations had been made at Jersey City to prevent my starting, the
"plant" having been prepared there. As I had a deal of business in New
York the day of my departure, I decided to sail from Castle Garden in
the health-officer's steamer, which was kindly placed at my disposal,
the Captain of the Inman steamer having agreed, on my hoisting the
health flag, to heave-to when outside in order to allow me to get on

Prior to leaving New York I arranged with the Mayor of Liverpool,
through the medium of the cable, to give a grand concert at the
Liverpool Exhibition building with the whole of my principal artists,
for which I was to receive two-thirds of the gross receipts; and as the
papers stated that the Exhibition was a very great success, I
anticipated sufficient results to enable me, after landing, to take the
Company on to London and send the choruses over to Italy.

We arrived in Liverpool three days before the time fixed for the
proposed concert.

On landing I at once looked at the morning papers, when to my
astonishment no announcement whatever of the concert had been made. On
presenting myself at the Mayor's office I was informed that his Worship,
who had just been knighted, had gone to the north to rest himself,
leaving no instructions whatever with regard to the concert. A few bills
had been ordered at the printers', but the proofs had not been

Feeling myself placed in a very trying position, I set personally about
the arrangements, every obstacle meanwhile being thrown in my way by the
executive, who contended that the Mayor had no right to enter into any
arrangement without their sanction. I at last got placed up in the
Exhibition two bills; which had vanished, however, by the next morning.

The concert-room was in a most chaotic state, stray pieces of wood,
broken chairs, etc., lying about the floor. I had to arrange the room
myself, and even number the seats.

The evening of the concert arrived; but the public as well as my own
artists were debarred from entering the doors unless they first paid for
admission to the Exhibition, the whole of the gate money having been
pledged to some banker in Liverpool.

The concert gave great satisfaction, but the receipts only reached some
£70 or £80; of which to the present moment I have been unable to obtain
my share.

As I had to pay Mdlle. Fohström £50, Del Puente £40, and all the others
in proportion, I found myself, counting the hotel bills, some £180 out
of pocket.

The day after the concert we all reached London. As it was now the 18th
of June it was too late to think of giving a London season; and my
doings were limited to my benefit, which took place at Drury Lane under
the immediate patronage of Her Majesty the Queen and H.R.H. the Prince
of Wales. Mdme. Patti volunteered her services on this occasion, the
Theatre, kindly placed at my disposal by Mr. Augustus Harris, being



Shortly afterwards I organized a very strong opera party, determining,
during the coming September, to revisit the English provinces, which I
had rather neglected during the previous seven or eight years. I,
therefore, arranged to visit Dublin, Cork, Liverpool, Manchester,
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, etc., etc., resolved on giving a series
of excellent performances. Engagements were concluded with Mdlle. Alma
Fohström, Mdme. Nordica, Mdlle. Dotti, Mdlle. Marie Engle, Mdme.
Hastreiter, Mdlle. Bianca Donadio, Mdlle. Jenny Broch, together with
Signor Frapolli, Signor Runcio, Signor Del Puente, Signor Padilla,
Signor Ciampi, Signor Vetta, a promising young basso, and Signer Foli;
my conductors being Signor Arditi and Signor Vianesi.

My performances were admirably given; which was readily acknowledged by
the whole of the provincial Press. But during the seven or eight years I
had been away a younger generation had grown up and the elder ones had
gone elsewhere. Inferior English Opera seemed now to be preferred to my
grand Italian Opera; and it was only after I had been playing three or
four nights in a town that the public began to understand the
superiority of the latter.

In Dublin we had to feel our way with the performances, which culminated
on the last night with a crowded house. I was anxiously expecting the
arrival of Mdlle. Fohström, who had been delayed in Russia through the
illness of a relative. She made her appearance at Dublin in the latter
part of September to one of the most crowded houses I have ever seen.

We afterwards visited Cork, where I fear, as in Mdme. Gerster's case
some years previously, Mdlle. Fohström took the germs of typhoid fever,
which developed some ten days afterwards. Whilst singing at the grand
concert of the Liverpool Philharmonic the lady found herself scarcely
able to move, much to the astonishment of myself as well as the
Committee. She, however, got through her work, and came on to
Manchester, where she lay in bed for nearly three months, which was, of
course, a great drawback to our success.

At Manchester, which is a great musical centre, our receipts the first
week were miserable. But with the commencement of our second and last
week they gradually increased, until there was not standing room. I
endeavoured in vain to buy off another Company in order to continue our

Again, in Glasgow, where our old triumphs had been evidently forgotten,
we played to most miserable receipts until the second week, when
gradually the business grew until we had to refuse money. In fact, I had
to re-take the theatre, and return there a fortnight afterwards, when on
my last performance of _Il Flauto Magico_ people were paying 10s. for
standing room, while private boxes fetched London prices.

We next moved on to Birmingham, where my sole consolation was the
admirable articles, making over a column in each of the daily papers,
which appeared the morning after each representation, according the most
unstinted praise to my really excellent performances. We afterwards left
for Brighton, where we closed up just before Christmas.

Very early in the following month I started my Spring concert tour,
visiting some forty cities in as many days, and meeting with great
artistic success in every place we stopped at. My party consisted of
Mdme. Nordica, Mdme. Marie Engle, Mdme. Hélène Hastreiter, and Mdlle.
Louise Dotti; likewise Signori Runcio, Del Puente, and Vetta, with M.
Jaquinot as solo violinist. No more excellent artistic party could have
been put together; but here, again, the provincial public, not knowing
my singers, attended with great caution; preferring old names to the
young voices I had with me.

In Liverpool, as well as in Bradford, both said to be great musical
centres (?), the receipts were nil.

We finished up in Dublin, where, as usual, the houses were crowded with
large and appreciative audiences. The Irish, thoroughly understanding
music, and judging for themselves, crammed the hall, and encored every

In England, as a rule, singers take some years to acquire a reputation;
but having once got it, they can never get rid of it.

I recollect hearing Mr. Braham sing when he was 82; and he was
applauded. We are a conservative nation, and value old friends as we do
old port wine.

Both on the Continent and in America I have been frequently interrogated
as to why the London opera season is held at a time when it is next to
impossible for so many patrons and supporters of music to attend on
account of the numberless _fêtes_, flower shows, balls, garden parties,
races, &c., that are taking place; to say nothing of the Crystal Palace,
the Alexandra Palace, and (as regards the present season of 1888) the
Irish, Danish, and Italian Exhibitions.

I, of course, could make no reply, being fully aware that alike in
France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia, America, etc., the opera
season begins generally about the third week in October; at a time when
all outdoor attractions have ended. In the countries above mentioned
dances and balls are, it is true, given during the winter months,
whereas in London these social gatherings generally take place when the
weather is extremely hot; and, as a rule, the smaller the house the
greater the number of the guests invited.

In former times the London season was set by the opera; and its
beginning usually coincided with the arrival of the singers from abroad,
who in those days had to cross in sailing vessels, and would only come
in fine weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

Returning to London in the latter part of February, I decided on opening
the Royal Italian Opera early in March; for which purpose I formed an
admirable Company, consisting in the prima donna department of Mdlle.
Alma Fohström, Mdlle. Emma Nevada, Mdlle. Jenny Broch, Mdlle. Marie
Engle, Mdlle. Lilian Nordica, Mdlle. Louise Dotti, Mdlle. Hélène
Hastreiter, Mdlle. Borghi, Mdlle. Bauermeister, Mdme. Lablache, Mdlle.
Rosina Isidor, and Mdme. Minnie Hauk; my tenors being Signor Ravelli, M.
Caylus, and Signor Garulli; my baritones Signor Padilla, Signor Del
Puente, and M. Lhérie; with Signor Miranda, Signor Vetta, Signor de
Vaschetti, and Signor Foli as basses, Signor Ciampi as buffo, and Signor
Logheder as musical conductor--in which capacity he proved most
efficient. I moreover introduced two danseuses of remarkable excellence,
Mdlle. Dell'Era and Mdlle. Hayten; both of whom must have left a
favourable impression.

The novelties I produced were _Leila_ (Bizet's _Pêcheurs de Perles_);
and Gounod's _Mirella_, for the first time since twenty-five years. Thus
_Mirella_ was practically a new opera. Both works were newly mounted,
and both made their mark artistically.

But the season being a short one, and having no spare capital, I could
not resort to my old _Faust_ and _Carmen_ plan and hammer the music of
_Leila_ into people's heads. Consequently my production of the work did
not meet with the financial success it should have done. The day will,
however, come when it will form an attractive gem in the operatic crown.
_Leila_ is readily accepted all over the Continent; and even in Italy
has been the mainstay of some twelve or fourteen opera-houses. Here,
unfortunately, at its first production, many of the Pressmen were
absent; and at its repetition no further notice was taken of it--though
numbers of the public rely entirely upon what the newspapers say for
their opinions and views.

The same fate awaited Gounod's _Mirella_--another most charming opera,
in which Mdlle. Nevada sang to perfection.

The season continued for upwards of eight weeks, and was a pronounced
success, both artistically and financially. It terminated about the
middle of May. As I knew that London would be full of strangers on
account of Her Majesty's Jubilee, I rented Her Majesty's Theatre, and on
taking possession of it discovered it to be in a most desolate state.
There was not a scene or a rope in working order, and the interior of
the theatre was in a most deplorable condition, entailing upon me
considerable expense for cleaning and restoring, painting, papering,
carpeting, etc. There was nearly a mile of corridors and staircases to
whiten, paper, paint, and carpet.

I opened a fortnight afterwards, when I again brought forward a powerful
Company, including such valuable new-comers as Mdlle. Lilli Lehmann,
Mdme. Trebelli (after an absence of eight years), and Mdlle. Oselio.

The season commenced most auspiciously on Saturday, June 4. But soon
there was a difficulty with the orchestra, for there were now two other
Italian Operas going on. It was impossible to induce the players I had
engaged to attend rehearsals. There were Philharmonic, Richter, and
other concerts in full swing; and although I paid them weekly salaries I
could never command the services of my musicians for rehearsal, even
though I closed my theatre at night for the purpose. I therefore had to
suspend the representations for a week and form another orchestra, in
order that I might sufficiently rehearse Boito's _Mefistofele_, which I
had then in preparation. Ultimately I succeeded in bringing out that
work, when, as on its first performance, it met with considerable
success. This was followed by the _rentrée_ of Mdlle. Lilli Lehmann in
Beethoven's _Fidelio_, which was probably the grandest and most perfect
performance given in London for many years. In the meantime I placed
Bizet's masterpiece, _Leila_, in rehearsal.

About this time the Royal Jubilee excitement began, followed by
extremely hot weather; and notwithstanding the brilliant performances
given the house was empty nightly, the public preferring the free show
they got out of doors, in the shape of processions, illuminations, etc.,
to performances at the theatre, where the temperature was now averaging
90°, notwithstanding all I did to keep it cool.

In fact, the only receipts I got for the purpose of paying my way were
from the letting of the exterior of my theatre instead of the interior;
seats on the roof fetching £1 apiece, whilst windows were let for £40.
These receipts helped to provide the sinews of war for carrying on my
arduous enterprise.

I now bestirred myself in order to obtain some attraction that would
replenish the depleted operatic chest. My efforts seemed rewarded when
I secured the services of Mdme. Adelina Patti, at the small salary of
£650 per night. Mdme. Patti in due course made her first appearance at
Her Majesty's Theatre in her favourite rôle of "Violetta" in _La
Traviata_, when there was £1,000 in the house. My hopes, however, of
recouping my heavy losses were dashed almost instantly to the ground.
Mdme. Patti having accepted an invitation from a wealthy banker for a
trip up the river, to be followed by a dinner, she took a violent cold,
from having been placed in a draught with a light muslin dress on. The
next evening Mdlle. Lilli Lehmann again made the old theatre ring with
her magnificent impersonation of "Fidelio." The house, however, was
nearly empty, all attention being directed to the next night, which was
to be Patti's second appearance--in _Il Barbiere di Siviglia_.

At five o'clock, however, on the evening of the performance, Signor
Nicolini came in to inform me that Patti was too ill to sing, but that I
might rely upon her services the following Saturday, when she would
appear as "Margherita" in Faust, transferring the _Barbiere_ performance
to the following Tuesday. He himself added to the programme an
announcement to the effect that she would introduce in the lesson scene
the valse from _Romeo and Juliet_.

It being too late to substitute another opera, I had no alternative but
to close the theatre that evening, leaving hundreds of carriage folks
who had sent their coachmen home to get away as best they could,
disappointed, and declaring (in many cases) that there was no reliance
to be placed on Mapleson!

On the following Friday, finding that the booking for the second Patti
night was very light, the public having lost all confidence, as is
generally the case after a disappointment, I suggested to Mdme. Patti
and to Nicolini that a small allowance ought to be made towards the vast
expenses I had incurred (rent, salaries to artists, band, chorus, &c.)
while keeping the theatre closed, which her incautiousness of the
previous Sunday up the Thames had alone prevented me from opening.

The following day Signor Nicolini offered to contribute a sum of £50. I
replied that that would be scarcely enough for the orchestra, and that
the entire representation would be jeopardized. He thereupon went home,
stating that Mdme. Patti would not sing that evening unless the
orchestra was duly secured.

I immediately made arrangements with my orchestra, and notified the fact
to Mdme. Patti by half-past three o'clock through her agent at her
hotel, who, after seeing her, informed me that it was all right. She was
then lying down in view of the evening performance, for which her
dresses had already been looked out by herself and her maid.

Just as I was leaving the hotel Mr. Abbey came downstairs, and
accompanied me to the ticket-office, adjoining the theatre, the
proprietors of which were large speculators for the occasion. On
ascertaining that some four or five hundred of the best seats had not
been disposed of--the public naturally holding back until Mdme. Patti
should have made her reappearance after the disappointment they had
experienced--Mr. Abbey informed me that Mdme. Patti should not sing that
evening. I may here mention that the full £650, being the amount of her
honorarium, was already deposited to her credit at the bank, so that it
was not on the score of money matters that her services were refused.

I waited until eight o'clock for the arrival of Mdme. Patti, her room
being prepared for her; but no message was sent, nor any notification
whatever, that she was not coming down. After the previous
disappointments the public had met with I could not find heart to close
the theatre. I, therefore, informed the numbers who were then getting
out of their carriages and gradually filling the grand vestibule that I
would perform the opera of _Carmen_, and that I invited all present to
attend as my guests; adding that their money would be returned to them
on presentation of their tickets. This, of course, it was.

As to the gratuitous representation of _Carmen_ (with Trebelli in the
principal part), it went off admirably. The audience was numerous and
enthusiastic; and among the distinguished persons who honoured me with
their presence, was, I remember, H.R.H. the Duchess of Edinburgh.

I wrote to Mdme. Patti the following day, entreating her not further to
disappoint the public, and to stand by the announcement Signor Nicolini
had given me of her appearance the following Tuesday in _Il Barbiere_.
To this I had no reply; and I afterwards learned that Mdme. Patti had
gone off by a special morning train to Wales, to avoid meeting the
chorus and _employés_ who, hearing of her probable flight, had assembled
in large bodies at Paddington to give her a manifestation of their

I was now placed in a most difficult position, and left to struggle on
as best I could, having some three weeks' rent still to pay for the use
of the theatre until the end of the month; together with the salaries of
singers, choristers, bill-posters, supernumeraries, orchestra, etc.,
etc. These unfortunate people were actually following me in the street,
clamouring for money. There were, moreover, some sixty Italian
choristers, whose travelling expenses had to be provided for to send
them home to Italy. In fact the Opera Colonnade had become a regular
Babel, and it was only by dint of hard work amongst my numerous friends
that I was enabled to collect funds and see the last of my chorus
singers depart.

This affair threw me into contact with several supernumeraries as well
as bill-board men, and I was very much interested to hear their
different histories. One man, who had been a "Sandwich," gave me the
following account of his life:--

                     THE "SANDWICH'S" STORY.

"I was formerly," he said, "a captain in the---- Regiment, and many
a time have I paid my six guineas for a box at your Opera, both in
Edinburgh and in London. Subsequently I began to take a great
interest in the turf, and soon met with heavy losses, which
compelled me to give various promissory notes. This at last came to
the knowledge of my colonel, who recommended me to leave the
regiment without delay. Having nothing to live upon, and being a
fair performer on the cornet à piston, I joined a travelling
circus, and ultimately came across your Opera Company in
Philadelphia, where I was one of your stage band. Later on I joined
a party who were bound for the diamond fields in South Africa,
where I was most unsuccessful; and I had to work my passage home in
a sailing ship, till I got to London, where I became a
supernumerary under your management at Drury Lane.

"During your third season an aunt of mine died, and I found myself
the possessor of £10,000. My cousin, who was largely interested in
building operations, which he assured me paid him at least 60 per
cent., induced me to place half my fortune in his speculations. His
houses were in the west part of London, which had been considerably
overbuilt; and being mortgaged they would have been lost but for my
paying away the remainder of my fortune with the view of saving
them. In spite of this the mortgagee foreclosed, and I again became
a supernumerary, when, in the mimic fight in the second act of
_Trovatore_, one of my companions by mere accident with a point of
a spear put my eye out.

"I was now no longer qualified for engagement even as a
supernumerary, and I became a 'sandwich' man. My duties during the
last four and a half years have been to parade Bond Street and
Regent Street, receiving as payment ninepence a day."

On my handing the poor man his salary and settling up he at first
declined to take the money, saying that I had done him so many
kindnesses at different periods of his life that now, when I was in
trouble myself, he could not think of taking his week's pay. I, however,
not only insisted upon his accepting it, but gave him a sovereign for
himself. The unfortunate gentleman, as he showed himself to the last,
went away blessing me.



Although an operatic impresario cannot reasonably count on making his
own fortune, it is often a source of satisfaction to him to reflect that
he in his lavish expenditure makes the fortune of singers, officials,
and various people in his service. At the time when I was in my greatest
trouble through the disappointments I had to put up with from some of my
leading singers, I heard that an enterprising Italian who had been
employed by me for many years had taken the New York Academy of Music
for a brief season, and that he was actually performing the duties of

Angelo was, or rather is, a very remarkable man. I engaged him many
years ago as my servant at 10s. a week, and he is now said to be in
possession of some thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds, which
he gained while in my service by turning his opportunities and his
talents to ingenious account. Angelo is well known in the United States,
chiefly by the unwashed condition of his linen. Reversing the custom by
which, in England and America, gentlemen who cannot trust their memory
to keep appointments write with a black pencil the time and place on one
of their wrist-bands, Angelo used to write on his wrist-band, as nearly
as possible black, with a piece of white chalk which, primarily with a
view to billiards, he used to carry in his pocket. I mention this as an
example of his proneness to imitation, and also of his economical

How, it will be asked, did he amass a fortune in my service when I was
paying him only at the rate of 10s. a week?

He began by starting a _claque_ of which he constituted himself chief,
and which was at the service of any of my singers who chose to pay for
it. He was always ready, moreover, to act as interpreter. There was no
language which he did not speak in courier fashion more or less well;
and as in a modern operatic Company artists from such outlandish
countries as Spain and Russia as well as from Italy, France, and Germany
are to be found, Angelo's talents were often called into requisition by
singers who did not understand one another and who were altogether
ignorant of English.

Angelo knew where to buy cheap cigars, and he used to make the members
of my Company buy them as dear ones. He speculated, moreover, largely
and advantageously in vermuth, which he sold in the United States for at
least a dollar a bottle more than he had paid for it in Italy. Campanini
acted as his friend and accomplice in these _vermuth_ sales. Entering a
bar, in no matter what American city, the great tenor would call for a
glass of _vermuth_. "Pah!" he would exclaim when he had tasted what the
bar-keeper had offered him. Then, after making many wry faces, he spat
out the liquor which had so grievously offended him.

"Where did you get this horrible stuff?" he would then inquire.
"_Vermuth?_ It is not _vermuth_ at all. What did the rascal who sold it
to you charge for it?"

"Three dollars a bottle."

"And here is a gentleman," pointing to Angelo, "who has genuine
_vermuth_ of the finest quality and will sell you as much as you like
for two dollars a bottle."

The bar-keeper thought, with reason, that an eminent Italian tenor like
Campanini must know good _vermuth_ from bad, and at once bought from
Angelo a case or two of the true _vermuth di Torino_.

Angelo, in addition to his other talents, is a first-rate cook, and in
the preparation of certain Italian dishes, dear to those born in the
"land of song," has scarcely an equal. He was too important a personage
to act as cook to any one singer; but on the Atlantic passage he would
take a pound a-head from some thirty different vocalists in order to see
that each of them was provided with Italian cookery during the voyage.

Angelo made most of his money, however, by speculating in opera tickets
during my Patti seasons. He had, of course, peculiar facilities for
getting (unknown to me) almost as many tickets as he wanted at
box-office prices; and he could count as a matter of certainty on
selling them at enormous premiums--often as much as two or three pounds

During the retreat from Frisco, seeing that there would be a scarcity of
food along the line, he laid in a stock of provisions, which he retailed
at enormous profits.

Angelo had made himself a prominent figure in connection with my
Company, and was frequently spoken of in the newspapers. On our arrival
at New York he waited upon the Secretary of the Academy, as I found out
some time afterwards, and actually took the building from him for a
season of opera, which was to begin in the following October. He
accompanied us, however, to London as though nothing had happened. He
returned at the appointed time to America, taking with him a company
which included Mdme. Valda, Giannini, and others. When his prospectus
came out I noticed two announcements which struck me as strange in
connection with his costumes and music. The former, said the prospectus,
had been "lent" by Zamperoni, the latter by Ricordi and Mdme. Lucca.
They would not, then, be liable to seizure. He had taken the precaution
to secure what he considered a proper reception at New York. Thus he had
hired a steam tug with a brass band on board. This excited the mirth of
all the New York journals.

When the season began Angelo on the opening night occupied my box,
wearing for the first time in his life a white shirt; and it was noticed
that when he made memoranda on his cuffs he now did so with a black lead

After the first week, the salaries having become due, the theatre
closed, and the would-be impresario found himself surrounded in his
hotel by infuriated choristers, who, with drawn stilettos presented,
formed a veritable _chevaux de frise_ in front of him. Angelo appeared
himself at the second floor window in order to hold parley with his
aggressors at a safe distance, and for some days he remained confined to
his hotel.

A public subscription was got up for the choristers to enable them to
return to Europe, and Angelo himself now accepted an appointment as
interpreter in Castle Garden, where he had to receive the emigrants,
make known their wants, and give them instructions in whatever happened
to be their native tongue; but he would do nothing for them unless they
began by buying a certain number of his detestable but high-priced
cigars. Even Dr. Gardini, the husband of the distinguished prima donna,
Mdme. Gerster, was actually afraid in Angelo's presence to smoke any
cigars but his. I remember on one occasion giving Dr. Gardini an Havanna
of the finest brand. He knew that Angelo, who was acting at the time as
_chef de claque_ to Mdme. Gerster, would, if he came in, recognize at
once its superior flavour; and when the door-keeper suddenly entered to
tell me that Angelo wished to speak to me for a moment, the doctor
thought it politic to throw aside the cigar I had given him and replace
it by one of Angelo's vile weeds.

As to Angelo's exact pecuniary position at this moment it is difficult
to speak with certainty. Some say that he is without a shilling, and my
baritone, Signor de Anna, declares that he accommodated him with that
sum a few weeks ago when he was passing through New York. According to
other accounts he is a millionaire, with his millions safely invested in
Italian securities.

To return to my own managerial business. I now fitted out an expedition
for the following October, when I proposed to make an operatic tour
throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Some few days before my departure
I was much astonished at an embargo being laid on all my costumes and
music under a bill of sale, voluntarily given by me to two friends, in
order to secure a sum which they had advanced as subscribers for the
previous season; which, but for Mdme. Patti's refusal to sing, would
have been completed. I thought that, under the circumstances, my friends
might have waited until after the tour had started. This incident
prevented me from getting away at the appointed time, and I was delayed
in London for nearly a week with the whole of my artists and chorus on
my hands. I, however, got over this difficulty, and left for Ireland
with a most attractive Company.

We opened in Dublin about the middle of October with an excellent
performance of _Carmen_; Minnie Hauk not having appeared there since ten
years previously on our way to America for our first visit, when Bizet's
opera was totally unknown. On this occasion we were rewarded with a very
crowded audience. Mdme. Rolla made her _début_ as "Michaela," in which
she met with great success; Del Puente, of course, being the "Toreador."

On the following night Mdlle. Dotti appeared as "Leonora" in
_Trovatore_, when the house was again crowded. The third night was
devoted to the _Barbiere_, for which I expected Mdlle. Arnoldson, who
did not turn up. The part was, therefore, undertaken by Mdme. Rolla, who
met with great success. Some eight months previously it had been agreed
with Ravelli, prior to his departure for South America, that he should
return to me in Ireland for this engagement, and I must give him credit
this time for having kept his word. He had been travelling continuously
for over seven weeks, and, landing at Bordeaux, had to work his way on
to Dublin, where he joined the Company. There was now no murderous
feeling between him and Minnie Hauk; they seemed to be the best of
friends. I felt sure, however, that this reconciliation would be only
temporary. I remained in Dublin a fortnight, during which time I
produced _Le Nozze di Figaro_, and _Ernani_, with Mdme. Rolla's
excellent impersonation of "Elvira" and Signor De Anna's superb
rendering of "Carlo V." This was followed by _Don Giovanni_, _Faust_,
_Rigoletto_, _Il Flauto Magico_, in which the whole Company took part,
the exceptionally difficult _rôle_ of the "Queen of Night" being
undertaken with great effect by Mdlle. Marie Decca. I afterwards left
for Cork, where the Company met with great artistic success, the Press
notices being more favourable than they had ever been on previous

On the 29th October, being the centenary of Mozart's _Don Giovanni_, I
was determined to celebrate the event with due circumstance; and the
great opera was given with the following very efficient cast:--"Donna
Anna," Mdlle. Louise Dotti; "Donna Elvira," Mdme. Rolla; "Zerlina,"
Mdme. Minnie Hauk; "Don Ottavio," Signor Ravelli; "Leporello," Signor
Caracciolo; "Il Commendatore," M. Abramoff; "Masetto," Signor Rinaldini;
and "Don Giovanni," Signor Padilla; conductor, Signor Arditi.

I had arranged at the close of the first act to place a bust of Mozart
on the stage, executing at the same time the grand chorus of the _Magic
Flute_ while the High Sheriff of the County crowned the immortal
composer. Alas! there was no bust of Mozart to be obtained. But the
property-man reported that he had one of Parnell, which, by the removal
of the beard and some other manipulation, could be made to resemble
Mozart. The High Sheriff having declined to perform the ceremony in
connection with the bust of Parnell, the Mayor of Cork immediately
volunteered to replace him. The public soon got wind of what was going
on; and, fearing a popular commotion--as this very day the city had been
proclaimed in consequence of the Land League meetings--I had to content
myself with performing the opera as Mozart originally intended.

The part of the dissolute "Don" was superbly rendered by Signor Padilla,
the eminent Spanish baritone, whose appearance reminded me forcibly of
Mario. He had just returned from Prague, where Mozart's centenary had
been duly celebrated, the whole of the arrangements having been left in
his hands. He told me many interesting stories concerning his researches
in the museums and libraries that had been placed by the Government at
his disposal during his stay there, which extended over some five or six
weeks. He succeeded in ascertaining the correct date of the original
production of _Don Giovanni_ at Prague. The authorities in Paris
insisted that it had been first performed on the 27th October, 1787, and
they even went so far as to regulate their centenary performance by that
day. Signor Padilla, however, obtained the original play-bill from the
National Library, in which it was clearly set forth that _Il Don
Giovanni_, _Ossia_, _Il Dissoluto Punito_ was first produced on the 29th
day of October, 1787.

In my representation the absurd scene of "Don Giovanni" surrounded by a
lot of stage demons flashing their torches of resin all over him was, of
course, omitted. He simply went below in the hands of the Uomo di

This reminds me of an amateur operatic performance we once had at
Woolwich, in which I took part for the benefit of some regimental

I was dining at my Club with some friends when the performance was first
suggested. It was decided to give _Rigoletto_, in which I was asked to
undertake the part of the Duke; this to be followed by the last act of
_Don Giovanni_.

I, of course, said "Yes," as I usually do to everything; and before the
dinner was over so many bets had been made on the question whether or
not I would appear as the "Duke of Mantua" that, on making up my book,
I found I must either play the arduous part or pay some £300 or £400. I
determined on the former course.

I, of course, kept the matter a profound secret from all connected with
my theatre. On the night of the performance, on the rising of the
curtain, I was horrified in the midst of my first aria at seeing Mdme.
Titiens, Mdme. Trebelli, Sir Michael Costa, and Adelina Patti amongst
the audience; and it required some nerve to pull myself together and
continue the part. I succeeded, however, in obtaining the customary
encore for the "La donna è mobile" and for the quartett; and on the
whole I believe I acquitted myself well. So, at least, said the notices
which, to my astonishment, appeared next morning in the daily papers.

A catastrophe occurred at the close of the last scene, where the late
Colonel Goodenough, in the character of "Rigoletto," had to mourn over
the corpse of the murdered "Gilda." At the rehearsal a man had been
placed in the sack, but he was too heavy to be dragged out; and, as
Colonel Goodenough was very nervous, the property-man made the sack
lighter by placing inside some straw and two large bladders full of air.
Just as the curtain was descending Goodenough, who was a very heavy man,
threw himself for the final lament on to the corpse of his daughter,
when a loud explosion took place, one of the bladders having burst.

The performance concluded with the last act of _Don Giovanni_, in which
Colonel Stracey undertook the part of the dissolute "Don." The demons
were gunners from the Royal Artillery. It was most ludicrous, every time
the Colonel gave the slightest stage direction as to where these men
were to go and when they were to take hold of him and carry him down, to
see the eight demons all give the military salute at the same time.
Stracey told them not to salute him, on which they said "No, Colonel!"
and gave another salute.

On leaving Cork we had to return to Dublin, where, in consequence of
enormous success, we were called upon to give an extra week. We finished
up on the following Saturday evening with a performance of Wallace's
_Maritana_, in the Italian language, to a house literally packed to the
very roof. Ravelli sang the part of "Don Cæsar;" and being encored in
"Let me like a soldier fall," gave it the second time in English.

We afterwards went to Liverpool, when suddenly Mdme. Minnie Hauk,
without a moment's warning, left the Company. Two days afterwards I
received a medical certificate from Dr. Weber, to the effect that the
lady was in a precarious state of health, and utterly voiceless, so that
it was necessary for her to go to a certain mountain in Switzerland to
recover her health. It was the month of December.

I afterwards ascertained that _en route_ she had sung at three concerts
for her own benefit.

We next visited Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Brighton,
etc., concluding at the last-named town just before Christmas with a
memorable performance of _Maritana_, when the curtain had to be raised
no less than five times.

On the termination of the season we returned to London, where the
Company disbanded for the holidays, my Italian chorus being now sent
back to Italy.

It costs £8 to get an Italian chorus singer from his native land to
England; and this seems money wasted when one reflects that just as good
voices are to be found in this country as in Italy. If such a thing as a
permanent Opera could be established in London arrangements might be
made by which it would look for its chorus to one or more of our
numerous musical academies, which at present seem to exist and to be
multiplied solely to deluge the country with music teachers, whose keen
competition lessens daily the value of their services. When the Royal
Academy of Music was established the Earl of Westmorland, who presided
at the first meeting of the promoters, said, in reference to the
expected advantages of such an institution, that he hoped to see the day
when music lessons would be given in England at the rate of 6d. an hour.

A nice time music teachers will have when ten hours' work a day will
give them an income of 30s. a week! But what, if not music teachers, are
the pupils of our four leading musical academies to become? The Royal
Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Guildhall School of
Music, and Dr. Wylde's London Academy of Music must send out annually
some thousand or two well-taught musicians who have nothing to turn to
but teaching.

Except among the richer classes almost everyone who studies music ends
by teaching music to someone else. Such is his fate whatever may have
been his ambition. What, except a music teacher, or an orchestral
player, or, by rare good luck, a concert singer, is he or she to become?
In other countries there is an established musical theatre with which
the recognized Academy of Music is in connection, and which in some
measure depends upon it as upon a feeder. The students of the Paris
Conservatoire sing in the chorus of the Grand Opera; and those students
who gain prizes, or otherwise distinguish themselves, obtain an
appearance, as a matter of course, at the great Lyrical Theatre, for
which they may be said to have been specially trained. In England,
however, we occupy ourselves exclusively with the teaching of music,
never in any manner dealing with the question what the students are to
do when their period of study is at an end. In other countries there is
together with one musical academy one Opera-house. Here we have four
musical academies and not one permanent operatic establishment.

Such is the national mania for establishing schools of music that a few
years ago some £200,000 was collected for establishing a new musical
academy with, for the most part, the same professors as those already
employed at existing academies; and an attempt, moreover, was made to
shelve Sir Arthur Sullivan (who may yet, it is to be hoped, compose an
opera), by placing him at the head of this quite superfluous
establishment. More recently Sir Arthur refused to allow himself to be
shackled in the manner contemplated; and not many years afterwards
another composer, Mr. A. C. Mackenzie, who has already proved himself
capable of writing fine dramatic music, was put on the retired list in
similar fashion. Mozart, Rossini, Auber, Bellini, Verdi studied at no
academy; and my friend Verdi was rejected from the Conservatorio of
Milan as incapable of passing the entrance examination. We, however,
hope everything from music schools though we have nothing to offer our
composers or our singers when, in a theoretical sort of way, they have
once been formed. The money wasted in establishing the Royal College of
Music might have been usefully spent in founding a permanent lyrical
theatre for which our young composers might have worked, on whose
boards our young vocalists might have sung. Thus only, by practice in
presence of the public, can composers and singers perfect themselves in
their difficult art. It should be remembered too that for operatic music
the best school is an operatic establishment where fine performances can
be heard.

The unhappy students, meanwhile, receive but small benefit from their
tuition, seeing that they are simply turned out to swell the ranks of
indigent teachers. No capital in Europe has anything like so many music
schools as London, and no capital in Europe is so entirely without the
means of offering suitable work to students who have once qualified
themselves for performing it. We have some twenty or thirty theatres in
London without one school of acting; which is possibly a mistake. But it
is not such a bad mistake as to have four large music schools without
one lyrical theatre. Nothing can be more preposterous. Yet there is at
this moment more chance of a fifth music school being established than
of an Opera-house being founded at which the shoals of composers and
vocalists shot out every year would have an opportunity of pursuing
their profession.

Sixty years ago, since which time we are supposed to have made progress
in musical as in other matters, the Royal Academy of Music, which has
produced so many excellent singers, instrumentalists, and composers,
was intimately connected with the King's Theatre. Its students sang in
the Opera chorus, and every fortnight gave performances of their own, at
which leading vocalists, choristers, and orchestra were exclusively from
the Academy. These performances took place in the King's Concert Room, a
sort of _annexe_ to the theatre in which the performances of Italian
Opera were given.

Nor in those days were singers who happened to be English ashamed to
call themselves by their own names. The present custom of Italianizing
English names as the only process by which they can be made fit for
presentation to the public is much more modern than is generally known.
Even in our own time two admirable vocalists, Mr. Sims Reeves and Mr.
Santley, have had the manliness to reject all suggestions for
Italianizing their names. The foreign musicians, often of the highest
eminence, who have settled amongst us, seem, on the other hand, to have
taken a pride in passing themselves off as Englishmen. Handel is always
called in the bills of the period Mr. Handel; Costa (until he was
knighted) was always Mr. Costa; Hallé (until he also was knighted) Mr.
Hallé; Benedict (until the moment when he was empowered to adopt the
"Sir"), Mr. Benedict; Herren Karl Rosa, August Manns, Alberto Randegger,
Wilhelm Ganz, and Wilhelm Kuhe (whose knighthood has not yet reached
them), are Mr. Carl Rosa, Mr. Manns, Mr. Randegger, Mr. Ganz, and Mr.
Kuhe. It cannot be a disgrace even for a musician to be an Englishman,
or so many foreign musicians of eminence would not so readily have
called themselves "Mr."

An English vocalist, on the other hand, will not hesitate to pass
himself off, so far as a name can assist him in his enterprise, as some
sort of foreigner. My old pal, Jack Foley, becomes Signor Foli, and the
Signor sticks to him through life. We have a Signor Sinclair, a name
which seems to me as droll as that of Count Smith at the San Francisco
Hotel. Provincial managers have often entreated me to use my influence
with Mr. Santley in order to make him change his name to Signor
Santalini, which they assured me would look better in the programme, and
bring more money into the house. A Mr. Walker being engaged to appear at
Her Majesty's Theatre, called himself on doing so Signor Valchieri
(Signor Perambulatore would certainly have been better); and a
well-known American singer, Mr. John Clarke, of Brooklyn, transformed
himself on joining my Company into Signor Giovanni Chiari di Broccolini.
The English and American young ladies who now sing in such numbers on
the Italian stage take the prefix not of Signora or Signorina, but of
Madame or Mademoiselle. This, also, is confusing.



In the early part of January, 1888, I gave forty-two grand concerts in
forty-two different cities, commencing in Dublin, where I was placed in
a position of the greatest difficulty by the non-arrival of Padilla, the
baritone, Ravelli, the tenor, and my principal soloist, Van Biene, who
was laid up with rheumatism; so that it was only with the greatest
difficulty that I could even make a beginning. In due course Ravelli
arrived, but with such a cold that he was unable to speak. I, therefore,
had to proceed to the south of Ireland minus a tenor and a baritone. I
succeeded, however, in replacing the instrumentalist by M. Rudersdorf,
the eminent violoncellist, who resides in Dublin.

Prior to going to Belfast, towards the latter part of the week, Signor
Padilla joined us, and for the next evening in Dublin all was arranged
for the appearance of Ravelli, who had been living the whole week with
his wife in the hotel at my expense. On notifying him to go to the
concert, he replied that he must be paid a week's salary for the time
during which he had been sick or he would not open his mouth. He
conducted himself in so disrespectful a manner that he deserved, I told
him, to be taken to the concert-room by force. I had scarcely made a
movement of my hand as in explanation when he thought I was going to
strike him, and made a rush at me in a most violent way, kicking up in
the French style in all directions, while his wife assisted him by
coming behind me with a chair.

I knew that if I injured him in the slightest degree there would be no
concert that night. Meanwhile he was going full tilt at me to strike me
in any way he possibly could, and it taxed my ingenuity to stop all
action on his part without injuring him. It was fortunate I did so, as,
after he had calmed down, seeing me in earnest, he dressed himself and
went on to the concert. All this occurred only half an hour before its
commencement. Afterwards Ravelli sang with comparative regularity.

Business, however, was not what it ought to have been, in consequence of
the absence of favourite names from the programme. The musical
excellence of my Company was beyond question, but the public must have
old names of some kind or other, whether with voices or not, to ensure
an audience.

We reached Leicester some four days afterwards. On the Company arriving
in a body at the hotel, the hostess looked at us with amazement, and
asked me if I had not come to the wrong town, since no announcement
whatever had appeared as to any concert taking place. I thereupon made
inquiries and found the landlady's statement to be perfectly true. All
the printed matter--bills and programmes--previously sent on was
discovered hidden away; and the person who had undertaken the
arrangement of the concert, being in difficulties, had been unable even
to announce our coming in the newspapers.

I, of course, insisted upon giving the concert, and as evening
approached some half-dozen people who were accidentally passing
purchased tickets. The performance proceeded in due form, and Ravelli,
much to his disgust, obtained an encore from his audience of six.

In a hall adjoining I heard excellent singing, as if from a large
chorus. I at once saw a way of giving encouragement to my artists, who
were going on with the concert. On entering I found that the local
Philharmonic Society was practising. It included many of the leading
ladies and gentlemen of Leicester, and numbered altogether some two or
three hundred singers.

I told the conductor that a capital concert was going on in the
adjoining hall, to which I invited all present. If he would suspend the
rehearsal they could go and help themselves to the best seats. Great
astonishment was evinced amongst the six members of our public when they
suddenly found the room filling with a well-dressed and distinguished
audience, who were so delighted with the excellence of the performance
that they encored every piece. Prior to the close of the concert I
thought it was better to address a few words to my visitors, in which I
stated that the concert, having been given secretly, without the
knowledge of the town, I should look upon it as a private rehearsal
only; and that it was my intention to return to Leicester some two or
three weeks afterwards, when the public performance would take place. On
leaving the hall my new audience booked some £20 or £30 worth of seats
to make sure of obtaining places at my next visit.

When I returned shortly afterwards the Concert Hall was packed from
floor to ceiling, and I was even requested to come back and give a third
entertainment. The Press declared that no better concert had ever been
given in Leicester.

We afterwards visited Cheltenham, Bristol, Exeter, and some twenty other
cities, in each of which we were considerably handicapped by amateurs
giving concerts for the entertainment of other amateurs; neither
performers nor listeners seeming to have any high idea of art.

On reaching Cardiff Ravelli, without any reason, in the middle of the
concert, said that he was indisposed, and walked home. As there was no
other tenor present, and as it was impossible to continue the
performance without one, I volunteered my services. I had previously
notified the public; and after I had sung in the _Trovatore_ duet I was
recalled twice, and on taking an encore was again twice recalled. This
helped us for the moment. But I have no intention of again appearing as
a vocalist.

Ravelli, after going home to bed, had requested me to send for a doctor,
as he was in a desperate state. The next morning, prior to leaving the
town, I gave instructions to the landlady that proper care should be
taken of him, adding that I would return in three or four days to see
how he was progressing. I requested her, moreover, to paste up the
windows to prevent any draught blowing into the room.

I then started with the Company to Exeter. On reaching that city I
received a telegram from the landlady, stating that after my departure
Mr. Ravelli had gone to Paris by the next train with his wife.

From Exeter we passed on to Plymouth and Torquay, where we gave a
morning concert, remaining in that delightful watering-place till the
following Monday morning, when we left for Salisbury; after which we
visited Southampton, Southsea, Cambridge, Leicester, and Nottingham. The
concert tour being now at an end, I returned to London.

Although both Mdme. Minnie Hauk and Signor Ravelli had left me on the
plea of sickness without being seriously indisposed, I took no steps
against either of them. For a time, I must admit, I thought of having
recourse to the good services of my friend and solicitor--strange
conjunction!--Mr. Russell Gole; who during my career as impresario has
brought and defended for me actions innumerable, and invariably, I
believe, with the best results that under the circumstances could have
been obtained. The reader has already heard of Mr. Gole's ingenious
suggestion at a time when for six minutes I was in the position of a
bankrupt. During those memorable six minutes Mr. Registrar Hazlitt had
occupied the position of an impresario, and it would be difficult to say
whether at that momentous crisis he or I was most out of place. When Mr.
Gole reminded him that he was now _ex-officio_ the manager of Her
Majesty's Theatre, and that advice was expected from him as to the
cutting of _Lohengrin_, the making up of the ballet girls' petticoats,
and the pacification of an insubordinate tenor, he sent for the Book of
Practice, and after consulting it rescinded the order, observing that he
did so "in the interest of the public."

Once more, only a few weeks ago, I stood in the presence of Mr.
Registrar Hazlitt, and, as in the days of Sir Michael Costa's disputed
cheque, had Mr. Russell Gole by my side. Once more, too, when an order
of bankruptcy was impending over me it was withdrawn partly through the
instrumentality of my solicitor, but mainly, of course, through the
goodwill of my creditors, who subscribed among themselves sufficient
money to pay into Court a sum which was at once accepted in liquidation
of all claims.

I am generally regarded and have got into the habit of looking upon
myself as a manager of Italian Opera. But, accepting that character, I
do not think I can be fairly accused of exclusiveness as towards the
works of German or even of English composers. Nor can I well be charged
with having neglected the masterpieces of the lyric drama by whomsoever
composed. For a great many years past no manager but myself has given
performances of Cherubini's _Medea_. _Fidelio_ is a work which, from the
early days of Mdlle. Titiens until my last year at Her Majesty's
Theatre, with Mdlle. Lilli Lehmann in the principal part, I have always
been ready to present. I was the first manager to translate Wagner's
_Tannhäuser_ and _Lohengrin_ into Italian, and the only one out of
Germany who has been enterprising enough to produce the entire series of
the _Ring des Nibelungen_.

As regards English Opera, Macfarren's _Robin Hood_ and Wallace's _Amber
Witch_ owe their very existence to me. It was I who, at Her Majesty's
Theatre in 1860-61, brought out both those works, which had been
specially composed for the theatre. I myself adapted Balfe's _Bohemian
Girl_ to the Italian stage, and in the course of my last provincial tour
I gave for the first time in Italian, and with remarkable success, the
_Maritana_ of Wallace.

Casting back my recollection over a long series of years I find that the
only composer of undisputed influence and popularity whose propositions
I could at no time accept were those of Jacques Offenbach; whom,
however, in his own particular line I am far from undervaluing. The
composer of _La grande Duchesse de Gérolstein_, _La Belle Hélène_, and a
whole series of masterpieces in the burlesque style, tried to persuade
me that his works were not so comic as people insisted on believing.
They had, according to him, their serious side; and he sought to
convince me that _La Belle Hélène_, produced at Her Majesty's Theatre
with an increased orchestra, and with a hundred or more additional
voices in the chorus, would prove a genuine artistic success. I must
admit that I gave a moment's thought to the matter; but the project of
the amiable _maestro_ was not one that I could seriously entertain. I
may here remind the reader that Offenbach began life as a composer of
serious music. He was known in his youth as an admirable violoncellist,
playing with wonderful expression all the best music written for the
instrument he had adopted. He was musical conductor, moreover, at the
Théâtre Français in the days when the "House of Molière" maintained an
orchestra, and, indeed, a very good one. When Offenbach composed the
choruses and incidental music for the _Ulysse_ of M. Ponsard he did so
in the spirit of Meyerbeer, who had undertaken to supply the music of
the piece; and he then showed his aptitude for imitating the composer of
_Les Huguenots_ in a direct manner, as he afterwards did in burlesquing

Offenbach was destined not to be appreciated as a serious composer,
though in one of his works, the little-known _Contes d'Hoffmann_, there
is much music which, if not learned or profound, is at least artistic.

Had I agreed to Offenbach's offer, I was also to accept his services as
conductor; which would have been more, I think, than Sir Michael Costa,
who would have had to direct on alternate nights, would have been able
to stand. Sir Michael was not only peculiarly sensitive, but also
remarkably vindictive; and the engagement of Offenbach at a theatre
where he was officiating would certainly have caused him no little
resentment. He forgave no slight, nor even the appearance of one in
cases where no real slight could possibly have been intended. When he
left the Royal Italian Opera he was of opinion that the late Mr.
Augustus Harris, who was Mr. Gye's stage manager at the time, should
also have quitted the establishment; and carrying his hostile feelings
in true vendetta fashion from father to son, he afterwards objected to
the presence of the Augustus Harris of our own time, at any theatre
where he, Sir Michael, might be engaged.

"Who is that young man?" he said to me one day when the future
"Druriolanus" was acting as my stage manager. "He seems to know his
business, but I think I heard you call him 'Harris.' Can he be the son
of my enemy?"

I tried to explain to Sir Michael that the gentleman against whom he
seemed to nourish some feeling of animosity could not be in any way his
foe. But the great conductor would not see this. The father, he said,
had shown himself his enemy, and he was himself the enemy of the son.

The hatred sometimes conceived by one singer for another of the same
class of voice and playing the same parts, is, if not more reasonable,
at least more intelligible. I shall never forget the rage which the
tenor Fancelli once displayed on seeing the name of the tenor Campanini
inscribed on a large box at a railway station with these proud words
appended to it: "Primo Tenore Assoluto, Her Majesty's Opera Company." It
was the epithet "assoluto" which, above all, raised Fancelli's ire. He
rushed at the box, attacked the offending words with his walking-stick,
and with the end of it tried to rub off the white letters composing the
too ambitious adjective, "assoluto."

"Assoluto" was an epithet which Fancelli reserved for his own private
use, and to which he alone among tenors considered himself justly
entitled. Unfortunately, he could not write the word, reading and
writing being accomplishments which had been denied to him from his
youth upwards. He could just manage to scribble his own name in large
schoolboy characters. But his letter-writing and his "autographs" for
admiring ladies were done for him by a chorister, who was remunerated
for his secretarial work at the rate of something like a penny Pickwick
per month. The chorister, however, in agreeing to work on these moderate
terms, knew that he had the illustrious tenor in his hands; and in
moments of difficulty he would exact his own price and, refusing cheap
cigars, accept nothing less than ready money.

Occasionally when the chorister was not at hand, or when he was called
upon, to give his autograph in presence of other persons, Fancelli
found himself in a sad plight; and I have a painful recollection of his
efforts to sign his name in the album of the Liverpool Philharmonic
Society, which contains the signatures of a large number of celebrated
singers and musicians. In this musical Book of Gold Fancelli made an
earnest endeavour to inscribe his name, which with the exception only of
the "c" and one of the "l's" he succeeded in writing without the
omission of any of the necessary letters. He had learned, moreover, to
write the glorious words "Primo tenore," and in a moment of aspiration
tried to add to them his favourite epithet of "assoluto." He had written
a capital "A," followed by three "s's," when either from awkwardness or
in order to get himself out of the scrape in which he already felt
himself lost, he upset the inkstand over the page. Then he took up the
spilt ink on his forefinger and transferred it to his hair; until at
last, when he had obliterated the third "s," his signature stood in the
book and stands now--


Some rude critics having declared of Signor Fancelli's singing that it
would have been better if he had made a regular study of the vocal art,
he spoke to me seriously about taking lessons. But he declared that he
had no time, and that as he was making money by singing in the style to
which he was accustomed it would be better to defer studying until he
had finished his career, when he would have plenty of leisure.

About this time the strange idea occurred to him of endeavouring to
master the meaning of the parts entrusted to him in the various operas.

"In _Medea_," he innocently remarked, "during the last two years I have
played the part of a man named 'Jason'; but what he has to do with
'Medea,' I have never been able to make out. Am I her father, her
brother, her lover, or what?"

Fancelli had begun life as a _facchino_ or baggage porter at Leghorn, so
that his ignorance, if lamentable, was at least excusable. On retiring
from the stage he really applied himself to study; with what success I
am unable to say. At his death he left a large sum of money.

It has often astonished me that singers without any education, musical
or other, should be able to remember the words and music of their parts.
Some of them resort to strange devices in order to supply the want of
natural gifts; and one vocalist previously mentioned, Signor Broccolini,
would write his "words" on whatever staff or stick he might happen to be
carrying, or in default of any such "property," on the fingers and palm
of his hand. In representing the statue of the Commander, in _Don
Giovanni_, he inscribed beforehand the words he had to sing on the
_bâton_ carried by the Man of Stone; but to be able to read them it was
necessary to know on which side in the scene of the cemetery the rays of
the moon would fall. On one occasion he had majestically taken up his
position on horseback, with the _bâton_ grasped in his right hand, and
reposing on his right hip, and was expecting a rush of moonlight from
the left, when the position of the orb of night was suddenly changed,
and he was unable to read one syllable of the words on which he
depended. Having to choose between two difficulties, he at once selected
the least, and, to the astonishment of the audience, transferred the
Commander's _bâton_ from the right hand to the left.

The vanity of an opera singer is generally in proportion to the lowness
of his origin. This rule, however, does not seem to apply to dramatic
artists, for I remember that when I once called upon Mdme. Ristori at
Naples I found her principal actors and actresses, who had apparently
begun life as domestic servants, continuing the occupations of their
youth while at the same time impersonating on the stage the most exalted
characters. "Sir Francis Drake" waited at table, the "Earl of Essex"
opened the street door, "Leicester" acted as butler; and I have reason
to believe that "Dirce" dressed "Medea's" hair.

Two more anecdotes as to the caprices and the exactions of vocalists. My
basso, Cherubini, on one occasion refused to go on with his part in
_Lucia_ because he had not been applauded on entering.

An incident of quite an opposite character occurred at Naples during the
Titiens engagement. Armandi, a tenor of doubtful repute, who resided at
Milan, always awaited the result of the various _fiascos_ of St.
Stephen's night (26th December) which marks the beginning of the
Carnival season, when some hundreds of musical theatres throw open their
doors. He had a large _répertoire_; and, after ascertaining by telegraph
where his services were most in need, and where they would be best
remunerated, he would accept an engagement as a kind of stop-gap until
another tenor could be found. Generally, at the close of the first
evening he was paid for his six performances and sent back to Milan.

But on the occasion I am speaking of Armandi had stipulated in his
contract that he should be paid the six nights and sing the six nights
as well; for he was tired, he said, of being systematically shelved
after a single performance.

The part in which he had to appear at Naples, where the leading tenor of
the establishment had hopelessly broken down, was that of "Pollio" in
Norma; but every time he attempted to sing the public accompanied him
with hisses, so that he soon became inaudible. At the close of the first
act he came before the curtain, and after obtaining a hearing begged the
audience to allow him to finish the opera in peace, when he would leave
the city. If they continued hissing he warned them that he would sing
the remaining five nights of his engagement.

The public took the candour of the man in such good part that they not
only applauded him throughout the evening, but allowed him to remain the
entire season.


Figures are dull and statistics fatiguing; or I might be tempted to give
the reader particulars as to the number of miles that I have travelled,
the sums of money I have received and spent during my career as manager;
with other details of a like character. I may mention, however, that for
many years during our operatic tours in the United Kingdom and in the
United States, our average annual travelling with a large company of
principal singers, choristers, dancers, and orchestral players amounted
to some 23,000 miles, or nearly the length of the earth's circumference.
This naturally necessitated a great deal of preparation and forethought.
The average annual takings were during this period over £200,000. All
this involved so much organization and such careful administration, that
a mere impresario might, without disgrace, have proved unequal to the
work. The financial department, in particular, of such an enterprise
ought, to be thoroughly well managed, to enjoy the supervision of a

Difficulties, however, are only obstacles set in one's way in order to
be overcome, and mine have never caused me any serious trouble. I am
disposed by nature to take a cheerful view of things, and I can scarcely
think of any dilemma in which I have been placed, however serious, which
has not presented its bright, or at least when I came to think of it,
its amusing side. When, moreover, one has had, throughout a long career,
difficulties, often of a very formidable character, to contend with, the
little inconveniences of life are scarcely felt.

I remember one day dining with a millionaire of my acquaintance who got
red in the face, stamped, swore, and almost went into convulsions
because the salmon had been rather too much boiled. He had led too easy
a life; or so trifling a mishap would have had no effect upon him.

Often when affairs looked almost tragic, I have been able to bear them
by perceiving that they had also their comic aspect. The reader, indeed,
will have seen for himself that some of my liveliest anecdotes are
closely connected with very grave matters indeed. Of such anecdotes I
could tell many more. But I feel that I have already taken up too much
of the reader's time, and, having several important projects on hand
which will take up the whole of mine, I must now conclude.



The following is a list of the principal artists whom I first had the
honour of engaging for this country, and, with two exceptions (marked by
asterisks), of introducing for the first time to the British public:--

   _European Prime Donne._

*Adelina Patti,

Christine Nilsson,

Etelka Gerster,

Marguerite Chapuy,

Ilma di Murska,

Marie Roze,

Marie Marimon,

Emelie Ambré,

Caroline Salla,

Lilli Lehmann,

Eugénie Pappenheim,

Harriers Wippern,

Victoire Balfe,

Jenny Broch,

Elena Varese,

Marianina Lodi,

Alma Fohström,

Caroline Reboux,

Clarice Sinico,

Louise Sarolta,

Mathilde Sessi,

Bianca Donadio,

Matilda Bauermeister,

Zelie Trebelli,

Sofia Scalchi,

Anna de Belocca,


Carolina Guarducci,

Caroline Bettelheim.

   _American Prime Donne._

*Emma Albani,

Clara Louise Kellogg,

Alwina Valleria,

Marie Vanzandt,

Emma Nevada,

Emma Abbott,

Marie Litta,

Lilian Nordica,

Louise Dotti,

Hélène Hastreiter,

Emma Juch,

Annie Louise Cary,

Kate Rolla,

Laura Harris-Zagury,

Lilian Lauri,

Marie Engle,

Genevieve Ward,

Minnie Hauk,


Etc., etc., etc.


Pietro Mongini,

Roberto Stagno,

Italo Campanini,

Luigi Ravelli,

Dr. Gunz,

Carlo Bulterini,

Ernesto Nicolini,

De Capellio-Tasca,

Victor Capoul,

Giovanni Vizzani,

Tom Hohler,

Allesandro Bettini,

Antonio Aramburo,

Giuseppe Fancelli.


Enrico Delle-Sedie,

Mariano de Padilla,

Charles Santley,

Enrico Fagotti,

Jean de Reszke,

Antonio Galassi,

Giuseppe Del Puente,

Innocente de Anna,



Senatore Sparapani,




Paul Lhérie,

Giovanni Rota.



















Fred Cowen,



Etc., etc., etc.


Tommaso Salvini.

The following celebrities ended their operatic career with me, having
remained for many years previously under my management.:--

Thérèse Titiens,

Giulia Grisi,

Marietta Alboni,

Fanny Persiani,

Pauline Viardot,


Antonio Giuglini,

Italo Gardoni,

Ignazio Marini,

Karl Formes,

Sir Michael Costa.

The following works were, in England, first produced under my

    _Faust_                                    Gounod.
    _Damnation de Faust_                       Berlioz.
    _Messe Solennelle_                         Rossini.
    _Ballo in Maschera_                        Verdi.
    _Forza del Destino_                        Verdi.
    _I Vespri Siciliani_                       Verdi.
    _Carmen_                                   Bizet.
    _Leila_ (_Pêcheurs de Perles_)             Bizet.
    _Mirella_                                  Gounod.
    _Falstaff_ (_Merry Wives of Windsor_)       Nicolai.
    _Don Bucefalo_                             Cagnoni.
    _Hamlet_                                   Thomas.
    _Rinnegato_                                Orczy.
    _Nicolo de Lapi_                           Schira.
    _Esmeralda_                                Campana.
    _Mefistofele_                              Boito.
    _Talismano_                                Balfe.
    _Ruy Blas_                                 Marchetti.
    _Medea_                                    Cherubini.
    _Iphigénie_                                Gluck.
    _Deux Journées_                            Cherubini.
    _Seraglio_                                 Mozart.
    _Ring des Nibelungen_                      Wagner.

The following revivals, among others, were given by me with entirely new
scenery, dresses, and decorations:--

    _Fidelio_                                  Beethoven.
    _Freischütz_                               Weber.
    _Oberon_                                   Weber.
    _Aida_                                     Verdi.
    _Flauto Magico_                            Mozart.
    _Anna Bolena_                              Donizetti.
    _Lohengrin_                                Wagner.
    _Dinorah_                                  Meyerbeer.
    _Semiramide_                               Rossini.



Aaron, Sheriff, Vol. II., 81.

Abbey, Mr., Vol. I., 265, 308, 318, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325; Vol.
II., 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 22, 27, 31, 32, 37, 38, 39, 79, 254.

Abbot, Emma, Vol. I., 190; Vol. II., 297.

Abramoff, M., Vol. II., 266.

Adams, J. McGregor, Vol. II., 232.

Adini, Mdme., Vol. I., 232.

Agnesi, Signor, Vol. I., 155; Vol. II., 299.

Albani, Emma, Vol. I., 142, 143, 148, 251, 288, 304, 305, 306, 307, 309,
310, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320; Vol. II., 5, 174, 297.

Alboni, Vol. I., 9, 26, 27, 35, 36; Vol. II., 300.

Aldighieri, Vol. I., 19, 26, 47.

Ambré, Emelie, Vol. I., 220, 229; Vol. II., 296.

Angelo, Vol. II., 241, 258, 259, 260, 262, 263.

Antrobus, Captain, Vol. I., 281.

Aramburo, Vol. I., 232; Vol. II., 174, 298.

Arditi, Signor, Vol. I., 16, 17, 36, 37, 55, 68, 70, 77, 89, 104, 127,
129, 131, 199, 215, 216, 217, 243, 244, 250, 266, 288, 312; Vol. II.,
12, 16, 67, 85, 129, 147, 161, 178, 179, 193, 231, 244, 266.

Arditi, Mdme. and Signor, Vol. I., 104.

Armandi, Signor, Vol. II., 290.

Arnoldson, Mdlle., Vol. II., 264.

Arnoux, Judge W. R., Vol. I., 326.

Arthur, President, Vol. I., 313, 314, 315.

Auber, Vol. II., 169, 272.

Austin, Mr., Vol. I., 193.

Austin, Fredk., Vol. II., 138.


Babbitt, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Bacon, Arthur, Vol. I., 45.

Badiali, Signor, Vol. I., 10, 11; Vol. II., 299.

Bagagiolo, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Baldanza, Signor, Vol. II., 229.

Balfe, M. W., Vol. I., 2, 161; Vol. II., 283.

Balfe, Victoire, Vol. I., 16; Vol. II., 296.

Ballantine, Serjeant, Vol. I., 14.

Barnes, General W. H. L., Vol. II., 57, 63, 198, 204, 205.

Bauermeister, Mdme., Vol. I., 198; Vol. II., 116, 161, 162, 164, 178,
192, 248, 296.

Baxter, Mr., Vol. I., 70.

Bedford, Duke of, Vol. I., 175.

Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward, Vol. II., 89.

Beethoven, Vol. I., 82; Vol. II., 251.

Behrens, Herr, Vol. II., 299.

Belart, Signor, Vol. I., 27.

Belval, M., Vol. I., 152; Vol. II., 299.

Belasco, Signor, Vol. II., 192, 193.

Belletti, Signor, Vol. I., 2, 3.

Bellini, Vol. I., 90; Vol. II., 272.

Belocca, Mdlle. Anna de, Vol. I., 225, 227, 228, 261; Vol. II., 296.

Belmont, August, Vol. I., 274.

Belmont, Mrs. August, Vol. I., 316.

Benedict, Sir Julius, Vol. I., 16, 17, 27, 172, 197; Vol. II., 274.

Bentinck, Cavendish, Vol. I., 155.

Berghi, Mdlle., Vol. I., 288; Vol. II., 248.

Bernhardt, Sarah, Vol. I., 129, 265; Vol. II., 240.

Bertini, Signor, Vol. II., 13, 14.

Bettelheim, Mdlle., Vol. I., 81; Vol. II., 296.

Bettini, Signor, Vol. I., 6, 7, 73, 76, 77, 81, 120; Vol. II., 298.

Bettini-Trebelli, Mdme., Vol. I., 7.

Beviguani, Signor, Vol. I., 109; Vol. II., 300.

Bidwell, David, Mr., Vol. II., 102.

Bieletto, Signor, Vol. II., 161, 162, 164.

Billing, Dr., Vol. I., 8.

Bimboni, Signor, Vol. II., 231.

Bisaccia, Signor, Vol. II., 300.

Bizet, Vol. II., 249, 251, 264.

Blackstone, T. B., Vol. II., 232.

Blondin, Vol. I., 283, 284.

Boito, Vol. I., 240, 241, 242, 249, 252, 253, 254; Vol. II., 251.

Bologna, Signor, Vol. II., 229.

Bolton, George, Mr., Vol. I., 61, 298.

Booker, British Consul General, Vol. I., 326.

Borchardt, Mdme., Vol. I., 45, 46, 47, 52, 54.

Borghi-Mamo, Vol. I., 26; Vol. II., 296.

Bossi, Signor, Vol. I., 89.

Bowdoin, Mrs., Vol. I., 317.

Bowen, Detective, Vol. II., 57.

Boyne, George, Vol. II., 136, 232.

Bradwell, Vol. I., 271.

Brady, Judge J. R., Vol. I., 326.

Braham, Marquis, Vol. I., 65.

Braham, Charles, Vol. I., 10, 12; Vol. II., 247.

Brichanteau, Count, Vol. II., 68.

Brignoli, Signor, Vol. I., 220, 235, 236; Vol. II., 92.

Broccolini, Signor Giovanni Chiari di, Vol. II., 275, 288.

Broch, Mdlle. Jenny, Vol. II., 244, 248, 296.

Brodie, Dr., Vol. I., 310.

Brooks, Captain, Vol. I., 201.

Browne, Dr. Lennox, Vol. I., 182.

Buck, Dr. J. D., Vol. I., 269.

Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, Vol. I., 172.

Burnett, C. J., Vol. I., 278.

Burroughs, Colonel, Vol. I., 282.

Bulterini, Signor, Vol. II., 298.


Cairns, Sir Hugh, Vol. I., 14.

Calzolari, Signor, Vol. I., 3.

Campanini, Signor, Vol. I., 153, 154, 155, 166, 197, 199, 202, 214, 215,
220, 232, 233, 235, 240, 243, 247, 261, 268, 271, 288; Vol. II., 3, 11,
174, 260, 286, 298.

Capoul, M., Vol. I., 152; Vol. II., 298.

Capponi, Vol. II., 169.

Caracciolo, Signor, Vol. II., 161, 162, 164, 266.

Carden, George, Vol. I., 278.

Cardinali, Vol. II., 130, 152, 153.

Carey, Hon. Eugene, Vol. II., 106, 136, 232.

Carrion, Signor, Vol. I., 172.

Cary, Annie Louise, Vol. I., 235, 243, 247; Vol. II., 297.

Carvalho, Mdme. Miolan, Vol. I., 71, 72.

Castelmary, M., Vol. II., 299.

Castlereagh, Lord, Vol. I., 93.

Catalani, Mdme., Vol. I., 42.

Cavalazzi, Mdme. Malvina, Vol. II., 161, 162, 164.

Caylus, M., Vol. II., 248.

Cesnola, General, Vol. I., 326.

Chappell, Mr. Thos., Vol. I., 28, 66, 67.

Chappell, Mr. Frank, Vol. I., 66, 67.

Chapuy, Mdlle. Marguerite, Vol. I., 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172; Vol.
II., 295.

Charlier, Professor A., Vol. I., 326.

Chatterton, F. B., Vol. I., 110, 111, 189, 190, 191, 199.

Cherubini, Vol. I., 88, 89; Vol. II., 32, 119, 127, 161, 162, 163, 169,
170, 195, 229, 282, 289, 299.

Choate, Mrs. W. G., Vol. I., 319.

Choudens, M., Vol. I., 66, 67.

Chorley, Mr., Vol. I., 28.

Ciampi, Signor, Vol. II., 244, 249, 299.

Cirilla, Duke and Duchess of, Vol. I., 19, 20, 21, 22.

Clarke, Mr. John, of Brooklyn, Vol. II., 275.

Clarkson, Vol. II., 223.

Clementine, Mdlle., Vol. I., 31.

Clewes, Mrs. Henry, Vol. I., 317.

Clodio, Signor, Vol. I., 294, 326.

Coffee, John, Vol. II., 110, 111.

Colman, Commissioner J. S., Vol. I., 326.

Colonne, M., Vol. II., 9.

Colonnese, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Colville, Lord, Vol. I., 110.

Commander-in-Chief, H.R.H., Vol. I., 277.

Cooke, H., Vol. I., 278.

Cornell, Mrs. Alonzo B., Vol. I., 317.

Corsini, Signor, Vol. I., 314.

Corsi, Signor, Vol. I., 53, 54, 55, 56.

Costa, Sir Michael, Vol. I., 2, 9, 33, 125, 126, 139, 140, 151, 157,
166, 167, 189, 190, 193, 197, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 237, 238,
239; Vol. II., 148, 268, 274, 282, 284, 285, 301.

Cottrell, Mr., Vol. I., 14.

Cowen, Mr. F., Vol. II., 300.

Crane, R. T., Vol. II., 136.

Crittenden, Governor, Vol. II., 68, 69.

Crosmond, Hélène, Vol. I., 220.

Crowley, Chief, Vol. II., 55.

Cummings, Miss Eva, Vol. II., 237.


Daly, Chief Justice C. P., Vol. I., 326.

Daniel, Vol. I., 14.

Dater, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Davis, Chief Justice Noah, Vol. I., 326.

De Anna, Signor, Vol. II., 97, 108, 119, 122, 130, 131, 161, 164, 174,
182, 184, 263, 265, 299.

Decca, Mdlle. Marie, Vol. II., 265.

Dell'Era, Mdlle., Vol. II., 249.

Delmonico, Vol. II., 80.

Del Puente, Signor, Vol. I., 156, 197, 199, 203, 215, 233, 261, 268,
288; Vol. II., 6, 7, 11, 127, 161, 162, 163, 164, 169, 170, 174, 182,
216, 243, 244, 247, 249, 264, 299.

Dierck, Theodore, Vol. II., 117.

Didiée, Mdme. Nantier, Vol. I., 71, 82.

Dix, Mrs. General, Vol. I., 316.

Dogherty, Hon. Daniel, Vol. I., 289.

Dolby, Miss, Vol. I., 7.

Donadio, Mdlle. Bianca, Vol. II., 244, 296.

Donizetti, Vol. I., 90.

Dotti, Mdlle., Vol. I., 265, 268, 288, 293, 306, 307, 314; Vol. II.,
108, 127, 161, 164, 192, 244, 246, 248, 264, 265, 297.

Douste, Louise and Jeanne, Vol. I., 201; Vol. II., 16.

Drake, John B., Vol. II., 232.

Drisler, Professor Henry, Vol. I., 326.

Dudley, Lord, Vol. I., 23, 40, 70, 112, 136, 138, 139, 140, 141, 146,
147, 148, 152, 173, 190, 191.

Durat, M., Vol. I., 288.


Edinburgh, H.R.H. the Duchess of, Vol. I., 185, 186, 187, 188, 189; Vol.
II., 255.

Edinburgh, H.R.H. the Duke of, Vol. I., 178, 179, 185.

Edson, Mayor, Vol. I., 326.

Edson, Mrs. Franklin, Vol. I., 316.

Eldridge, Joe, Vol. II., 113, 114, 115, 116.

Engle, Mdlle. Marie, Vol. II., 161, 244, 246, 248, 297.

Evans, Judge Oliver P., Vol. II., 57.

Everardi, Signor, Vol. I., 26, 27.


Faccio, Signor, Vol. I., 253.

Fagotti, Signor Enrico, Vol. II., 298.

Fairbank, Mr. N. K., Vol. II., 232.

Falco, Signor de, Vol. II., 161, 162, 163, 179.

Fancelli, Signor, Vol. I., 155, 220; Vol. II., 286, 287, 288, 298.

Faure, Mons., Vol. I., 71, 128, 129, 131, 172, 221.

Fennessy, Mr., Vol. II., 32, 37.

Ferri, Signor, Vol. II., 92.

Field, Henry, Vol. II., 136.

Field, Mr. Marshall, Vol. II., 232.

Field, Mrs. Marshall, Vol. II., 229.

Fitzgerald, Thos., Vol. I., 22.

Flattery, Father, Vol. II., 17, 18, 19.

Fohström, Mdlle., Vol. II., 156, 161, 162, 163, 164, 169, 179, 180, 182,
184, 192, 213, 224, 227, 235, 243, 244, 245, 248, 296.

Foli, Signor, Vol. I., 87, 89, 129, 139, 155, 172, 199, 208, 215, 217;
Vol. II., 174, 244, 249, 275, 299.

Forchheimer, Dr. F., Vol. I., 269.

Ford, Hon., Vol. II., 42.

Formes, Carl, Vol. I., 7; Vol. II., 301.

Fowler, Dr., Vol. II., 181.

Fowler, Mr., Vol. I., 177, 178, 179.

Fox, Mr. Charles, Vol. II., 129.

Franchi, Signor, Vol. I., 290, 325; Vol. II., 4, 23, 24.

Francis, George, Vol. I., 4, 5.

Frank, Eisner and Regensburger, Vol. II., 197.

Frapolli, Signor, Vol. I., 199, 215, 220, 314; Vol. II., 244.

Fraschini, Signor, Vol. I., 117.

French, Mrs. Barton, Vol. I., 317.

Freret, William, Vol. II., 103.

Fursch-Madi, Mdme., Vol. I., 288, 294, 306, 307, 312, 314; Vol. II., 30,
105, 119, 130, 174.


Gage, A. S., Vol. II., 232.

Galassi, Mdme., Vol. I., 294.

Galassi, Signor, Vol. I., 166, 199, 203, 208, 215, 235, 247, 255, 259,
261, 265, 271, 288, 307, 310, 312, 314, 318; Vol. II., 32, 56, 67, 85,
174, 299.

Ganz, Mr. Wilhelm, Vol. II., 274, 275.

Gardini, Dr., Vol. I., 245; Vol. II., 263.

Gardoni, Signor, Vol. I., 2, 95, 146; Vol. II., 301.

Garibaldi, Vol. I., 45, 81.

Garulli, Signor, Vol. II., 248.

Gassier, Mdme., Vol. I., 8.

Gassier, Signor, Vol. I., 36, 68, 81.

Gayarré, Signor, Vol. I., 149.

Genese, Sam, Vol. I., 29, 30.

Gerster, Etelka, Vol. I., 195, 197, 199, 200, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206,
207, 208, 209, 210, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 228, 229, 233, 240, 242,
244, 245, 247, 249, 250, 251, 274; Vol. II., 4, 6, 11, 13, 22, 25, 27,
28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 53,
54, 58, 62, 67, 68, 69, 72, 74, 76, 77, 174, 218, 245, 263, 295.

Giannini, Signor, Vol. II., 108, 119, 127, 161, 162, 164, 182, 235, 261.

Giffard, Mr., Vol. I., 14.

Gille, M. Ph., Vol. II., 161.

Giuglini, Vol. I., 9, 17, 23, 26, 35, 36, 37, 38, 43, 44, 45, 47, 49,
50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 68, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89;
Vol. II., 300.

Gluck, Vol. I., 95.

Goddard, Arabella, Vol. I., 7.

Gole, Messrs. J. and R., Vol. II., 145.

Gole, Mr. Russell, Vol. II., 281, 282.

Goodenough, Colonel, Vol. II., 268.

Goschen, the Right Honourable G. J., Vol. II., 292.

Gounod, Vol. I., 68, 70, 72, 250; Vol. II., 123, 130, 249.

Graziani, Signor, Vol. I., 13, 14, 71.

Grisi, Mdme., Vol. I., 9, 26, 33, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93; Vol II., 300.

Guarducci, Mdlle., Vol. I., 17, 18, 19, 22; Vol. II., 296.

Gunz, Dr., Vol. I., 95; Vol. II., 298.

Gye, Mr. Ernest, Vol. I., 305, 310, 320, 321, 322, 325; Vol. II., 1, 3,
4, 5, 81, 82, 84, 85.

Gye, Commander, Vol. I., 288, 290, 303, 304.

Gye, Messrs., Vol. I., 260, 287.

Gye, Mr., Vol. I., 8, 9, 13, 14, 33, 36, 41, 42, 67, 70, 71, 72, 111,
112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 118, 119, 124, 125, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131,
132, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 153,
154, 160; Vol. II., 285.


Haines, Vol. I., 216.

Hallé, Chas., Vol. I., 28, 172; Vol. II., 9, 274, 282.

Hammond, Surgeon-General, Vol. II., 218.

Hancock, General, Vol. I., 326.

Hancock, Mrs. General, Vol. I., 317.

Handel, Vol. II., 274.

Harding, George F., Vol. II., 136, 232.

Harding, J., Vol. II., 232.

Harrison, Mr. Carter H., Vol. II., 134, 232.

Harris, Augustus, the late, Vol. I., 42, 67, 145.

Harris, Miss Laura, Vol. I., 187; Vol. II., 297.

Harris, Augustus, Vol. I., 276; Vol. II., 243, 285.

Hastreiter, Mdme., Vol. II., 244, 246, 248, 297.

Hauk, Minnie, Vol. I., 61, 125, 197, 199, 200, 202, 203, 206, 207, 215,
220, 261, 268, 271, 288; Vol. II., 161, 162, 163, 164, 175, 176, 177,
178, 179, 181, 182, 192, 193, 194, 201, 213, 214, 221, 226, 227, 248,
264, 265, 269, 281, 297.

Haweis, Rev. H., Vol. II., 171, 172.

Hawkins, Vol. I., 14.

Hayes, Miss Catherine, Vol. I., 8.

Hayten, Mdlle., Vol. II., 249.

Hazlitt, Mr. Registrar, Vol. I., 239, 240; Vol. II., 281.

Heatly, Mr. Tod, Vol. I., 183.

Henderson, Mr., Vol. II., 230, 233, 238.

Henderson, C. M., Vol. II., 232.

Heringhie, Samuel, Vol. II., 198.

Hinds, J. Clowes, Vol. I., 279.

Hingston, Vol. I., 108.

Hoffman, Rev. Dr., Vol. I., 326.

Hogg, Sir James McGarel, Vol. I., 179.

Hohler, Tom, Vol. II., 298.

Holliday, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Homer, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Hopkins, Mrs. Mark, Vol. II., 118.

Humphreys, Sir John, Vol. I., 182.


Insom, Signor, Vol. I., 11.

Irvine, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Irving, Henry, Vol. II., 37.

Isia, Mdme., Vol. II., 191.

Isidor, Mdlle. Rosina, Vol. II., 248.


Jacobi, Dr., Vol. I., 202.

Jaquinot, M., Vol. II., 247.

Jarrett, Mr., Vol. I., 110, 111, 129, 130, 132, 133, 160, 231.

Jay, Mrs., Vol. I., 316.

Jones, Hon., Vol. II., 42.

Jones, J. Russell, Vol. II., 232.

de Jong, Mike, Vol. II., 75.

Joseffy, Herr Rafael, Vol. I., 320.

Joyce, Mr., Vol. I., 5.

Juch, Miss Emma, Vol. II., 297.

Junca, Vol. I., 146; Vol. II., 299.


Kalakana I., H.M. King, Vol. I., 295, 296.

Keith, Edson, Vol. II., 232.

Kellogg, Clara Louise, Vol. I., 117, 153, 220; Vol. II., 297.

Kendal, Mrs., Vol. I., 100; Vol. II., 167.

Kernochan, Mrs. Frederick, Vol. I., 317.

Kleist, Albert, Vol. II., 138.

Knox, Colonel E. B., Vol. II., 138.

Knox, George F., Vol. II., 205.

Knox, Colonel Brownlow, Vol. I., 147.

Kuhe, Herr Wilhelm. Vol. II., 274, 275.


Lablache, Signor, Vol. I., 3, 89.

Lablache, Mdme., Vol. I., 233; Vol. II., 6, 7, 116, 127, 161, 162, 164,
170, 248.

Lamoureux, M., Vol. II., 9.

Lanner, Mdme. Katti, Vol. I., 196; Vol. II., 116.

Lauri, Lilian, Vol. II., 297.

Lavine, Mr. John, Vol. II., 84.

Lawrence, Judge Abraham R., Vol. I., 326.

Lee and Paine, Vol. I., 173.

Lehmann, Mdlle. Lilli, Vol. II., 250, 251, 252, 282, 296.

Leinster, Duke of, Vol. I., 146.

Lennox, Lord Algernon, Vol. I., 208.

Lewis, Vol. I., 276.

Lhérie, M., Vol. II., 249, 299.

Lido, Mdlle. Marie de, Vol. I., 211.

Lilly, General, Vol. I., 316, 318.

Lincoln, Dr., Vol. I., 202.

Lind, Jenny, Vol. I., 2, 172, 173, 205.

Litvinoff, Mdlle. Felia, Vol. II., 161, 164.

Litta, Miss Marie, Vol. II., 297.

Livingstone, Mrs., Vol. I., 316.

Lodi, Mariannina, Vol. II., 296.

Logheder, Signor, Vol. II., 249, 300.

Lombardelli, Signor, Vol. II., 63, 67.

Lorillard, Pierre, Vol. I., 273.

Lorillard, Mrs. Pierre, Vol. I., 317.

Lotti, Mdlle., Vol. I., 7.

Lucca, Pauline, Vol. I., 72, 134, 135, 229.

Lucca, Mdme., Vol. II., 262.

Lumley, Mr., Vol. I., 8, 9, 12, 23, 24, 25, 35, 41.

Lyon, Geo. W., Vol. II., 138.


Macpherson, Captain Fitzroy, Vol. I., 280.

Mackenzie, Sir Morell, Vol. I., 182.

Mackenzie, Dr. A. C., Vol. II., 272.

Macfarren, Sir G., Vol. II., 283.

Macvitz, Mdlle., Vol. I., 156.

Magnani, Vol. I., 241, 271.

Manns, Mr. August, Vol. II., 274, 275.

Mapleson, Vol. I., 15, 16, 20, 21.

Maple, Mr., Vol. I., 226, 227.

Maple, Blundell, Vol. I., 192.

Mario, Vol. I., 9, 33, 72, 89, 93, 94, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 128;
Vol. II., 25, 266, 300.

Marini, Vol. I., 10, 11; Vol. II., 301.

Maretzek, Max, Vol. I., 7.

Martindale, Mr., Vol. I., 14.

Marchisio, Sisters, Vol. I., 43.

Marimon, Mdlle., Vol. I., 140, 143, 155, 171, 229, 230, 231, 233, 234,
235, 236; Vol. II., 295.

Marchesi, Signor, Vol. I., 144, 145.

Massenet, Vol. II., 161.

Masini, Signor, Vol. I., 220, 221, 222, 223; Vol. II., 148.

Mathews, Charles, Vol. I., 173.

Mattei, Signor Tito, Vol. II., 162.

Mazzucato, Signor, Vol. I., 4, 6.

McCaull, Vol. II., 234.

McCray, Colonel, Vol. I., 141, 143.

Means, Mayor, Vol. I., 308.

Medill, Hon. J., Vol. II., 232.

Medini, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Meilhac, M., Vol. II., 161.

Melcy, M. de, Vol. I., 93.

Mercadante, Vol. I., 18, 65.

Meyerbeer, Vol. I., 3, 43, 266; Vol. II., 284.

Middleton, Admiral Sir George Broke, Vol. I., 182.

Mierzwinski, M., Vol. I., 288, 307, 312; Vol. II., 174.

Miller, Hon., Vol. II., 42.

Millais, Vol. I., 72.

Miranda, Signor, Vol. II., 249.

Mitchell, Vol. I., 40.

Mongini, Signor, Vol. I., 16, 26, 27, 95, 96, 97, 98, 117, 128, 129,
131; Vol. II., 298.

Monti, Signor, Vol. I., 304, 307.

Moriami, Signor, Vol. I., 152.

Morris, Vol. I., 183.

Mott, Dr., Vol. I., 295.

Mozart, Vol. I., 11, 117, 270, 319; Vol. II., 265, 266, 272.

Müller, Miss Marie, Vol. I., 201.

Murska, Mdlle. Ilmade, Vol. I., 87, 95, 129, 131, 133, 143, 152, 155,
156, 163, 164, 165, 166, 190; Vol. II., 295.


Nannetti, Vol. I., 240, 252, 253.

Naples, King of, Vol. I., 19.

Nassau, Dr., Vol. II., 127.

Nandin, Signor, Vol. I., 10, 11, 44.

Nevada, Emma, Vol. II., 86, 89, 90, 97, 109, 110, 111, 116, 119, 121,
122, 123, 124, 130, 149, 150, 248, 250, 297.

Niagara, Vol. I., 297.

Nicolini, Signor, Vol. I., 152, 288, 310, 319, 320, 323, 324; Vol. II.,
32, 35, 44, 47, 48, 49, 65, 78, 88, 107, 122, 131, 149, 150, 155, 252,
253, 255, 298.

Nichols, Colonel George Ward, Vol. I., 247, 267.

Nikita, Vol. II., 297.

Nilsson, Christine, Vol. I., 104, 106, 117, 128, 129, 131, 133, 143,
148, 150, 152, 153, 155, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162, 163, 166, 172, 178,
190, 193, 194, 195, 220, 221, 224, 229, 237, 240, 241, 243, 253, 254,
303, 308, 321, 322; Vol. II., 2, 11, 30, 33, 38, 81, 86, 218, 295.

Nixon, Mr. William Penn, Vol. II., 136.

Nordica, Mdme. Lilian, Vol. II., 161, 180, 182, 184, 193, 213, 224, 227,
244, 246, 248, 297.

Novara, Vol. I., 243, 247, 261; Vol. II., 11, 299.

Novello, Clara, Vol. I., 7.

Nugent, Mr., Vol. I., 68, 70.


O'Connell, Officer, Vol. II., 64.

Offenbach, Jacques, Vol. II., 283, 284, 285.

O'Gorman, Judge, Vol. II., 7.

Ole Bull, Vol. I., 218.

O'Molloy, John, Vol. II., 209.

Orczy, Baron Bodog, Vol. I. 254, 255, 258, 260.

Oselio, Mdlle., Vol. II., 250.

Oxenford, John, Vol. I., 28.


Padilla, Signor, Vol. II., 244, 249, 266, 267, 276, 277, 298.

Paget, Lord Alfred, Vol. I., 177, 178, 183.

Palmer, Potter, Mr., Vol. II., 232.

Palmer, Mr. Courtlandt, Vol. II., 171.

Palmer, Dr., Vol. II., 116.

Palmer, Colonel H. W., Vol. I., 281.

Pandolfini, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Pappenheim, Madame, Vol. I., 203; Vol. II., 6, 14, 296.

Parepa, Madame, Vol. I., 29.

Parnell, Mr., Vol. II., 266.

Parmenter, Judge, Vol. I., 212.

Parodi, Mdlle., Vol. I., 211.

Parry, Mr., Vol. II., 6, 7, 116, 231.

Pasdeloup, M., Vol. II., 300.

Patey, Madame, Vol. I., 28.

Patti, Adelina, Vol. I., 33, 35, 36, 72, 82, 83, 145, 150, 153, 167,
224, 251, 264, 265, 267, 268, 269, 270, 272, 273, 274, 288, 290, 291,
295, 296, 300, 301, 302, 303, 305, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313,
315, 317, 318, 319, 320, 323, 324; Vol. II., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 14, 15,
22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42,
43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 54, 58, 59, 65, 67, 68, 69, 72, 74, 75,
76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 101,
103, 105, 107, 113, 116, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 127,
130, 131, 132, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150,
151, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 161, 163, 169, 174, 209, 218, 236,
243, 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 268, 295.

Peabody, George, Vol. I., 5, 6.

Pearce, Mr. Irving, Vol. II., 232.

Peck, President Ferd. W., Vol. II., 106, 133, 135, 136, 232, 238.

Persiani, Mdme., Vol. I., 10, 11; Vol. II., 300.

Peyten, Father, Vol. II., 17.

Phelps, Mr., Vol. I., 8.

Phillips, Mr. R., Vol. I., 69.

Phillips, Colonel L. E., Vol. I., 281.

Piccolomini, Mdlle., Vol. I., 9, 19.

Planché, J. R., Vol. I., 27, 43.

Ponchielli, Vol. II., 31.

Ponsard, M., Vol. II., 284.

Pope, His Holiness the, Vol. I., 18.

Post, Mr. Chas. N., Vol. II., 138.

Potter, Cipriani, Vol. I., 1.

Pratt, Mr. S. G., Vol. II., 136.

Prévost, M., Vol. I., 262.

Prussia, Crown Prince of, Vol. I., 8.

Pryor, Mrs., Vol. I., 317.

Puzzi, Mdme., Vol. I., 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.


Queen, Her Majesty the, Vol. II., 243.

Quilter, Vol. I., 183.


Randegger, Mr. Alberto, Vol. II., 274, 275.

Rattray, Colonel J. C., Vol. I., 279.

Ravelli, Signor, Vol. I., 242, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 288, 294, 297,
298, 299, 307, 313, 320, 326; Vol. II., 161, 162, 164, 169, 173, 175,
176, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 188, 193, 194, 195,
196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 209, 210, 229, 248, 264,
266, 269, 276, 277, 280, 281, 298.

Reboux, Caroline, Vol. II., 296.

Reeves, Sims, Mr., Vol. I., 4, 7, 28, 74, 75, 78.

Reeves, Sims, Mrs., Vol. I., 74, 75.

Remenyi, M., Vol. I., 2.

Reszke, M. Jean de, Vol. II., 298.

Rhaden, Baron von, Vol. I., 134.

Richter, Herr, Vol. I., 237, 239.

Ricordi, Vol. I., 252; Vol. II., 262.

Rigo, Vol. II., 193.

Rinaldini, Signor, Vol. II., 161, 162, 163, 164, 266.

Risley, Professor, Vol. I., 107.

Ristori, Mdme., Vol. I., 156; Vol. II., 289.

Rives, George L., Vol. I., 152; Vol. II., 85.

Rives, Mrs. G. L., Vol. I., 316.

Robertson, Madge, Vol. I., 100.

Roger, M., Vol. I., 3.

Rokitanski, Herr, Vol. I., 87, 95; Vol. II., 299.

Rolla, Mdme., Vol. II., 264, 265, 297.

Rolt, Mr., Vol. I., 14.

Ronconi, Signor, Vol. I., 326.

Rosa, Mr. Carl, Vol. II., 274, 275.

Rosenbecker, A., Vol. II., 138.

Rossi, Signor, Vol. I., 189.

Rossini, Vol. I., 90; Vol. II., 272.

Rossini, G., Vol. I., 265, 313.

Rossini, Mdlle. Paolina, Vol. I., 265, 266, 267, 288, 293.

Rota, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Rothschild, Messrs., Vol. II., 145.

Rothschild, Vol. I., 230.

Rouzand, M., Vol. I., 155, 159.

Rovere, Vol. I., 10, 11.

Roze, Marie, Vol. I., 155, 156, 163, 190, 206, 207, 214, 215, 220; Vol.
II., 295.

Rudersdorff, Mdme., Vol. I., 11.

Rudersdorff, M., Vol. II., 276.

Rullman, Mr. F., Vol. II., 241.

Runcio, Signor, Vol. II., 244, 247.


Salla, Mdlle., Vol. I., 193, 196, 220, 225; Vol. II., 296.

Salvini, Vol. I., 166, 167, 185, 189, 190, 238; Vol. II., 300.

Salvini-Donatelli, Vol. I., 10.

Santa, Della, Signor, Vol. I., 7.

Santley, Mr., Vol. I., 28, 68, 81, 87, 88, 89, 95, 117, 129, 131, 133,
139, 146; Vol. II., 275, 298.

Sapio, Signor, Vol. II., 178, 193.

Sarata, Signor Alberto, Vol. II., 237.

Sarolta, Louise, Vol. II., 296.

Savio, Mdlle., Vol. I., 288, 294.

Saxe-Weimar, Prince Edward of, Vol. I., 281.

Sayers and Heenan, Vol. I., 25, 26.

Scalchi, Madame, Vol. I., 124, 155, 288, 292, 296, 301, 305, 306, 307,
309, 312, 313, 314, 317, 319, 320; Vol. II., 2, 5, 11, 31, 79, 85, 90,
94, 97, 105, 108, 112, 113, 116, 119, 120, 122, 124, 127, 130, 131, 151,
152, 174, 296.

Scalese, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Schneider, Mr. George, Vol. II., 106, 136, 232.

Scott, Dr. Joseph, Vol. II., 102.

Seabury, Rev. Professor, Vol. I., 326.

Sedie, Signor Delle, Vol. I., 36; Vol. II., 298.

Selika, Mdlle., Vol. II., 100.

Sembrich, Mdlle., Vol. II., 2, 30.

Sessi, Mdlle. Mathilde, Vol. II., 296.

Shah of Persia, Vol. I., 156, 157, 158.

Sharon, Mr., Vol. II., 74.

Shea, Chief Justice, Vol. I., 326; Vol. II., 151.

Sherman and Clay, Messrs., Vol. II., 49, 50, 51, 52.

Sherrington, Mdme. L., Vol. I., 28.

Short, Captain, Vol. II., 55, 57, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 74, 75.

Shortball, S. S., Vol. II., 232.

Sinclair, Signor, Vol. II., 275.

Sinico, Mdme., Vol. I., 87, 215; Vol. II., 296.

Sivori, Vol. II., 32.

Smith, Count, Vol. II., 275.

Smith, Health Officer, Vol. II., 88.

Smith, Mr. E. T., Vol. I., 9, 11, 12, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27,
29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 41, 283.

Smith, Right Honble. W. H., M.P., Vol. I., 179, 285, 286.

Smyth, Recorder, Vol. I., 326.

Snowe, Vice-Consul, Vol. I., 22.

Sontag, Mdme., Vol. I., 3.

de Sortis, Bettina, Vol. II., 56.

Sparapani, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Spencer, Lady, Vol. I., 227, 228.

Spencer, Lord, Vol. I., 227.

Sprague, Mr. A. A., Vol. II., 136, 232.

Springer, Reuben, Vol. I., 251, 308.

Stanley, Dean, Vol. I., 155.

Stagno, Signor, Vol. I., 89, 95; Vol. II., 298.

Stanton, Mr., Vol. II., 85.

Starin, John H., Vol. I., 326.

Steinway and Sons, Vol. I., 214, 215; Vol. II., 77.

Steinway, William, Vol. I., 326.

Stone, Dr., Vol. II., 115.

Stores, Hon. Emery A., Vol. II., 106.

Stracey, Colonel, Vol. II., 269.

Strauss, Oscar S., Vol. I., 326.

Strakosch, Maurice, Vol. I., 33, 36.

Sullivan, Sir Arthur, Vol. II., 272.

Swanstone, Clement, Vol. I., 14.

Swing, Professor, Vol. II., 232.


Tabor, I. W., Vol. II., 117.

Tagliafico, Signor, Vol. II., 169.

Tamberlik, Signor, Vol. I., 71, 72, 82, 172.

Tasca, Signor, Vol. I., 102, 103; Vol. II., 298.

Taylor, The Prophet, Vol. II., 44, 45, 76.

Telbin, Mr., Vol. I., 82, 94.

Terry, Miss Ellen, Vol. II., 167.

Thalberg, M., Vol. I., 3.

Thomas, Ambroise, M., Vol. II., 163.

Thomas, Theodore, Vol. II., 9, 10, 165, 171.

de Thomsen, Baroness, Vol. I., 317.

Thornycroft, Vol. I., 182.

Thurber, Mr. F. B., Vol. I., 326.

Thurber, Mrs. F. B., Vol. I., 317, 319.

Titiens, Thérèse, Vol. I., 9, 12, 18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 35, 36, 37, 38,
42, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 68, 72, 77, 78, 81,
82, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 95, 100, 101, 103, 104, 109, 112, 117, 120,
121, 122, 123, 124, 128, 139, 140, 143, 146, 152, 154, 155, 156, 157,
159, 161, 162, 166, 167, 177, 178, 190, 193, 194, 196; Vol. II., 15, 25,
268, 282, 290, 300.

Trebelli, Mdme., Vol I., 43, 58, 59, 60, 68, 72, 73, 77, 79, 89, 101,
104, 129, 131, 139, 140, 146, 154, 155, 156, 160, 190, 199, 220, 221,
240; Vol. II., 3, 30, 250, 255, 268, 296.


Vachot, Mdlle., Vol. I., 261, 262, 263.

Valda, Mdme, Vol. II., 261.

Valchieri, Signor, Vol. II., 275.

Valleria, Mdlle., Vol. I., 156, 190, 198, 199; Vol. II., 297.

Van Biene, Auguste, Vol. II., 276.

Vanderbilt, Mrs., Vol. I., 317.

Vanderbilt, Mr. W. H., Vol. I., 324, 325.

Vanderpoel, Aaron, Vol. I., 326.

Van Zandt, Vol. I., 164, 220; Vol. II., 297.

de Vaschetti, Signor, Vol. II., 161, 162, 163, 164, 249.

Varese, Mdlle. Elena, Vol. II., 296.

Varese, Signor, Vol. II., 299.

Verdi, Vol. I., 43, 45, 271; Vol. II., 272.

Vetta, Signor, Vol. II., 161, 244, 247, 249.

Vianelli, Mdlle., Vol. II., 6.

Vianesi, Signor, Vol. I., 10, 127; Vol. II., 244, 300.

Viardot, Mdme., Vol. I., 3, 10, 11; Vol. II., 300.

Victoria, Princess, Vol. I., 8.

de Vigne, Mdlle., Vol. II., 161, 162, 163, 195.

Vivian, Colonel, Vol. I., 208.

Vizzani, Signor, Vol. II., 298.

Vocke, Mr. William, Vol. II., 178.

Volpini, Mdme., Vol. I., 72, 78, 79.

Volpini, Signor, Vol. I., 73, 74, 76, 79, 298.


Wagstaff, Mr., Vol. I., 113.

Wagner, Vol. I., 263, 315; Vol. II., 171, 172.

Wahl, Mr. Louis, Vol. II., 136.

Wales, Prince of, Vol. I., 111, 139, 157, 192; Vol. II., 243.

Wales, Prince and Princess of, Vol. I., 91.

Wallace, Vincent, Vol. I., 28.

Wallhofen, Baron Von, Vol. I., 134, 135.

Walker, Mr. J. W., Vol. I., 279, 280.

Walker, Mr., Vol. II., 275.

Wallace, Vincent, Vol. II., 162, 173, 269, 283.

Walsh, Mr. John R., Vol. II., 136, 232.

Ward, Miss Genéviève, Vol. II., 297.

Wartegg, Baron E. de Hesse, Vol. II., 177, 194.

Warren, Councillor, Vol. II., 42.

Weber, Dr., Vol. II., 269.

Weber, Vol. I., 27, 43; Vol. II., 131.

Weber, Vol. I., 216.

Webster, Mr., Vol. I., 175, 176, 177, 179.

Wellington, Duke of, Vol. I., 41.

Wetterman, Vol. II., 52.

White, Mayor, Vol. I., 300.

Whitney, Mrs. W. C., Vol. I., 317.

Willis, Mrs. Benjamin, Vol. I., 317.

Wippern, Mdme. Harriers, Vol. II., 296.

Wixom, Dr., Vol. II., 116.

Wood, Vice-Chancellor, Vol. I., 14.

Wood, Mr. George, Vol. I., 129, 130, 131, 132, 133.

Woodford, General Stewart L., Vol. I., 326.

Wyndham, Mr., Vol. I., 52.

Wyndham, Mrs., Vol. I., 57.


Yorke, Miss Josephine, Vol. II., 6, 32.


Zacharoff, Count, Vol. II., 47.

Zagury, Mdlle., Vol. I., 288, 293.

Zamperoni, Signor, Vol. II., 262.

Zimelli, Signor, Vol. I., 141.

       *       *       *       *       *

            Typographical errors corrected:

made every preparation for going on to the stage=>make every preparation
for going on to the stage


County of San Franscisco=>County of San Francisco

Augsutus Harris=>Augustus Harris

lieu of La Sonnambulu=>lieu of La Sonnambula

              (note of etext transcriber.)

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