[Met Concert/Gala] CID:18940
Farewell Performance and Abbey Testimonial Benefit. Metropolitan Opera House: 4/20/1897.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 20, 1897


FAREWELL PERFORMANCE and TESTIMONIAL BENEFIT

tendered to MISS KITTY K. ABBEY
(Daughter and only surviving child of the late Henry E. Abbey)

At which all the Artists will appear (having kindly
volunteered their services).


Roméo et Juliette: Act III

Roméo...................Jean de Reszke
Juliette................Marie Engle
Laurent.................Edouard de Reszke
Stéphano................Maria Belina
Mercutio................Maurice De Vries
Benvolio................Igenio Corsi
Gertrude................Mathilde Bauermeister
Capulet.................Pol Plançon
Tybalt..................Jacques Bars
Grégorio................Antonio De Vaschetti
Duke of Verona..........Lodovico Viviani

Conductor...............Enrico Bevignani


Carmen: Act II

Carmen..................Emma Calvé
Don José................Thomas Salignac
Escamillo...............Jean Lassalle
Frasquita...............Mathilde Bauermeister
Mercédès................Marie Van Cauteren
Remendado...............Igenio Corsi
Dancaire................Lodovico Viviani
Zuniga..................Maurice De Vries

Conductor...............Enrico Bevignani

Jean Lassalle, scheduled to sing, was ill
and all of Escamillo's music was omitted.


Le Cid: Act III, Scene 1

Rodrigue................Jean de Reszke
Chimène.................Félia Litvinne [Last Appearance]
Saint Jacques...........Jacques Bars

Conductor...............Anton Seidl


Mefistofele: Act III

Mefistofele.............Pol Plançon
Faust...................Antonio Ceppi
Margherita..............Emma Calvé

Conductor...............Anton Seidl [Last appearance]

Director................William Parry

[Manager Henry E. Abbey died on 10/17/96.]

Unsigned review in the Sun

MISS KITTY ABBEY'S BENEFIT

It Realized $11,500 for Her - Farewell Enthusiasm for the Opera Stars.

At Miss Kitty Abbey's benefit at the Metropolitan last night, the first show of enthusiasm that usually accompanies the farewell appearance of the opera singers came when the curtain fell at the end of the third act of "Romeo et Juliette," with which the programme opened. Then after the curtain had been raised several times for Jean de Reszke to appear in answer to the applause of the audience, he stepped on to the stage before the curtain. To his astonishment an enthusiastic woman in white chiffon waist walked up to the stage and, leaning forward, presented to the singer a large bunch of violets.

M. Jean had intended to bow and retire, but this sudden compliment so took him off his guard that he walked all the way across the stage. The applause continued, and M. de Reszke crossed the stage again to be rewarded with a bunch of American Beauty roses dropped from one of the galleries.

He was applauded again after the first of the two scenes from "Le Cid," which he sang with Mme. Litvinne, but the audience evidently regarded the Saturday matinee as his last appearance here for two years, and there was not nearly so much enthusiasm as there was at that performance. But there came a renewal of it when William Parry stepped before the curtain and announced that the tenor was too indisposed to sing the second scene, and his retirement was followed by M. de Reszke's appearance before the curtain. He came out several times, and a laurel wreath was presented to him.

There was another disappointment before the second act of "Carmen" was sung. M. Lassalle, who was to have sung Escamillo, was suddenly taken with an attack of hoarseness, and he appeared in costume as an evidence of his good faith. The rôle was entirely omitted, and a good chunk this seemed to take out of the act.

The prison scene from Boito's "Mefistofele" brought the performance to an end. It was then that the frenzied good-bys began. Mlle. Calvé crossed the stage repeatedly shook hands with some of the enthusiasts until they nearly dragged her off the stage, and then kept out of their reach.

Maurice Grau thanked the audience in Miss Abbey's name. Anton Seidl came out with Mme. Calvé, and there were spectators standing in the darkness and shouting for Calvé and the de Reszkes until they were finally driven out.

The performance realized almost $11,500 for Henry E. Abbey. Of this $3,500 came from the stockholders who took their boxes, $2,000 came in subscriptions from Mr. Abbey's friends, and $3,500 resulted from the sale of seats.


Unsigned account in The New York Times

BENEFIT FOR MISS ABBEY

It Was a Success a Neat Sum Being Realized - Artists Forced to Respond to Many Encores

Long before the admirers of Mme. Calvé and the brothers de Reszke had worn out their voices in cheering and calling for their favorites after the performance at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, the lights went out and the ushers cleared the building. It was a benefit performance to Miss Kitty K. Abbey, the daughter of the late Henry E. Abbey, and incidentally the au revoir, for perhaps two years, to the members of the Metropolitan opera company.

The house was crowded. Including $2,500 of donations, the receipts were about $12,000, of which at least $10,000 will be net profit. The enthusiasm began after the finale of Act III of "Romeo et Juliette." Jean de Reszke was recalled again and again, and was forced to dodge several bouquets.

The last feature was the final act of "Mefistofele," and Mme. Calvé was recalled half a dozen times. About a hundred man and women had massed against the stage, and on the way out, from a recall, the prima donna incautiously shook hands with several of them. Straightaway there was a tumult. The calls for Mme. Calvé were so persistent that the singer was forced to respond. She threw several double kisses, shrugged her shoulders, and disappeared. The lights were then turned down, and a stampede for the doors began.



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