April 19, 1885
Herr Mierzwinski shot off his high C successfully. It made a fearful noise, answered each time by a crackling echo from every part of the house. I suppose I should mention in passing that it was as Arnold in William Tell that Herr Mierzwinski opened fire on the audience. It struck me as rather superfluous to mount a well-staged battle when nothing mattered but the thunder of Herr Mierzwinski's cannon. And the audience, too, would have been adequately served had it been offered that awesome weapon alone, situated appropriately before the prompter's box and, from this strategic position, exploding its high C a few dozen times at its own convenience.
The simplicity and originality of such a procedure did not, unfortunately, occur to the management, much to the disadvantage of any sense of unity in this performance. Because Herr Reichmann took Tell very, very seriously the audience's previous concentration on Mierzwinski's 24-pounder was diverted to his [ Mierzwinski's] Arnold. That was, of course, a sorry situation, and since Herr Reichmann threw more than enough of his splendid voice at its expressive best into the breach, the scales were tipped dangerously against Mierzwinski. The audience, caught in this cross fire, grew more serious, and the 24‐ pounder, in the audience's opinion at that moment, weighed at least twenty pounds less. The last of Herr Mierzwinski's high Cs came from a 4-pounder. It had almost no effect whatsoever.
Herr Mierzwinski had a better time of it in Les Huguenots. He had no rival to fear. In the first Romanza he trilled decorously and amiably from A to B flat. Having arrived at the B flat, he tarried a while, smiling and surveying his surroundings, before plunging to lower regions. He struck me as being rather tired on this occasion, but he fought off fatigue with stamina and good fortune. Fräulein Klein, as Valentine, left us acutely aware of what we were missing in Frau Lucca who, unfortunately, cancelled. With what other singer in this role would it not be the same? Fräulein Bianchi (Marguerite) was greeted with rich floral offerings, and had many recalls. She will, henceforth, and like Frau Matcrna. grace our stage as guest. 1I wonder of in the future we will have guest orchestras and guest choruses?