Jenny Lind: the Swedish Nightingale

By Gladys Denny Shultz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
The Grand Tour Begins

BACK to New York, after the Philaelphia concerts, where the brand new Tripler Hall was now finished. (Tripler Hall was one American project during this period that was not named for Jenny Lind. Mr. Tripler had planned to call it the Jenny Lind Hall, then evidently decided it would be good business to be different from the rest of New York.) At the first rehearsal, Jenny pronounced the acoustics perfect, and the stage and seating arrangements all to her liking. The troupe settled down for a run of ten concerts and five oratorios, the longest of the tour.

Jenny suggested to Barnum that inasmuch as all the wealthy people in New York who wanted to hear her undoubtedly had done so during the first six concerts, it was time to lower the prices so that everyone else might hear her. Barnum scented a possibility both of good publicity and good business in this proposal and at once acceded, asking Jenny to write him a letter which he could show to the other members of the troupe. Jenny's letter, written October 24, read as follows: "You know I have always been in favor of having lower prices to make the tickets available to the masses, and at the same time prevent speculators from taking advantage of the reduction. Will you permit me to suggest that Tripler Hall is immensely large and that with proper precaution, you might avoid selling tickets to speculators, and at the same time put the prices within reach of the people at large. You will greatly oblige me, my Dear Sir."

Barnum replied that very afternoon: "I hasten with much pleasure to

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